West Bengal: taxi driver offers hospital as quarantine unit

CALCUTTA: Taxi driver Md Saidul Laskar and his wife Shamima, who established a 55-bed hospital, 'Marufa Memorial Hospital', in the Punri village of Baruipur, South 24 Parganas, nearly 40 kilometers from Kolkata, have offered to the state government the two are multi-storey for a quarantine center for Covid-19 patients. The hospital was built in memory of Saidul's sister, Marufa Khatoon.

The BDO and five other officials surveyed the hospital and sent the proposal to the state health department for approval.

“Recently, when I went to the Block Development Officer to donate Rs 5,000 to the Prime Minister's relief fund, I offered the Covid-19 Patient Hospital. On Wednesday, they inspected the facilities and sent the proposal to the state health department, said Saidul. “We have the basic facilities and around 15 employees. They said they would make all the necessary additional arrangements, ”added Saidul.

“The building is in good condition and the atmosphere is excellent. But we need to make some changes. The top floor is not ready yet. Once approval comes, we will start working on it so that it can be transformed into a quarantine center as soon as possible. The second floor needs some work and we will have to make temporary arrangements so that we can keep the patients there, ”said a senior district administrative official.

This is not the first time that Saidul and his wife appear for a social cause. Saidul lost his only sister Marufa in 2004 because he was unable to provide her basic treatment, since the nearest hospital was 25 kilometers from her home. Since then, Saidul and his wife have been fighting through thick and thin to treat people in nearly 100 villages in and around Punri. Saidul sold his three taxis and his wife gave all her decorations to buy the land in 2008. They saved each country to develop the hospital. The hospital houses an Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) where more than 300 patients receive free consultations and medications daily.

“We need to buy a lot of medical equipment before we can start operating a full-fledged hospital. But that is not my priority. Our state is going through a tremendous crisis and in this situation, if we can help the government, I will consider myself lucky, said Saidul.