As many as 1,000 chapatis will be rolled out in an hour and freshly cooked hot meals will be served twice a day apart from breakfast and afternoon tea. All this will be wheeled to the 1,296 patients in various wards of the Sassoon Hospital,the states largest government hospital,thanks to a unique philanthropic initiative by Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Trust. The Trust has tied up with the hospital to renovate the kitchen and provide free meals to patients admitted here.
Dean of B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital,Dr Ajay Chandanwale,told Pune Newsline that renovation work of the 4000 sq ft kitchen is on.
New machines including roti maker and dishwasher will be installed,according to Chetan Lodha,in-charge of the civil and structural work at the trust said.
Come August,the new look kitchen will be inaugurated and food for the patients will be wheeled to various wards.
The state spends Rs 3-4 crore every year on providing meals to patients at the hospital.
Patients have to get their own plates and they often queue up to get their share. The trust,which receives funds from devotees across the country and abroad,has decided to allocate Rs 10 crore for strengthening the services at Sassoon hospital.
Dr D G Kulkarni,medical superintendent of Sassoon hospital,said most of the provisions are purchased by the state. Now,the trust has offered to provide the necessary provisions and cook the food as well.
Treasurer of the trust,Mahesh Suryavanshi,when contacted,said it was essential that patients get a nutritious diet. We have several donors including farmers who can provide vegetables and foodgrain that can be donated to the Sassoon kitchen staff, he said.
Most of the patients who are admitted to Sassoon hospital are economically disadvantaged and their relatives come from far off. They have no place to stay here. The Trust also has plans to build a two-storey building that can accommodate at least 100 people, Suryavanshi added. Plans are also being made to adopt and take care of 250 needy patients from various wards,he said.