Giving an impressive example of the kind of remarkable service a young, 21-month-old club can render, the Rotary Club of Delhi Ananta, RID 3012, has launched a mega hospital and a training and skilling project costing a whopping ₹8.5 crore. Right from acquiring land to building a four-floor facility, in a record time in the Greater Noida area which is home to numerous poor families, the Rotary Ananta Charitable Hospital, which will basically cater to the underprivileged, was inaugurated recently by DG Ashok Aggarwal.
Commending the young club with 50 members for conceiving and executing such a mega project, he said, “It is really admirable that the club members worked with focus and dedication during a pandemic time such as we are facing now, to put up such a major healthcare and skilling facility for underprovided people in the NCR in such a record time.”
Giving details of the project club president Amitansu Satpathy says that as soon as the club came into being “we wanted to do something much more memorable than routine projects such as blood donation or vaccination camps. We said we will do a permanent project which will last beyond one or two club presidents’ tenure and would be continued year after year.”
Through this permanent mega project, our club is committed to serving at least 100,000 people every year; and this is possible as it can cater to over 300 OPs a day.
— Amitansu Satpathy, president, RC Delhi Ananta
The second resolve of the core group of the club was they would set up a centre of excellence in both healthcare and education/training. First of all the members identified a plot of land, around 1,000 square metres, in an area where there are no affordable diagnostic facilities, and where the people needed skills to improve their livelihood prospects. The land was bought for about ₹1.7 crore.
The plan was to put up a four-floor building, in which one floor would be reserved for a centre of excellence in training young students in computers, and running skilling courses for women such as nursing, tailoring, embroidery etc, to improve their income generation.
On how the club is going around raising the money for the ambitious project exceeding ₹8 crore, Satpathy says, “Of the total cost of ₹8.5 crore, we have already raised around ₹4.82 crore from our club members.” Believing in the adage charity begins at home, he himself has donated ₹22 lakh; “others, depending on their personal capacity, donated ₹10, 20, 33 or even 50 lakh. Many members have given ₹11 lakh because we decided that those who give ₹11 lakh or more will be made permanent trustees. The remaining money we are trying to raise through CSR funds of companies.”
On why they had not taken the global grant route, he says that option also has been explored and “recently a GG was sanctioned for an eye hospital which is going to cost around ₹1 crore”. But he expressed the club members’ frustration with getting a global grant sanctioned saying: “We found the GG process very tedious, there are so many questions asked, we struggled for two years to get the money sanctioned (for the eye hospital). That is the reason we decided to put our own money and raised ₹4.82 crore.”
On New Year’s day, DG Aggarwal also inaugurated in the hospital an x-ray facility costing ₹20 lakh, which was donated by club member Surinder Arora, through his Virgo Group, manufacturers of plywood and laminates.
Charter president of the club Rakesh Jain explains that the second floor is reserved exclusively for computer education of young people from poor families, who are missing out on education imparted through online classes as they have no digital knowledge of any kind. So youngsters will be trained to use both computers and tablets.
Apart from this computer facility, computer centres, each costing about ₹8 lakh will be set up in 12–15 schools in the NCR, “particularly UP villages, and the club hopes to spend an additional ₹1 crore on this project,” adds Satpathy.
Past president of the club Manoj Agarwal explains that more than treatment for diseases, this charitable hospital is for outpatients (OPs), giving free medicines and will provide diagnostic facilities like CT scan and other expensive tests that the poor cannot otherwise afford. Here these tests will be done at a very low price, such as only ₹100 being charged for a CT scan, or ₹50 for an x-ray. Soon a dialysis facility will also be introduced.
“We also want to bring in high-end diagnostic facilities including MRI. On the inaugural day itself some 100 OPs came in, and free medicines were given to some 50 of them,” he says.
Satpathy adds, “Through this permanent mega project, our club is committed to serving at least 100,000 people every year; and this is possible as it can cater to over 300 outpatients a day.”
It was a proud day for him when RI President Shekhar Mehta, on a visit to Ghaziabad, while honouring him as a major donor, “singled out our hospital project and appreciated its permanent nature, saying that these are the kind of projects he wishes to see through the Rotary world.”