Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care Sets Up a 200-bed Infrastructure for COVID Patients in Dharampur Witnessing the second wave of COVID and its alarming repercussions in India, numerous organisations and individuals across the nation have undertaken initiatives in the spirit of humanity. However, while top-tier metropolitan cities themselves grapple for sufficient healthcare facilities, one can only imagine the heart-aching scenario in rural regions. Rural India is home to nearly 70% of India’s 1.3 billion population. Of which, the Dang region where Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur operates, is one of the poorest tribal belts of Gujarat. The Dang tribal belt is severely challenged with inadequate healthcare infrastructure, lack of trained professionals, poor nutrition coupled with deep-rooted fear, myth about the virus. With an acute shortage of basic facilities, getting access to oxygen and ICU support seemed like a distant possibility. The Magic of Intent, Commitment and Foresight With the grace of Param Krupalu Dev and guidance of Pujya Gurudevshri, recently a state of the art 200-bed COVID facility was setup in Dharampur, South Gujarat with 50 beds dedicated to critical patients and 150 beds for mild to moderate COVID patients. This COVID facility equipped with an ICU, BiPAP machinery, ventilators, high-flow oxygen support and experienced healthcare professionals, became the first of its kind with healthcare infrastructure that was unheard of and unknown in tribal areas of South Gujarat. While the 50-bed critical care facility runs at 100% capacity with high influx of patients, the creation of an expansive 150-bed COVID Care facility in association with Atul Institute of Vocational Excellence was launched on 11th May, in the pious presence of Pujya Gurudevshri and the Hon. Governor of Gujarat Shri Acharya Devvrat. The other esteemed dignitaries at the launch included Smt. Vimalaben Lalbhai and Swatiben Lalbhai – Trustees, Atul Foundation; Shri K. C. Patel – Member of Parliament, Valsad; Shri Arvind Patel – MLA, Dharampur, Shri R. R. Raval, Collector, Valsad etc. This 150 bed COVID Care Centre will provide free accommodation to patients along with 24×7 care, medication and nutritious meals. Oxygen support will be provided to patients who need intermittent oxygen. This will largely contribute to vacate beds and ventilators for critical patients. Hon. Governor of Gujarat, Shri Acharya Devvrat expressed, “Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur and Pujya Gurudevshri are committed to the upliftment of mankind for which I express my gratitude. Through several initiatives, Pujya Gurudevshri is providing service to humanity, nation-building, youth development and upliftment of poor people. This new COVID centre with advanced equipment in a tribal area like Dharampur will benefit the health and well-being of the people. Pujya Gurudevshri has blended spirituality with karmayoga and I can witness this here. The nation is proud of Pujya Gurudevshri for his contributions to the country and its people.” How Will This COVID Facility Change the Face of Rural Healthcare? Dealing with such extraordinary times calls for extraordinary measures. The COVID facility run by the Mission not only stands out for its compassionate cause but also for its commitment to make modern healthcare accessible in the remotest regions. Overcoming geographical distances for the overall care of rural patients, a global network of over 65 doctors will conduct tele-consultations regularly, thus providing 24×7 monitoring and customised care. Reaching out to remote corners, mobile ambulances have been introduced to conduct extensive testing and awareness drives. With superior equipment like transport ventilators, these ambulances will give immediate lifesaving support to critical patients while they are in transit itself. Appropriate free transport facility has been started, covering 238 villages of Dharampur and Kaprada talukas, to transfer patients from remote regions who cannot otherwise reach the Centre. Aiming for all-round physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, the centre is set in a green, healthy environment, with high hygiene and sterilisation standards maintained, as recommended by a reputed Singapore-based firm. An immunity-boosting food menu has been curated by nutritionists to keep patients well-nourished. Physiotherapy and yoga are conducted for holistic wellness, along with soothing music and inspiring video clips, to empower patients emotionally. Knowing fears and anxiety of patient families, the centre has introduced a smart messaging system that sends updates about the patient’s condition to their families. A ‘COVID Suspect Ward’ has also been set up, where extensive testing will be performed, and those having COVID-like symptoms will be treated. Atmarpit Nemiji – Personal Secretary to Pujya Gurudevshri and Trustee of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur shared, “Pujya Gurudevshri has taught us to do all that we can to save lives, bridge every gap and treat each one as our loved ones. This vision reflects in each of our COVID relief initiatives over the past year, and this entire 200-bed infrastructure for COVID Care is another milestone in this journey. A young and passionate team of doctors, nurses, paramedics from big cities of India have come here to serve voluntarily, foregoing their comforts. Doctors from the USA, UK and Australia are ready to serve round-the-clock and consult in local languages. This Centre is different because it runs on the passion for compassion.” Seekers from across India and abroad offered their relentless support for setting up the centres. Several doctors from the Mission – Dr Jina Kapadia, Dr Keyur Shah, Dr Rajvi Shah, Dr Sohini Goda, Hridayarpit Dr Prakhar Jain, Hridayarpit Dr Jay Patel, Hridayarpit Dr Mansi Shah, Jivanarpit Dr Hem Shah, Jivanarpit Dr Ruchi Jhaveri, Dr Rutu Mehta, Yuvarpit Dr Jayati Sampat – immediately joined this cause by volunteering to serve. Going the Extra Mile Apart from treatment, it was recognised that there is a dire need of awareness about the virus in the region. With illiteracy came ignorance. Unfamiliarity had led to misconceptions, giving rise to social stigma surrounding COVID. The collapsing market systems took a toll on rural livelihoods. Some denied testing in fear of being ostracised , some choose to continue working for their daily bread, while others hesitated to get vaccinated due to illiteracy and the myth of turning infertile. To put an end to this cycle, outreach teams have been tirelessly working through mobile ambulances to educate people about the urgency of testing and vaccination, thus keeping the community spread in control. While the COVID Care Centres gain constant momentum, Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur’s 360-degree global initiatives will continue with equal determination. With a new oxygen manufacturing unit in pipeline, and a new 120-bed COVID Care facility under construction in Bengaluru city, thousands of more patients will be gifted hope and relief in the face of the pandemic. As Pujya Gurudevshri says, “Vision coupled with compassion can conquer anything.” With the blessings of Param Krupalu Dev, the loving heart of Pujya Gurudevshri and the united hands of the volunteers, Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur will help combat the second wave with a tsunami of love and care.