By Madhava Smullen
A three-storey, fifty-bed secondary care hospital is set to be built on Bhaktisiddhanta Road opposite the ISKCON Mayapur campus in West Bengal, expanding the already existing Sri Mayapur Community Hospital.
The hospital will be staffed by qualified devotee doctors and nurses, and will serve ISKCON devotees, Vaishnavas from the nearby Gaudiya Maths, local villagers and pilgrims. The convenient service will save patients a journey to a hospital in Kolkata and will provide them with high quality treatment in a more personalized way and at a much more affordable cost.
The history of health care services in Mayapur goes back some 25 years, when the Sri Mayapur Vikas Sanga was formed to serve the greater Mayapur area. In the early days, a homeopathy van traveled from village to village. Later, a hospital building was constructed where basic nursing and healthcare services were provided. Parallel to this effort, community nursing services were offered by Prayojana Dasi, and midwifery services were offered for many years by devotees like Krishna Laulya Dasi and the late Ramadevi Dasi.
The next step came in 2013, when Dr. Madhavananda Das, director of Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai, established a clinic at the existing Mayapur hospital building, run by husband and wife Dr. Dina Pavan Das and Dr. Lila Radhika Dasi. The clinic cared for basic illnesses, while dental services were run by Dr. Keshava and Dr. Yashoda Jivan. Later, Bhaktivedanta Hospital also set up an eyecare facility.
In 2016, Bhaktivedanta Hospital passed management on to the Mayapur Administrative Council (MAC), who in 2019 decided to expand the project, now named the Sri Mayapur Community Hospital. Soon after, Medical Superintendent Dr. Sukhi Acyuta Das came on board. Finally in March 2020, when COVID-19 hit, the team spent the lockdown period from March to June working virtually on developing the hospital design.
The present team comprises of Dr. Sukhi Achyuta, the Medical Superintendent; general physician Dr. Soumik Debnath; physiotherapist Mukunda Govardhan; senior dentist Dr. Keshava; resident dentist Dr. Yashoda Jivan; Dr. Nandapriya Nevadita; and Dr. Rangini. Dr. Vinay Gaurachandra, His Holiness Jayapataka Swami’s personal doctor, offers extensive telemedical consultations as part of the hospital team; while many other visiting experts and surgeons such as Dr. Bonamali Roy regularly see patients at the hospital.