New Delhi, September 3— As COVID-19 or Coronavirus Disease has hit India, and almost every country of the world, in an unprecedented way, individuals and institutions have come out to help the government and the society to face the challenge. Karnataka’s Shaheen Group of Institutions is one of them. Last month, it converted one of its college buildings into a Covid Care Centre in the Bidar district of the state and has so far taken care of around 250 patients here.
Talking to Inclusive India over phone, Dr. Abdul Qadeer, founder secretary of Shaheen Group of Institutions, said he decided to open the Covid Care Centre at his college building in order to serve the society and the country.
The centre was inaugurated on July 28 by Bidar’s Deputy Commissioner Ramachandran R in the presence of Dr Qadeer and others.
“We have made all arrangements for the patients. We have got an opportunity to serve the people. Besides the government staff, we have deployed our own additional nursing staff at the centre. Besides medicines, we are providing meals for three times to the patients,” said Dr Qadeer.
“Generally, at isolation centres, meals are kept outside the doors or on the floors. However, we are providing meals to each individual at our centre. We are also providing PPE kits to our staff,” he informed.
There are 60 patients at the centre at one time. They are kept there for 7-8 days and then a new batch of patients are brought in. In the last one month, around 250 patients have been taken care of here.
“Ours is a Corona Care Centre. Here only confirmed cases are brought in and taken care of under the supervision of the government officials,” he said.
In the last one month, three national and cultural festivals commenced. Dr Qadeer and his staff celebrated these events with the patients.
“We celebrated the Independence Day with the patients. On Raksha Bandhan and Ganesh Utsav, we provided them special sweets. We are trying our best to serve them well,” said Dr Qadeer who has been awarded by the highest civilian award of the Karnataka state — Kannada Rajyothsava Award — for his extraordinary services in the field of education.
What moved him to open this Covid care centre?
“For the last 30 years, we have been involved in various activities. To fulfil the needs of the society is our prime duty. This care centre is also part of that chain. We have empty buildings. We thought to use them and our staff for the service of the society. We wanted to help the district administration in this time of pandemic. This is not the work of only government, police or collector. Common people should also take part in this work,” said Dr Qadeer.
Shaheen Group of Institutions runs several educational institutions in Karnataka and other parts of the country. some of them are residential where students are prepared for competitive exams like NEET and JEE.
About the expenses on this Covid care centre, Dr Qadeer said: “I think we have spent more than Rs one crore on this centre since the beginning till date.”
In January this year, a controversy had erupted over a play enacted by children at one of Shaheen Group’s schools in Bidar. The local police had booked some teachers and parents under sedition law over the play and sent them to jail.
Dr Qadeer says that the incident was a setback for him but it has left more positive results.
“People have forgot that incident. That was a step taken in a haste by the administration. It was the result of profession jealousy. Its effects are over. At that time, it was a sort setback for us but it has left more positive effects,” he said.
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