It was a small gesture but it meant a lot to the patients and their families braving the cold outside the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Following a report in the Hindustan Times (January 10) highlighting the plight of patients and families living outside the hospital in the open as they await treatment, HT Editorial took an initiative to donate blankets to them. The Editorial asked HT employees to voluntarily donate money for buying blankets. The response was overwhelming.
HT bought 500 blankets with the donated money and, on Saturday, an HT team visited AIIMS and gave the blankets to the dharamshala in-charge, Preeti Ahluwalia, for distribution among patients and their attendants. AIIMS runs three dharamshalas (restrooms) with 412 beds.
Ahluwalia said, “We appreciate such efforts. There is a need for more people and organizations to come forward and help the families of patients, several of whom are poor.”
Ahluwalia said that several NGOs, reacting to the story, had also come forward to help the patients and their families. “People are coming to us and offering clothes, blankets and food items for the families staying in the dharamshala. On Friday, a woman came and donated bedsheets,” she said.