120 patients admitted so far at makeshift hospital at Singhu

Protesting farmers availing of medical facilities at the Life Care Foundation at the Singhu border on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Ever since a makeshift hospital was set up at the protest site on the Singhu border, a total of 120 patients have been admitted as on January 21, said Life Care Foundation, a non-profit organisation that started the hospital.

The eight-bed hospital, which was set up on January 8, has admitted 120 patients and is attending to over 300 patients in the outpatient department every day, said Avtar Singh, who started the foundation a year ago.

“It is really cold now. So most patients coming to the emergency department are asthma patients,” said R.M. Sharma, Emergency Medical Officer while pointing at three patients lying in bed with oxygen masks.

Dr. Sharma said mostly, the admitted patients stay for a few hours or one day. However, there are patients who require more than a day. Pointing to an elderly man lying on a bed, Dr. Sharma said he had been there for three days because he got injured after falling off a mobile toilet and developed an infectious wound. They have been treating people for indigestion, diabetes, and blood pressure as well.

On Friday afternoon, a young man, who came shivering, walked into the hospital and Dr. Sharma said he was seemingly suffering from jaundice after which a nursing attendant immediately helped him to a bed and put him on liquid drip. Simultaneously, a lab attendant came and took the blood test to perform liver function test. Mr. Avtar said there are three doctors, four nurses, and one physiotherapist who work here and are paid for the job.

Help from Khalsa Aid

Their salaries are paid by Khalsa Aid India, Mr. Avtar said, adding that he pays salaries of seven boys himself. “I’ve taken a loan of ₹3 lakh. But now, things are going very smoothly. God has blessed us and all the needs are being taken care of by the goodness of people who have given me their numbers in case I fall short of material”.

Sharing a special moment, he said his wife asked him about the gift he wanted on the wedding anniversary on January 16. “I told her that we needed the blood count testing machine. So she bought it and gifted it to me,” he said.

Transcending beliefs

At the Life Care Foundation pharmacy, Sadiq Mohammed, a resident of Roopnagar, who has been associated with Mr. Avtar for the last eight years, has been serving here since the beginning of the protest. He wears a turban since birth just like his father and grandfather. “People get shocked to see a Muslim wearing a turban but it is very normal for me because I have grown up seeing this. We offer namaz five times a day but during morning namaz, I visit the gurdwara and during evening namaz, my father goes to the gurdwara,” he said, adding that turban is an honour for a farmer.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 1:17:04 PM |

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