Students and senior doctors at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, also known as Sion hospital, took up a clean-up initiative on the hospital premises, creating space for a playground on Thursday.
MBBS students and teachers, who traded stethoscopes for brooms for a day, found a large space in the campus that had been occupied by a non-operational oxygen tank for more than six years.
Now that the tank has been removed, the ground will be used to construct a basketball court, a long pending demand by MBBS students of the medical college-cum-hospital.
“The area we cleaned was actually our playground, but was being used as a dumping ground for years. Now, not only can we have cricket pitch there, but also a basketball court with a garden,” said Amar Singh, a final-year MBBS student who was part of the initiative.
Environmentalists Afzal and Nusrat Khatri, who supported the students in their cause, also helped clean the garden. Students said that till now they were not able to access the garden, as the approach road was lost under piles of garbage.
“The students’ zeal along with the support of the faculty helped us find a playground that was already present in our backyard but was not being used,” said Dr Vijay Singh, additional professor, preventive and social medicine department.
“While cleaning the ground we found medicine bottles and other such waste material dumped there,” said an MBBS student who was part of the clean-up team.
During the drive, students also stumbled upon a foundation stone that had been laid in 2004 for the construction of a gymkhana, which never took off.
According to Dr Suleman Merchant, acting dean of the hospital, students required some recreational activities, which could not be provided to them all this while owing to space constraint on the premises. “By just cleaning the campus, we can now build a basketball court and an open playground,” said Merchant.