An extended stay at a hospital during an illness can be draining and boring for most patients, but it is hard especially if you are a kid and battling a life-threatening disease. But now, entertainment is coming to the kids’ wards itself. After starting storytelling sessions on the weekends for children in city hospitals, the Uday Foundation has decided to go that extra mile and start a ‘Stories on Wheels’ service for hospitalised children. As part of this initiative, a van will visit various government hospitals, carrying storybooks, colouring books, crayons, games and toys collected from various schools, institutes and organisations around the city. The pilot project is currently on in Delhi and will begin in Mumbai this June.
“There are two kinds of hospitals in every city — private and government. The government-run institutions don’t have entertainment facilities for kids who are admitted there for a prolonged duration. So they have no means to pass time. This van helps provide the kids with some form of entertainment,” says Rahul Verma, co-founder of Uday Foundation.
Since the storytelling sessions take place on weekends when volunteers have the time to visit kids in hospitals and read to them, this van will visit the hospitals on three additional weekdays. However, the logistics still have to be decided.
The foundation is also looking to tie up with schools and institutions around the city. Items donated will be picked up thrice a week. At the hospital, kids can visit the van and spend time in it, reading, colouring or playing with the toys. Those who wish to take the toys to their ward can do so too. “The best part is that none of the kids need to return any of the items within the van. And for kids who are too weak from their treatments, volunteers will take toys and books up to their wards. The joy on their faces when the kids (in Delhi, where the project is already on) get these small items is indescribable,” says Verma.
Those who wish to donate to the cause or tie up with them can email firstname.lastname@example.org