It took 15 days and 300 volunteers from the BJP, RSS, VHP, and other Sangh Parivar organizations who toiled hard to ensure the defunct 800 bed Kolar Hospital that is 140 years old was spruced up and transformed into a spanky 300 bed Covid hospital. By Sunday morning, Karnataka’s first oxygen generating plant was set up in the same hospital and can now produce up to 500 liters of medical oxygen per minute. BJP MP from Kolar S Muniswamy started this mammoth initiative with the guidance of Union Minister of Coal Prahlad Joshi and operations commenced here on Monday.
Originally built in 1880, Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) hospital catered to the medical needs of the 12000 odd miners who lived in and around it during the heydays of the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF). It remained unused since 2001 but the 140-year-old building remained strong. Iron beds weighing 100 kilos each were retained. Volunteers made sure that the rest of the work including the plumbing and electricals were replaced and the whole place repainted.
Last month, the BJP’s KGF city president, Kamalanathan, and MP Muniswamy were discussing how to handle the onslaught of the second wave of the virus when this idea came up. They immediately contacted the central mining minister who granted permission and extended all his support. Karnataka deputy CM allocated 30 oxygen concentrators and other leaders from Karnataka pitched in.
RSS and BJP volunteers revive a 800 bed British era hospital, built in 1880, almost 140 years ago, in Kolar (Karnataka) to treat Covid patients…
Inspiring stuff. pic.twitter.com/YHdjzi6UuE
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) May 14, 2021
Sangh volunteers were then enlisted and the renovation began. On 27th April, they started cleaning the pest-ridden five-acre huge but hitherto neglected hospital that was covered in three inches of soot. By the 7th of May, these volunteers had sifted through 400 tractor loads of debris and disposed it off. Civil and interior work began soon thereafter. Equipment including X-ray machines and laboratories were moved in and the medical staff including the doctors and nurses have been appointed.
4 rooms have been converted into ICUs and the T-shaped rooms look excellent from a nurse’s point of view. Earlier when completed, it was considered one of the biggest hospitals in Asia and was amongst the first to receive electricity and an X-ray unit. It functioned for 120 years.
Having rechecked the flow of oxygen through the new pipes the team assembling the made-in Israel oxygen plant confirmed that it was ready for use. KGF General Hospital District Surgeon Dr. Shiva Kumar termed the new oxygen source a boon for patients. They had been relying on 65 oxygen cylinders that were being shuttled from a unit in Malur some 50 kilometers away. Half of those cylinders have now been moved to other places and the oxygen supply in the whole area stabilized. Last heard at least 100 patients have now been admitted to the refurbished facility.
Kamalanathan says that the corona situation had eased in Kolar. He added that there could be a third wave and that they were ready for it. It is good that some social workers are proactively looking to the future. Situated 70 kilometers from Hosur and 100 from Bangalore, this hospital could even pitch in as reserves for these bigger cities.
As usual, neither did the Sangh organizations advertise it nor did the media. The positive news died a sudden death but the good intentions remain. In fact, the whole point of the exercise is to actually transform the KGF covid care center into a fully functional hospital without indulging in the usual propaganda.
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