HomeBlogsNo one should be denied medical attention. I hope this recognition will influence others to give back to the society: Subhasini Mistry
No one should be denied medical attention. I hope this recognition will influence others to give back to the society: Subhasini Mistry
The woman who toiled for two decades to realise her dream of building a hospital for the needy, is now the recipient of Padma Shri award. Meet Subhasini Mistry, she is living proof that one does not need to be young, rich or educated to be an achiever, but that immense hard work and the audacity of hope can go a long way. She was also one among the 12 winners of Women Transforming India Awards in 2017.
Subhasini Mistry’s husband, a vegetable vendor, died at a young age because he could not get medical help for a common ailment. Within a month of his death, his illiterate wife and four children were on the streets. Like her late husband, Subhasini too started selling vegetables to make ends meet. “I vowed that one day I would build a hospital for the poor and needy in the very village my husband breathed his last in,” she says.
People laughed at her impossible dream. But Subhasini was no ordinary woman. For the next 20 years, she worked as a domestic help, manual labourer and vegetable vendor. She saved most of her earnings for her dream hospital, while spending the rest on raising her four kids.
65-year-old Subhasini used her lifelong savings to buy an acre of land in her husband’s native village. She appealed to the community to help in any way they could and they did. Her son, Ajoy, managed to raise Rs 50,000 from acquaintances, friends and organizations. A one-room clinic came into being, the beginning of the hospital-to-be. Three doctors from adjoining areas were persuaded to attend to the sick for free. Patients started streaming in and Subhasini became a household name. “I have a long way to go. I need to ensure my hospitals grow and I am able to afford more experienced staff. One day, I hope to convert this into a 24-hour facility,” she says with pride.
In 1995, the foundation stone for the hospital was laid and was open to the public a year later. Today, the 45-bed hospital spreads over three acres and has the best of doctors and medical equipment. Major surgeries for the poor are done for less than Rs. 5000 and minor ailments are treated for under Rs. 10. Currently, she has two hospitals, one is located at her village in Hanskhali, Nadia district, and another at Sundarbans. “I am delighted to have been recognised by the Government of India. But I wish that no one should be denied medical attention. I hope this recognition will influence others to give back to their society,” she says.
The Humanity Hospital is testament to the iron will and tenacity of Subhasini Mistry, a truly extraordinary woman.
Read more about Women Transforming India Awards 2017 here.