In hunger and health: how Delhi's Bangla Sahib Gurdwara is lending a helping hand

Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee launched Bala Pritam Dawakhana for selling medicines at Factory Price at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in New Delhi on August 30, 2020.   | Photo Credit: R. V. Moorthy

On Wednesday afternoon, 36-year-old Deepak Kumar, a driver from Ghaziabad, was wandering outside a building next to the Bangla Sahib Gurdwara. He asked a person standing outside the door of the building: “Is this where CT scans are done?” He was told it is yet to start.

Many people have started coming to Guru Harkrishan Polyclinic Bangla Sahib after it was announced earlier this week that people from economically backward sections can get an MRI scan done for ₹50. The charge for X-ray will be ₹50 while dialysis will come at ₹600.

“Four machines for dialysis have already arrived and we will most probably start dialysis from next week. We have placed orders for X-ray and MRI machines, but they have not arrived. We plan to start the services by December,” said Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, which runs the clinic.

Eligibility assessment

A committee of doctors will decide whether a person is eligible for an MRI scan for ₹50 while others have to pay ₹800. Mr. Sirsa said they are also planning to buy a machine to do CT scan at cheaper rates for poor people, but they have not finalised it. All the machines are brought with donations, he said.

Mr. Kumar, who makes ₹13,000 a month, said he cannot afford getting tested from outside. “My head has been aching for the past 15-20 days. I went to see a doctor and got a little relief, but he asked me to get a CT scan done. I knew it is expensive outside and a friend of mine told me that I can get it done at Bangla Sahib for ₹50,” he said.

Photo: R. V. Moorthy

Photo: R. V. Moorthy   | Photo Credit: R_V_Moorthy


Virat Rana, 20, came with his friend to enquire about the tests. “My brother is a doctor, who works at a hospital and also runs a clinic in Krishna Nagar. He has asked me to enquire whether it has started, so that he can refer patients here.”

A board outside the clinic shows rates of different tests done there, starting from ₹20.

“Every patient has to do a registration of ₹10 and he will get his consultation and medicine for that money. If we feel that he is extremely poor or cannot afford a test, then we will do it for free. No one should go unhappy from the gurdwara,” a doctor at the hospital said.

Modernised machines

The doctor said that as the clinic is old they were adding the machines to modernise it. “Also, we have many senior consultants who come here once or twice a week without taking any money. They also suggested that we should have these machines as people will benefit. Then we did a survey in the area and found that these tests were really expensive and we should start them here as a charity,” the doctor said.

In hunger and health: how Delhi's Bangla Sahib Gurdwara is lending a helping hand

The clinic, which used to witness a footfall of around 250-300 patients a day, has been partially operational since the virus outbreak. Though the timing of the clinic is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the administration is planning to run the new tests for 12 hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Close to the clinic, there is a pharmacy where anyone can buy medicines at a cheaper rate. “I came here to buy my vitamin tablets. The rates here are about 60% cheaper than outside,” said R.P Pandey, 63, who was waiting outside the pharmacy.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 12:05:58 AM |

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