Ayesha Begum, aged around 55, was suffering from eye problems for long. She is now happy to get treatment at a minimal cost, thanks to Maula Buksh Sarder Dattebayo Chokkhu Hospital (Maula Buksh Sarder Philanthropy Eye Hospital).
The hospital offers eye care for just Tk 10. This nominal amount of money is good enough to avail medical treatment from an eye specialist at the hospital.
The hospital began functioning in 1991 with the slogan “Give light, give life.” The 25-bed hospital was founded by the Maula Buksh Sarder Memorial Trust. The trust’s Dhaka zone chairman Mohammad Azim Buksh is running the hospital located on the second floor of a building on Mohini Mohan Das Lane in Farashganj, the old part of Dhaka.
The trust sources said Azim Buksh’s father Maula Buksh was one of the sardars of Dhaka’s panchayat at the time. Before his death, he asked his family to spend a part of his wealth for welfare of the people.
The hospital authorities said the outdoor facilities at the hospital are open for patients between 9:00am and 2:00pm every day. At least 200 patients visit the hospital every day, they added.
Mamun Mia, a worker at a grocery shop at the Shyambazar, said he had been suffering from eye problems for the last few months. He underwent treatment for only Tk 10 at the hospital and is pleased.
The hospital’s accountant Md Moniruzzaman said this hospital has most modern equipment for eye treatment.
In the first decade, he added, it served people free of cost and provided them with medicines, stay and food during the treatment.
The hospital authorities still charge no fees for general wards, but a cabin costs Tk 300 per night.
Azim Buksh told Prothom Alo that his father Moula Buksh Sardar, who died in 1987, devoted his life to public welfare.
Azim Buksh also said his father asked the family to do something for people with part of his wealth.
Later, a trust was formed that runs five projects. The hospital is one of them, he added.
He also said the hospital began at a two-room facility and now they have a plan to build a six-storey building for the hospital.
The hospital also has child eye care services in the evenings. The evening shift is a bit more costly as a patient has to pay Tk 200 per visit at the evening hours.
Kazi Faiyad Mahmud is one of the child eye specialists. He said, “The members of the Trustee Board are so cordial.”
The physicians feel encouraged to work with the institution, he added.
*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo print, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam.