The RSS has also always extended a helping hand whenever the country is faced with a national crisis. It has often used its organizational mechanisms to help the country overcome various difficulties. This time around, they have stepped forward to help revive a massive British-era hospital in Karnataka as the state grapples with an upsurge in the coronavirus outbreak, a report published in India Today said.
Bharat Gold Mines Limited Hospital or BGML Hospital, as it is commonly known, had been abandoned for over two decades now. It was founded in 1880 by Dr TJ O’Donnell and his brother JD O’Donnell and can accommodate 800 beds. It was one of the largest hospitals in Asia at the start of the 20th century.
As the number of COVID-19 cases in Karnataka’s Kolar district grew at an inexorable rate, MP S Muniswamy realized that it will take longer to set up a new hospital to administer the growing number of cases of coronavirus. Instead, he decided to reorganize and make operational the British era hospital which had been abandoned for over 20 years now. For this, he called on the services of RSS and BJP volunteers to quickly renovate the hospital and transform it into a COVID care center.
Discussing his plan to convert the casting hospital into a COVID-19 center, Muniswamy said, “After deliberating with the Sangh Parivar and other organizations, we decided to create a Covid care center of over 200 beds. Some 250 volunteers from BJP and RSS worked hard to prepare it. Now the cribs and electrical work are complete and the hospital is expected to be operational in 2-3 days. “
Muniswamy had written a letter to Union Minister of Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi, requesting permission from the district administration to use this massive hospital as a Covid health center. Authorities say the hospital was one of the largest in Asia of its time and was among the first to have electricity and an x-ray unit when mines operated for more than 120 years.
Sangh Parivar volunteers help revive KGF hospital
As the plan to convert the hospital, which had remained intact for nearly 20 years into a COVID-19 center, strengthened, volunteers from the RSS and BJP took it upon themselves to clean up the hospital. According to Praveen S, RSS Karyakarta of KGF, which is overseeing the work, more than 400 trucks loaded with waste have been removed from the hospital.
Praveen also added that the biggest challenge for RSS volunteers was cleaning up the hospital. “The hospital was in a dilapidated state when we arrived there on the first day. There were flying bats and 2-3 inches of mud mounds strewn across the expanse of the hospital. It’s full of spiderwebs. Many people doubted that we could do the job at hand. However, the volunteers of RSS, BJP, VHP, Seva Bharati, Jana Jagaran Samiti were unwavering in their determination to clean up the hospital. We started this work on April 27, and by May 7, all of the clean-up of this five-acre campus was completed, ”he said.
Currently, work is underway to make the facility fully functional as a hospital, once all the necessary infrastructure is in place. There will be four rooms with intensive care facilities at the hospital. The electrification and plumbing works are in full swing. The authorities also decided to use the 140-year-old iron beds.
“Cribs are almost 140 years old and weigh over 100 kg. They are sturdy enough and you need at least 3-4 people to lift them. Although the forgings are all ancient techniques, you can still use the cradles for a century or more, ”Praveen said in an interview with India Today.