Kolkata doctor turns boat into chamber for Amphan and corona affected | Kolkata News – Times of India

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It’s 3 in the morning, most of the city is asleep and those with haywire sleep routines in the lockdown are preparing to hit the sack after binge-watching their current favourite shows. But Dr Ajoy Mistry is already up and about. Along with his team of 15-odd people, he has to embark on a boat journey to the remote areas of 24 Parganas to offer medical assistance to villagers and create awareness on the ongoing pandemic. Ever since the lockdown was imposed, this has been a daily ritual for the team that includes four more doctors.
Their endeavour began a little before the lockdown with visits to remote areas for distribution of masks and hand sanitisers. But after Cyclone Amphan, they even started travelling to specific areas in the Sundarbans, not just for health check-ups but also to distribute relief materials. “The Amphan crisis hit us when the COVID-19 pandemic was on in full swing. We realised these people needed food, treatment and awareness,” said Dr Mistry, son of social worker and 2018 Padma Shri awardee Subhasini Mistry, the woman behind Humanity Hospital that serves the poor. Though the hospital has a branch in the Sundarbans, the team reaches out to people residing in other remote areas of the region with the help of a boat. “We have covered the entire coastal belt of two 24 Parganas. Migrant workers of brick factories are among those we have treated and helped. We even visited the red-light area in Sundarbans’ Sandeshkhali,” said the doctor, who wraps himself in a PPE suit as he writes prescriptions, checks patients and gives out dry ration along with other team members.
Coming to the rescue of the needy runs in Dr Mistry’s family. After losing her husband at the age of 24 due to lack of proper treatment, his gritty mother – who toiled for years as a vegetable vendor, a domestic help and a manual labourer – used her life savings to build a charitable hospital in South 24 Parganas’ Hanspukur village in 1993, where the poor are treated free of cost. “Our main hospital is a designated COVID-19 centre. Despite having limited resources – manpower, PPEs and other equipment – we are fighting this battle ferociously and also extending support to the needy in other places,” the doctor said.

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