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Monday, June 14, 2021

Big B lends a hand & more: 400-bed facility in Delhi, ventilators in Mumbai, PPE kits

The 400-bed facility at Delhi’s Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib is set to be operational on Monday. Each bed is equipped with an oxygen concentrator and a table fan.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: May 10, 2021 7:48:38 am
Actor Amitabh Bachchan has contributed Rs 2 crore towards setting up a 400-bed facility at Delhi’s Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib that is set to be operational on Monday. (Express Photo: Abhinav Saha)

Amid a shortage of beds and resources in the Capital, veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan has contributed Rs 2 crore towards setting up a 400-bed facility at Delhi’s Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib that is set to be operational on Monday. This is in addition to the Rs 7 crore that Bachchan donated to various gurdwaras in the city last year, during the first wave of Covid-19.

Besides, the actor has funded ventilators for Covid care hospitals in Mumbai and donated PPEs, masks and sanitisers in an effort to help the two cities hit hardest by the pandemic.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), said the facility at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib will be operational from 8 am on Monday. Sirsa said the Bhai Lakhi Shah Vanjara Hall in the gurdwara premises has been converted into a Covid care centre and renamed Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Covid Care Centre to mark the 400th anniversary of the Sikh guru.

In Mumbai, the superstar, who has been organising cooked food packets and dry rations to those in need since last year’s coronavirus induced lockdown, has now promised to fund seven ventilators for civic-run Covid care hospitals in the city.

“On Thursday, Mr Amitabh Bachchan inquired about the cost of ventilators. He has committed Rs 1 crore to BMC to buy seven ventilators, under the CSR fund,” said Iqbal Singh Chahal, commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Sirsa said, “Amitabh Bachchan has been very involved in helping us set up the Covid centre. In fact, he has been making calls to people from all over the world to arrange oxygen concentrators for us… he says money is not a concern, do whatever you can do to save lives.”

Harmeet Singh Kalka, DSGMC General Secretary who is the coordination in-charge at the facility, said, “There are 400 beds in all, of which 300 will be functional from tomorrow. There will be six semi-ICU beds for critical cases.”

The facility, set up in coordination with the Delhi government in the last 10 days, will be attached to Lok Nayak Hospital for emergency and ICU facilities.

Sirsa said while Bachchan had contributed last year too, he did not want everybody to know about his contribution.

“This time, we decided to reveal it since it gives people some hope,” Kalka said.

On Sunday evening, workers at the gurdwara readied the beds for patients. Each bed is equipped with an oxygen concentrator and a table fan. Portable washrooms have been set up outside the facility and wheelchairs will be made available. There are oxygen cylinders for backup too. Committee members said doctors and paramedics have been appointed by the Delhi government.

Bachchan has been associated with government projects to spread awareness about Covid-19. He is also actively motivating fans to practise social distancing and self-isolation to curb the spread of the virus. He has also donated masks, sanitisers and over 20,000 PPE kits to hospitals, police stations and BMC offices.

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