|Shri Onkar Singh Memorial Trust ®|
|(Public Charitable Trust)|
|B-12 NBT Apartments, Mayur Vihar, Phase- I, Delhi 110091 (India)
Phone: 91-11-2275 2678
|Free Surgical cum Medical Camp A Report|
(October 2, 2004 to October 9, 2004)
A remote hilly town called Bani, situated at a distance of some two hundred and seventy kilometres from Jammu, in the Kathua district of the Jammu and Kashmir State, was chosen by the SOS Memorial Trust as the venue for its ninth free surgical cum medical camp. This small but beautiful town surrounded by mountains on all sides is a grossly underdeveloped area of the J&K State. The people here are poor and generally live by agriculture and by rearing cattle. Access to the town is difficult because of poor roads and inefficient transport system. For the same reason, the natives here find it difficult to benefit from effective medical facilities which are available only at a distance.
Bani as the venue for our camp was chosen during our Basohli camp which was held a year ago, in November 2003. It was then decided that the benefit of free surgical as well as medical treatment should be extended to further far flung areas, and Bani turned out to be a natural choice. This venue had been earlier suggested by the erstwhile Director Health Services (DHS) of Jammu, Dr. Jasbir Singh. During our Basohli camp a year ago, Dr. Charak and I, along with a few other team members, had visited Bani as a part of the recce to assess the feasibility of holding a camp there. We had found this place eminently suitable for this purpose although we appreciated the likely difficulties that we might have to encounter in order to make men and material reach the camp site.
Dr. K S Charak had to put in some hard work in order to facilitate the holding of a free surgical cum medical camp in a remote area like Bani. The site for holding the camp was selected to be the Sub-District Hospital, Bani for which the Director Health Services, Dr Kohli, promised us all official help. Dr. Charak had to closely co-ordinate with Dr. BD Sharma (Deputy DHS, retd.), Sh. KN Padha (Principal, retd.) and Prof. PS Charak, all from Jammu, and visit Bani a few times before the scheduled time for the camp. Even the dates for the camp (October 2-9, 2004) had to be advanced from our usual late October-early November to avoid excessive cold, since Bani is a cold place situated at an altitude. The Sub-District Hospital at Bani is rather ill-equipped and important equipment (OT table, OT lights, Diathermy machine, instrument trolleys, etc.) had to be transported to this place from Basohli. Also, the hospital is somewhat away from the main road and the heavy equipment had to be transported there manually. Arranging all this was also facilitated by Dr. Chopra, the BMO at Basohli, and by people at Bani.
A day before the commencement of the camp, on October 1, 2004, Sh. KN Padha, Pt. Jaya Ram and Dr. BD Sharma reached Bani along with important equipment from Jammu. They ensured that most of the things were in order before our team arrived the following day.
Our friends and benefactors who gave us monetary and material help include the following:
Arrival at Bani : Setting up the Camp
The team from Delhi, comprising of twenty-two members which included doctors, nurses and paramedical personnel, left by train on the evening of October 1, 2004 and reached Kathua next morning by 6:00 a.m. From here, two ambulances, provided by the Health department of Jammu, took us to Bani. This took us some eight hours, with a small break at Basohli. We reached Bani by around 2:30 p.m. on October 2, 2004. A very brief camp inauguration ceremony was conducted, with the local legislator, Sh. Prem Sagar Aziz, gracing the occasion. Medical outdoor activity was soon started as a large number of patients had already been waiting for us. One of the newly constructed rooms of the hospital was got ready for operative work, and instruments and linen were sterilised for surgery to be commenced the next day.
The Camp Activities
Free consultation and medicines were provided to a record 1701 patients in the outdoors over a period of eight days starting from October 2, 2004. Free ultrasounds were done on 511 patients while 378 patients had their X-rays and 800 patients had lab investigations done free of cost. For operative work, we had to be content with only one operation table because of constraints of space as well as difficulty in manually transporting heavy equipment to the venue of the camp. Surgical work was carried out for five days starting from October 3, 2004.
The overall statistics of the camp are as follows:
Return to Delhi
Considering the numerous constraints of holding a surgical camp in a remote, hilly, inaccessible place like Bani, our team did a remarkable job. According to a calculation by Dr BD Sharma (Dy. DHS, retd.), our whole camp activity saved, for the residents of Bani and its surrounding areas, close to rupees thirty lacs (Rupees 3 million) by way of providing free medical and surgical treatment. The residents of this small township, who comprised of almost equal proportion of Hindus and Muslims, were extremely pleased with our work and hosted a sumptuous lunch for the whole team on the afternoon of October 8, 2004. The team left Bani on the morning of October 9, 2004 and reached Delhi on the morning of October 10, 2004. Dr. Vijay Gupta, surgeon with the Health Department of Jammu, stayed back in Bani to provide post-operative care to patients after our departure.
Our next camp will be our tenth in succession. This we want to hold outside Jammu, in another under-developed area of eastern Uttar Pradesh in the Mirzapur district, in a placed called Vindhyachala. The venue is likely to be the ashram of Shri Shri Deoraha Hans Baba, the spiritual master whose blessings, we believe, have given us motivation and success in this highly benevolent work.
S K Mehta
Here is a summary of the services rendered by the Shri Onkar Singh Memorial Trust
in the rural areas of the Jammu Province of the J&K State through the holding
of free surgical cum medical camps during the last five years (October 2000 to October
Names of Participants