Humanity’s the Religion We Need: India’s “Cheapest” Diagnostic Centre at Delhi Gurudwara, Where an MRI Costs ₹50

Health

Humanity’s the Religion We Need: India’s “Cheapest” Diagnostic Centre at Delhi Gurudwara, Where an MRI Costs ₹50

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Whether it’s a natural calamity, a protest, or a pandemic, the Sikh community has shown us time and again how to put humanity first. Throughout the coronavirus crisis, they’ve lent a helping hand to those in need – by providing food to the needy during the lockdown, shelter to migrants stranded in cities, and converting gurdwaras into quarantine centres. Now, in a bid to make healthcare facilities accessible to the underprivileged, Delhi’s Bangla Sahib Gurudwara will start functioning as the country’s “cheapest” diagnostic facility.

Said to be operational from the first week of December, the diagnostic centre will offer affordable options for people required to undergo medical tests. According to the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), an MRI scan here will amount to just ₹50 while an ultrasound will cost a patient only ₹150. In a private lab in India, an MRI costs at least ₹2500 and an ultrasound ₹1500.

Moreover, a dialysis centre is also being set up at Guru Harkrishan Hospital on the gurudwara premises for kidney patients and will be functional starting next week. At the hospital, patients will be able to undergo dialysis for ₹600.

As per DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the diagnostic machines worth ₹6 crore were donated to the hospital and are the collective effort of well-wishers. These include four machines for dialysis and a machine each to conduct ultrasound, X-Ray, and MRI. While the MRI services will be available to the underprivileged for ₹50, others can access the facility for ₹800.

A committee of doctors has been set-up to identify the individuals who will be eligible for the concession.

At a time when the public healthcare system and private hospitals continue to be out of reach for the poor, this move by Bangla Sahib Gurudwara is truly noble.

“This is setting such a good example… religious places could use people’s charities in saving lives of the needy,” actress Chitrangda Singh tweeted.

This isn’t the first time the DSGMC and Bangla Sahib Gurudwara have come to serve the less fortunate amid the pandemic. When the nation was struggling with a migrant crisis due to the lockdown, Bangla Sahib Gurdwara opened up its kitchens to prepare food packets for nearly 40,000 people a day.

In a country that often finds itself divided over religion, Sikh seva always shows the way.

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