Vivekananda Mission Hospital
Rural Welfare & Development
Advances in healthcare and education which are accessible to people in the urban sprawl are not available to those in the rural areas. Lack of infrastructure - roads, electricity, healthcare, hygiene and educational facilities – leave them in an unenviable position. Corruption and lack of vision in the bureaucratic circles and absence of empathy amongst the intelligentsia has led to a multitude of problems amongst the rural folks.
Swami Praveenananda took the initiative to bring the youth together for the welfare of society irrespective of caste, creed and colour.
Vivekananda Mission Medical Institute (VMMI) is a registered charitable organization about 40 kms. from Varanasi, one of the holiest cities in India. VMMI aims to address the health and hygiene needs of approximately 100 villages in the surrounding area with a target population of 80,000 people. VMMI is different from the regular Hospitals, Health Centers and Nursing Homes. At VMMI, the hospital acts guardian to the patient and follows up after he/she has been discharged from the hospital. VMMI currently provides the following facilities to the target population:
Free Eye relief camps for operation of Cataracts. Every year there are, on an average 10 camps run by VMMI with about 300-400 Cataract operations conducted during the camps. Statistics for the last three years are as follows:
Free health checkup camps are provided about 10 times a year. These camps provide the rural folks with specialist attention to address their healthcare needs. Specialist doctors with skills in Orthopedic, Gynecology, Pediatrics, Cardio, Medicine, Dental and other specialties provide their time at no charge to see these patients. At these camps people are also provided free medicine and X-Ray facilities at a heavily subsidized rate of Rs.60 (US $1.3) per report.
Although child labour should be condemned, we must admit there is another side to the story. For some families living in rural areas every child is a pair of hands to assist in the very survival of the family. For VMMI it is very difficult to eliminate child labor due to real-world considerations, hence they adopt a different approach. VMMI tries to provide alternatives to the children in form of free supplementary education and enhance their appreciation of proper hygiene. The children are provided free books and supplies for the education process with the hope that this will present the children with an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. The supplementary school has 188 students, with approximately 30 of them coming from the carpet industry. The goal is to have a fully functional school with full-time teaching staff in the next two years.
Swami Vivekananda passed away in the year 1902, but his ideas and thoughts have attracted the attention of people all over the world. In all his writings and speeches he emphasized the emancipation of the rural poor. He preached that unless and until we serve the poor, downtrodden and starving with the same kind of love, respect and dignity that we offer God, religious austerities are meaningless. He expected a lot from the youth of our country and suggested that education for boys and girls should reach all corners of our country.
He said "First of all, our young men must be strong, religion will come afterwards. Be strong, my friends; that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to heaven through football than through the study of Gita." He believed that service of human soul is the best way of worshiping any God. Through this worship of the human body and soul one can attain his goal in life.
Facilities and Staffing
The VMMI facility is a complex of a two storied building of about 7,500 sq.ft and a hospital complex building of approximately 6,500 sq. ft. Even though it is small in size, it stands tall as a culmination of selflessness and humility of the volunteers who make it happen.
The main building houses the following:
- Living quarters for the 10 volunteers who work selflessly
- Residence for Doctor
The hospital building has the following:
- One mini-operating theater
- Dressing Room
- X-Ray room
- 20 Beds for in-patient services
- Consultation room for Resident doctor
- 2 Consultation Rooms for visiting doctors.
The mission is staffed by the following staff:
- 10 volunteers
- 1 full time & 2 part time Doctors
- Doctor’s assistant
- X-ray technician
- Ambulance Driver
- Eye Repressionist
How can you help?
Your financial support will make a significant difference in the lives of the rural folks of India. We at KARNA are targeting a sum of $20,000 of funding every year to provide financial support to VMMI, so they can continue to conduct medical camps and manage day-to-day operations.
You may either choose to offer financial support or sponsor one of the following:
- Pay for one medical camp cost approx. US$ 500
- Pay for one Eye camp cost approx. US$ 600
- Pay for sustenance of volunteers (food/clothing) US$ 250/month
- Pay for yearly cost of supplementary schooling US$ 1,000
Sponsors will be given publicity as desired.