A 'for staff-only' fitness centre at a Delhi hospital is keeping employees fit and motivated

A quiet corridor on the seventh floor of B.L. Kapur Super Specialty hospital on West Delhi’s Pusa Road leads to a hall having large windows covered with Venetian blinds. Through the windows one can get a panoramic view of The Ridge and the city’s greenery.

But the visitors to this hall hardly ever look through the window. They are a different breed. They are the staff members of the hospital who daily visit the hall before and after duty hours to tone up their muscles. The hall is actually a fitness centre exclusively for the hospital staff. According to the hospital’s CEO Dr. Praneet Kumar, “we are in the business of health and want our staff to practice what they preach.”

It was actually an initiative of the human resource (HR): “Besides salary hike and rest of the usual perks for the staff, we wanted to do something extra for them,” explains Bhoovan Dev Singh Pawar, HR head of the hospital. The initial idea was to have table tennis or badminton facilities for the staff within the premises. “But then we thought of a fitness centre and that is how it came into being some four months ago,” adds Mr. Pawar.

The response was immediate and encouraging. “The front-office staff members were among the first ones to join the centre. They are young and understand the importance of looking and feeling good,” says Dr. Kumar. “Moreover, once you reach home, you become occupied and lazy. On the contrary, if you stretch a bit here after work, you go back home with a fresh frame of mind.”

In less than four months, close to 350 staff members have registered at the fitness centre with a nominal monthly fee of Rs. 500. “This fee is just to give the members a sense of belonging,” says marketing manager Shikha Rudraraju, a regular member to the centre. Five trainers look after the training aspect.

A compact fitness centre has barbell set, a treadmill and a lat machine for all round body fitness. Yoga mats and rubber medicine balls give the fitness centre a total professional look. Sauna bath and special anti-natal programme for expecting mothers are to be added soon.

“More than a fitness centre, it is actually a hub where we meet out of our duty hours,” says Ms. Rudraraju, adding: “The added advantage of meeting here is that we stay away from eating extra fast food which we would normally do in a staff canteen.”

According to Ms. Rudraraju, relatives of some patients have also showed interest in joining the centre. But the authorities had to say “no: to them. “I don’t think it would be a good idea if they see us in casual track suits and t-shirts,” she quips.

B.L. Kapur hospital was started as a charitable institute in Lahore in 1930. After establishing in Delhi in 1959, the hospital now is a modern state-of-the-art facility.

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