Updated: Jul 23, 2021
The 11th of June, 2021 marked a significant organisational milestone. It was the official foundation stone laying ceremony of the Empower People hospital at Madhi, Nagina, Haryana.
On the 10th of June, our team had visited the site to plan last minute details of the event. The plot is tucked in between two petrol pumps alongside the main road and the visit raised much pleasant curiosity and enthusiasm amongst the local people. Word had spread in a single day across villages and we heard stories of people looking forward in anticipation to have easy access to healthcare facilities which remained a sore need in this area and especially in these challenging times of the pandemic.
A team comprising of local people including experienced masons who would oversee the work, gathered to gain an overview of the plan designed for the hospital and also share their views and inputs about any essential changes or additions we would need to make. The participatory mode of design process was adopted to ensure that the local people gained as much pride in being part of the creative process of building the hospital as that of having this facility.
One of the masons highlighted how affordable medical and healthcare services are not available due to which people often avoid getting the necessary diagnosis and treatment done. They also suggested certain inputs for increased waiting area because often the patient is accompanied by a group of 3-4 other people and thus it would be important to provide a larger space which also can be shaded for comfort during the wait.
Another suggestion was made to raise the plinth level from 2 feet to 4 feet to ensure appropriate measures to avoid flooding of the structure during unpredictable or excessive rainfall.
The entire team then went on to inspect the plot of land and to mark the boundary in all directions in order to gauge how the design of the hospital would emerge on site and to visualise the structure in a better manner.
Meanwhile, we also waited for the first lot of material to arrive on site. A spot was identified for creating an underground water tank as a first step. This would be the spot that would be dug to mark the official initiation of construction work.
After an adventurous turn of events with the tractor getting stuck in the field mud and another tractor coming and pulling it out, the first batch of material was unloaded on site.
We went on to officiate and mark the beginning of construction work of the hospital by laying the founding strike of an axe for marking the location of the water tank.
The occasion was then celebrated by distribution and exchange of sweets and snacks on site and further in the village neighbourhood.
The day was concluded by a discussion on further steps with the team and an orientation towards completion of the project at the earliest possible time.
The enthusiasm and keen participation of local people for actualising the project was quite heartening and redoubled our energy and focus for taking this project through in the best manner possible.