Attendants of patients being served food under the Bhojanamitra scheme by Hare Krishna Movement at a hospital in Hyderabad. —A file photo
The attendants of patients coming from distant places to Gandhi Hospital and Sarojini Devi Government Eye Hospital will very soon have access to free food on a daily basis. After implementing the free food scheme ‘Bhojanamitra’ at Osmania General Hospital (OGH), the Hare Krishna Movement (HKM) is gearing up to introduce a similar scheme for attendants at the two tertiary hospitals.
Having access to affordable food is a big challenge for the attendants of patients coming from the districts. At any point of time, the two tertiary hospitals together have anywhere between 1,500 and 1,700 in-patients and an equal number of attendants . While food for in-patients is provided in the hospital, the attendants have to make their own arrangements, say hospital administrators.
Since 2011, the ‘Bhojanamitra’ scheme is being implemented in six hospitals including Indo-American Cancer Hospital (250 attendants), Niloufer Hospital (500), District Government Hospital, Mahabubnagar (400), District Government Hospital, Nizamabad and Bodhan (500), Maternity Hospital, Sultan Bazar (250) and 100 attendants in Mahaveer Hospital.
Recently, the scheme was also introduced at OGH wherein close to 1,000 attendants of in-patients are being provided free food daily.
The ‘Bhojanamitra’ is a coupon scheme wherein the HKM members distribute the free meal coupons to only one patient attendant at the start of the day.
“The whole free food scheme is donor driven and thanks to them we are able to provide food to around 3,000 patients everyday. Since the inception of the scheme, over five lakh patient attendants have been covered.
The idea is to introduce such schemes in governmenst hospitals where the needy can’t afford a proper meal every day,” HKM members said.
At present, the hospital authorities and HKM are in the process of identifying space to build shelters at Gandhi Hospital and S.D. Eye Hospital.
Hare Krishna Movement to offer free food for attendants of in-patients at Gandhi and Sarojini Devi hospitals