ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sramajibi Hospital

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Once upon a time, there was a steel manufacturing company, Indo–Japan Steels Limited (IJSL), at Belur in Howrah district, West Bengal. The workers of the factory felt the urgent need for a health centre and formed their own organisation, Belur Sramajibi Swasthya Prakalpa Samity (BSSPS) in 1983. The establishment of the organisation converged with the junior doctors’ movement in the city of Kolkata in the early 1980s, demanding better health facilities for patients. The unique joint initiative of the workers and some doctors ultimately led to the establishment of the Sramajibi Hospital at Belur in 1994. It was the abandoned office house of the sister concern of IJSL that was transformed into Sramajibi Hospital. The ­organisers still remember the parallel health venture initiated by Shankar Guha Niyogi in Chhattisgarh.

Though the IJSL liquidated in the second half of the 1990s, making the fate of about 800 workers and their families uncertain, and there was police assault on the hospital staff and patients in an eviction drive, the hospital survived through a legal battle. The patients who cannot afford private medical treatment come to Sramajibi Hospital for treatment at a much lesser cost.

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