- Volunteer at Medicare Camp
“Service to Man is Service to God” this statement comes to true when someone volunteers in the monthly medical camp that is carried out at Bangalore by Sai Aashraya! I feel indeed blessed and honoured that we got an opportunity to volunteer in one of their medical camps. I got the opportunity to meet Sai Prasad in the USA during his previous visits and was really inspired by the work Sai Aashraya carries out in India. Since then it was my innermost desire to fly down and volunteer for at least one of their amazing initiatives. This desire turned true earlier this year 2020 (thankfully before the pandemic) where I got to visit Bangalore with my family and got an opportunity to volunteer at the Bangalore Super Speciality Medical Camp.
This Camp is conducted every 1st weekend (Saturday and Sunday). Let me try to give a short glimpse of the camp and its preparation here. This camp happens in a flat and an empty hall nearby. Every Friday prior to the camp, the mobile medical camp is set up from ground zero to its final state. A lot of preparations do happen prior to that too in terms of what medical equipments to be used, what medicines to be used, number of medicines to be ordered (based out of the feedback from previous medical camp), expected crowd, on top of all this, breakfast, Lunch and Dinner to be provided to each patient.
It was indeed a Super Speciality Camp as it covers various departments such as Pediatric, Adult medicine, Skin, Oncology, Cardiac, Optical, ECG/Echo and finally a top notch Pharmacy. Once the number of Specialists(Doctors) are confirmed, the camp setup is designed and built with a modular aluminium construction which is completed in just a couple of hours, including all the medical equipment and all the materials , labels for each cabin. I was amazed to see the attention to detail that all the volunteers gave on setting up the camp including proper usage of the materials and completely cutting out on any wastage.
On the day of the camp, patients start lining up at the camp as early as 5 AM from all nearby villages/slums. Even though the numbers increase during the day, they are all happy to wait patiently at each and every department/section that they go through. To list a few, the patients start from the registration department where their details are taken down along with their blood sugar, weight and other readings. After that, the patients line up slowly to be seen by their respective Doctors and after the consultation/checkup they either go through the ECG/Echo tests or they are prescribed medicines. Post that, the patients will be sent to the scanning department where all of the patient records are stored digitally, before they proceed towards pharmacy if needed.
I had a chance to volunteer in the scanning and ECG department during my 2 days stay at the camp. The ECG/Echo department is nothing less than a blessing and a miracle to all the patients in the camp as this test which costs thousands of Rupees in any other hospital is offered completely free of cost to the patients and that too with the most advanced technology. ECG/echo reports are generated right at the location and consultation is provided by the Doctors right away. I had an opportunity to help out the Senior doctors in this department as well. I was awestruck to see the reality and absolute need of running this camp as I could see there were so many young kids, young adults, adults and senior people going through so many medical conditions and mainly related to heart.
It was an absolutely learning and loving experience for me to just watch the volunteers talk to the patients (while entering their records digitally) with so much care and love. Many of the patients have literally no idea of their medical conditions but the volunteers would patiently explain to them about their medical condition, how and when the medicines are supposed to be consumed and when is the next time they need to attend the medical camp. The volunteers are always happy to answer any questions from the patients. The relief, smile and satisfaction that the patients share after attending the camp is just invaluable.
I got a chance to speak to many patients who were waiting in line there to be checked. When I casually asked them about their experience, the only thing they mentioned was that “the amount of love, patience, care, concern is provided in this camp, we have never ever experienced this in any other medical camp or hospital. Never has a medical facility focused so much on a patient's overall development (medical, physical and mental) and well being” . Patients also mentioned that “the Breakfast/Lunch that is provided at the camp itself acts as medicine to us”. There were countless patients who were lucky to get their lives back due to the instant treatment that was provided by Sai Aashraya.
During the 2 day camp, there were around 1000 patients screened. It is however a very inspiring and loving experience how each and every patient is given the same amount of love, care and concern. More inspiring to see that all the volunteers carry the same principle in them throughout and that all of the services are carried selflessly with no sense of doership or any feeling of superiority. Doctors who come here carry the same principle of love, care, concern along with them while treating the patient, it doesn’t matter how senior they are in their profession.
The smiles, satisfaction and contentment that we see in the patients is the testimony of the work that is carried out by the Sai Aashraya team. I would also say, it was the best two days of my life to volunteer at Sai Aashraya’s Super Speciality Medical camp which is unique in many ways as i shared above. I have never seen or experienced so much love, care, concern and attention to detail in any of the medical facilities with such advanced technology, such delicious meals and all of it free of cost. This is the reason many of the patients prefer to be treated at this camp rather than any of the well known hospitals. This indeed is a perfect example of how Love can transform lives!
I would love and wish to come back again and volunteer with Sai Aashraya at all of their future medical camps.