Initially angry at her situation and the senseless death of Chandra, Subhashini vowed she would someday build a hospital for the poor so no one would have to die such a neglected and horrible death again. But that was just a dream, for her immediate situation called for survival, both for herself and her children. Knowing the only thing she had ever done, Subhashini started working as a maid, earning Rs. 100 a month.
Noticing the interest her son Ajoy took in studying, Subhashini sent him to an orphanage in Kolkota to get a decent education. She started selling vegetables and saving as much as she could possibly afford. Never spending a paisa on herself and very little on her children with the exception of Ajoy`s education, she worked endlessly for 20 years; her goal for a free hospital not forsaken or forgotten.
In 1992, Subhashini purchased one acre of land in her husband`s village for Rs. 10,000. Moving back to the hut where Chandra had passed away, she gathered the villagers and offered to donate the purchased land for a hospital if they donated to build a shed that would serve as a dispensary for the poor. The villagers pooled together as one, offering whatever little they could, whether it was money, construction material of some sort or their own labour and within a year a 20` x 20` temporary shed was constructed. They called it `Humanity Hospital`.
Fitted with a loudspeaker, an auto rickshaw was driven within a 10km radius of the hospital, requesting doctors to offer their free services at the newly opened shed. Villagers went knocking door to door urging residents to donate their extra medicines. First to respond was Dr. Raghupathy Chatterjee, followed by a physician, paediatrician, orthopaedic, ophthalmologist and a homeopath, offering free services from two to four hours a week.
With 3 acres of land, the hospital has now expanded to 9,000 sq ft. Spread over two floors, it has 11 departments and services include gynecology, cardiology, ENT, urology, oncology, diabetology and surgery. Under the guidance of a group of trustees, Ajoy, now a doctor himself oversees the running of the hospital. Treatment is free for the poor and the rest only pay Rs. 10 for consultation.
As for Subhashini ? She continued living in the same place with her three children, selling vegetables along with her two children; her youngest daughter became a nurse and works at the hospital. Ajoy finally persuaded her to retire and she now tends to the sick in the hospital.
Through extreme hard work, dedication and perseverance and not a single thought for herself Subhashini fulfilled an almost next to impossible dream of treating the poor for free so no life is lost in vain.
Her next mission? “Only when this hospital becomes a full-fledged 24 hour hospital can I die happy”.
We wish her well and pray for continued success in all her endeavours!