Working as a senior official of a telecom service providing company entailed extensive travelling and meeting retailers,dealers and sales teams in the remotest villages of the state,and during one of these travel 44-year-old Dibyendu Haldar saw the poor state of the healthcare facilities in rural areas of Bengal,which made him decide to make his trips more fruitful and for which he started taking like-minded friends along with him to have a look at the penury people lived in. They thought it was time people stopped complaining about the governments failure and started doing something on their own.
In 2009,a group of about a dozen people including retired teachers,working professionals and some unemployed youth came together to form a group called Gopalpur Eden Foundation. Later,they contacted doctors within their friends circle and in 2011 they took eight doctors to Datra village in Kolba Dadpur block in Hooghly where they set up a medical camp. They examined and treated 365 patients on a single day. The camp was such a big hit that a year later they organised a health fair. Since then health check-up camps are organised every month where a team of four doctors is deployed.
My upbringing has been such that helping the needy comes to me naturally. Perhaps,I have inherited it from my father who has been a very philanthropic person all his life. My mother would sometimes get irritated and would say that these would yield nothing,but he never budged, Haldar said.
His heart wept for the underprivileged who could not afford to get a treatment for even the smallest of diseases. His family,at the moment,comprises his parents,a son who is a Class V student and a one-year-old daughter.
He said that his heart bled for the people who suffered from a lot of diseases which had rooted from malnutrition as they did not have enough means to afford one square meal a day. They did not have proper education to know the value of cleanliness. Infant mortality rate was extremely high there.
Haldars dream project is to put up a hospital at the village to provide healthcare at a low cost. He has already procured a bigha of land for the purpose. The structure plan is ready. Initially,it will be an outdoor clinic with facilities of ECG,ultrasonography and different types of pathological tests. This will continue for about a couple of years within which I would repay my existing home loan and will apply for a fresh loan for the hospital, he said,adding that he would try to make it as well-equipped as he could be able to do.
The hospital will also provide employment to several local youths. Dibyendu also doesnt want others to doubt about his intentions. I dont want anything from the hospital and so,have decided that I would not be in the managing committee. The locals would be in it instead, he said and added: The blessings the beneficiaries would give me would keep me alive long after I am dead.