In 15 days, BJP and RSS employees have been transforming Kolar hospital for 20 years into a 300-bed Covid facility

The renovated British-era Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) hospital in Kolar | Photo: Praveen Jain / ThePrint

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Kolar Gold Fields: It took around 15 days for nearly 300 BJP and RSS volunteers to breathe life into a 140-year-old defunct British-era hospital at Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) in Karnataka, about 100 km from the capital. Bengaluru.

Now from Monday, Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) hospital in Kolar will be ready for Covid-19 patients.

Kolar BJP MP S. Muniswamy, who has been camping at the site for a few days, told ThePrint that the hospital once served as a facility for minors and their families until 2001 when it disappeared. .

He added that as the number of Covid-19 cases began to rise in Kolar district, KGF town president of BJP Kamalnathan suggested that the old BGML building could be converted into a center. of Covid care.

“More than 12,000 people used to rely on the BGML, which was an 800-bed hospital. But the hospital has been closed for more than two decades, ”he said. “Our Sangh Parivar and BJP employees have decided to set up a Covid care facility with 300 beds. More than 250 people have worked there tirelessly day and night for 15 days and have transformed it. The facility for 220 patients is now ready and will be operational from Monday. “

Munisamy also said the hospital will be equipped with 30 oxygen concentrators provided by Karnataka’s Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwatha Narayana.

“We have already selected doctors and nurses who will work here. Just as we have Victoria and Bowring hospitals in Bengaluru, we also want BGML to be known in the same way, ”said the MP. “It is a 140 year old building and still in good condition.”

“Once it is ready, apart from KGF other neighboring constituencies will also be able to use it. X-ray machines, laboratories, we start all the services here, ”he added.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in Kolar district stands at 27,832, with 5,106 active cases and 256 deaths reported in the district on Saturday.

BJP MP Muniswamy gives instructions to his party workers and volunteers inside the hospital |  Photo: Praveen Jain / ThePrint
BJP MP Muniswamy gives instructions to his party workers and volunteers inside the hospital | Photo: Praveen Jain / ThePrint

A difficult task

BGML Hospital was established in 1880 by Dr TJ O’Donnell and his brother JD O’Donnell. With 800 beds at the time, it was touted as the largest hospital in Asia.

Muniswamy told ThePrint that the task of converting it into a Covid-19 neighborhood was not easy as the volunteers had to cope with 20 years of disrepair.

“Our BJP and Sangh Parivar team worked tirelessly to make this work. All civil engineering works, water works, pipe laying have been carried out. Over 400 garbage trucks have been removed from here, ”he said. “A lot of people looked at him and said he wouldn’t even be ready in a year, but in 15 days we showed them.”

The BJP MP said he had contacted Union Minister of Mines Pralhad Joshi, who assured him of any help.

“I had asked the Minister of Mines Prahlad Joshi ji to give me permission to start working at this hospital and he told me to move on, ”Muniswamy said. “I told him it was a good building and we should use it. He told me he would give his full support. Our deputy CM and other Karnataka leaders also contributed to this.

Also read: Hit hard by 2nd wave, Bengaluru uses Mumbai’s Covid management idea to prepare for 3rd wave

Sangh Parivar workers

BJP town KGF chairman Kamalnathan, who urged the MP to raise the issue with the union government, said workers in Sangh Parivar were working day and night to finish the job.

“About 20 days ago cases in Kolar district were increasing dramatically and I told our MP that the hospital can be immediately used for Covid isolation,” he said. “He called the central Minister of Mines who gave his permission.”

Kamalnathan added that Muniswamy mobilized the workers. “Once the cleanup was done, we did the paint job. About 300 to 350 people worked from morning to night for 10 days and everyone worked as a volunteer. Painting and plumbing work is underway. “

A volunteer at the site told ThePrint that he hopes the hard work will result in a full revival of the hospital.

“Our deputy arranged everything out of his pocket, from beds to other things,” he said. “It was like a haunted building, with a huge amount of dust, malba, cobwebs all over it. About 2-3 inches of demolition waste was inside the hospital, bats were flying here and there… We hope that after the end of Covid, this hospital will be used as a normal general hospital.

According to an RSS worker, in addition to the BJP, the Sangh Parivar was also actively involved. “BJP, RSS, VHP and other Sangh Parivar organizations have been working day and night to ensure that we could have a facility in the district itself as we only have one general hospital to cover the whole district and other neighboring areas, ”said the worker. .

BJP party workers and volunteers at the hospital |  Photo: Praveen Jain / ThePrint
BJP party workers and volunteers at the hospital | Photo: Praveen Jain / ThePrint

“ Oppn to blame for the rise in cases ”

Speaking on the growing cases of Covid-19 in Kolar as well as in Karnataka, Muniswamy accused the opposition of “playing politics on vaccination”.

“The opposition has been in politics on vaccines, calling them Narendra Modi and BJP vaccines. They said if you get vaccinated you won’t have children, you will die, you will get sick, ”he said. “The opposition did all of this. More than 17 million people have been vaccinated and even after going door to door people have refused to be vaccinated. Today, so many people are showing up for the vaccine. “

Kamalnathan said the Covid-19 situation had improved in Kolar.

“As for the cases of Covid in this taluk (KGF), on average 150 cases have been reported and throughout the district around 800 to 1,000 have been reported,” he said.

“About 20 days ago the situation was very bad. People are saying there could be a third wave too and we want to be ready for that. In a week, we will also be able to provide oxygen to the patients.

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: Bengaluru residents travel 80 km to get Covid vaccine because medical center just doesn’t have enough vaccines

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