Mahesh, a construction labourer who resides in one of Noida’s many villages, has brought his diabetic mother to Bharat Vikas Parishad diagnostic clinic in Sector 6 for a checkup as testing costs much less than private labs.
“I come here because the doctors treat us well and the test costs just Rs 20. Otherwise, it would have been very difficult for us to afford the consultation fee of a private doctor and get regular testing done as my father is retired,” he said.
The clinic was established by a non-profit organisation in 2012 with an aim to make medical facilities, which are at par with the private institutions, available for the economically weaker section.
Besides Mahesh, a group of 15 people patiently wait for their names to be called, after which they are directed to appropriate rooms for consultation.
A kidney function test, which costs between Rs 600 and Rs 1,000 at a private lab, is offered at Rs 20 at the clinic.
“The clinic runs from 9.30 am to 1pm from Monday to Saturday. We offer services of a pathology lab and specialised doctors such as general physicians, dentists and paediatricians,” Atul Verma, a trustee of the organisation, said.
Though the clinic was established to serve those who can’t afford basic health care, members of BVP say that people from all walks of life come to the clinic. “There is no criteria for admission. We aim to provide these facilities to the many construction workers, domestic workers and other labourers who form a majority of Noida’s population,” Verma said.
The clinic is not associated with any political party and does not accept government help. The funding is solely from the 100 members of the organisation who are associated with the authority and Noida Entrepreneurs Association.
About 7 kilometres away in Sector 61, another charitable clinic in Sai Karunadham provides free checkups and tests every Saturday from 4pm to 8pm.
“We have a cardiologist, chest specialist, orthopaedic, child specialist, gynaecologist, rheumatologist, dentist and general physician who provide their services free of cost,” Dr Girish Vaishnava, who is also the head of the Noida diabetic forum, said.
Members of both clinics say that the footfall of hundreds per day is not enough. “We want to reach out to industrialists and factory owners to create awareness among their workers about the hospital,” Verma said.