KOLKATA: The gates of Humanity Hospital are always open, literally. Located off the highway to Diamond Harbour at Hanspukur village in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, the hospital, opened in 1993 in a bamboo hut by a vegetable vendor, is now spread over 1.6 acres, boasts 45 beds, a 10-bed intensive care unit, and 17 doctors treating nearly 300 patients free of cost every day.
Walking slowly along the corridors of the hospital, its 78-year-old founder, Subhasini Mistry, who was awarded the Padma Shri this year for her social work, says that she will never let any patient die without treatment. Subashini’s resolve to treat poor patients stems from her experience of seeing her husband Sadhan Chandra Mistry die of gastroenteritis due to lack of treatment.
Tears well up in her eyes as she recalls her ordeal as a widow. “I was 23 and had to raise four children. I worked as a domestic help, broke coal and sold vegetables. I made little savings and decided to not let any patient die due to lack of treatment,” she said. She also went on to make her eldest son a doctor.
Consoling his mother, Dr Ajoy Mistry says that the hospital, which is funded by donations, wants to treat more patients, but needs additional funds for that.
“Most of our donors are from south India. Our expenses amount to `16 lakh a month. If any group of donors or the government helps us for one year, we would not need donations ever. Our next plan is to open a nursing college in the premises,” said the doctor.
Subhasini Mistry has also opened a 25-bed hospital in Satjelia Island in the Sundarbans, where the nearest primary health centre, at Gosaba, is nearly two hours away by boat. All doctors working in Humanity Hospital are required to work in the Sundarbans as well. She also runs a health camp in Manikpara, of Jhargram district, and plans to open another hospital there.
“We share the vision of Subhasini Mistry and work here one day a week voluntarily. But we need better services and full-fledged set-up, because of which I believe we should focus more on advertising and marketing for more donors,” said paediatrician Dr A Pal.
Besides the hospital, Subhasini runs an old age home in the premises. She said that the aged were “orphaned” by their children when they needed them the most.
Runs a charitable hospital