Volunteers help clean up Cooper Hospital By: Aanchal Bansal June 23, 2005
If you think conditions at Cooper hospital are pathetic, then instead of complaining about it why don’t you consider cleaning it yourself?
At least that is what a few concerned residents and AGNI volunteers from Andheri (E) have been doing for the last three months.
On the third Sunday of every month, about 10-15 volunteers, armed with brooms, mops and ladders, gather in the male orthopaedic ward of the hospital and scrub every inch of the place. The ward accommodates 25 patients.
On June 19, the group met and cleaned the parapets outside the second floor ward of the hospital.
“There are not enough dustbins in the ward, so patients throw wrappers, bandages and other waste material out of the windows. As a result, the parapets and drains are congested with rubbish. We clear this dirt to avoid water clogging during the monsoon,” says K-east ward co-ordinator James John.
Project co-ordinator Ravi Nair says that they had been toying with the idea since Oct last year. “But it was only by April that we managed to convince the hospital authorities and get enough volunteers,” he adds. It all started when the group admitted a wounded man in the hospital last year.
“When our group visited him in the orthopaedic ward, we were appalled at the horrible conditions there. So, we decided to initiate this effort,” says Nair. The group members visit the hospital every month and clean fans, windows, beds, even spit stains on walls.
“The hospital is genuinely short staffed. Instead of complaining and blaming the system, it is better to do something about it ourselves,” says B Rozario from Marol. Manohar Naik from JB Nagar agrees, “I am glad that AGNI took up this project. All you need to do devote one Sunday every month.”
The group plans to put more dustbins in the ward. “Patients in the ward use recyclable plastic bags to dispose their garbage. But there should also be a dustbin next to every bed,” says Nair.
The group plans to educate the patients on garbage disposal and the importance of hygiene. “There is a basic lack of civic sense among the patients. They need to be educated on how used bandages must go into the dustbin and not out of the window,” he says.
AGNI hopes it can extend the effort to other wards. “We zeroed in on the orthopaedic ward because we got motivated after visiting it. But we would like to do the same with the other wards too,” says Nair.
Medical officer Dr A Bhausar, present in the ward during the cleaning drive says, “Residents lending a hand to our staff is a positive sign. We hope we can take this drive ahead to other wards.”
For sponsoring or joining the group, call Ravi Nair on 9821295960/ 28590013
‘The hospital is short staffed’
B Rozario Resident of Marol
“The hospital is genuinely short staffed. Instead of complaining, it is better to do something about it ourselves.”
Mark D’souzaResident of JB Nagar
“I am glad that AGNI took up this project. All you need to do is devote one Sunday every month.”