A co-mommy blogger and a wonderful person, kbpm visited the JJ Hospital yesterday to enquire what they really need, and this, is her mail on what she found out:
Here is my low down from my yesterday's outing:
First of all phone numbers:
JJ Control Room 23701366
JJ Help Line 23735555 (though Irang this number about 100 times yesterday and no one picked up).
Control room has one guy manning it. And a social worker hanging around. My sense is that calling is not particularly useful, its a govt. set up and while they are doing good stuff and all, everything is a bit 1980s there. Showing up ourselves is the best bet.
I took some dental care stuff and soaps. Brands that I would use. I picked up a few smaller brushes for children (but apparently as part of this attack there are only 3 children admitted at JJ). I had biscuits which they sent back saying they have plenty of it. There were crates and crates of mosambis and apples that people had sent. They said they have enough of perishable food. Did not talk about other things like juice etc. personally (Saw on your blog today, makes sense - dry fruits and juices).
I spoke to people in information and also the social worker in the controlroom. They would not reveal the contact info/addresses of any of the people admitted. The social worker could not understand why we would be looking for the addresses of bereaved families. Tried to explain. I dont think I was very successful in this.
(We are trying to get information about the addresses of the bereaved families so we can visit them and see what their requirements are and also check if the deceased's widows or family members have bank accounts for those who desire to send in relief cheques which we can directly hand across.)
I think one thing to keep in mind is that this is a govt. hospital. Its not particularly well endowed in that sense. The people in the hospital would much prefer us helping in a more holistic way than just for the sake of the victims of recent terror attacks. From their view point this makes sense. They mentioned that they have several shortages in the hospital:
Benches/Stools for Families to sit on
were somethings she said.
If there is to be a corporate type sponsorship, perhapsone of the people can talk to some 'higher' officials to get an overall picture of needs and then fit it into their budget. Hopefully they wont mind though that this will be for the hospital itself and not particularly for the terror victims. Likewise the bedsheets and blankets. My friend brought a bunch of those to them, am sure they can use more, but its worthwhile to check today at end of the day as they are likely to get too much of this as well.
Well that's it I think. I went to the Mumbai Gathering too. Just to get a sense for what it is all about. It was OK. At least people young and old seem to be feeling it finally.
An update is that kbpm had messaged me last evening after her visit about these specific requirements and I had passed this message across to my phone list. Within the hour, a group of senior citizens had taken on the onus for supplying the hospital with their requirements. When that does come through will put up the details. But it was indeed heartwarming. Thank you people, for being so kind.
But that is a thought that I have had for a while, our basic facilities in the hospitals are all so stretched to breaking point that any help in this direction for any government hospital would no doubt be welcome. I urge people with a view to contributing long term to consider making donations towards the hospital corpuses, or donating equipments and things like stretchers, wheelchairs, bed linen, etc, or checking with the hospitals for their specific requirements and doing the needful. After all, we never know when we might be the unfortunate who are rushed to these hospitals in an emergency.
Once again, thank you kbpm, for the time, effort and concern.