Boxes to collect contributions in hospitals have been brimming over with demonetised notes; donation at Tata Memorial Hospital sees threefold rise.

While demonetisation has dealt a body blow especially to those undergoing treatment in hospital, there is a silver lining to the chaos after all. Anonymous donors have been generously donating Rs 500 and 1,000 notes in the donation boxes set up at public hospitals.

When the 14 fund boxes at Parel’s Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) were opened on Saturday, four days after the prime minister’s demonetisation announcement, the authorities were in for a pleasant surprise. “We opened our donation boxes on Saturday, we had surprisingly collected Rs 1.5 lakh, mostly in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes,” said Humayun Jafri, the public relation officer of TMH. On an average, the weekly collection from the 14 donation boxes placed across the hospital premises ranges from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000. “It is not that we have never got Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes. But this time, the numbers are much higher,” said Jafri, adding that the money collected from these boxes go towards the treatment of patients below the poverty line.

The situation was similar at the civic-run KEM Hospital, a few metres away from TMH.

KEM hospital has 40 donation boxes placed within the premises. Of these, three boxes were opened on Tuesday and the staff was surprised to find six of the high-denomination currency. “We have got six notes of the demonetised currency from the three boxes. We are sure that the other boxes will yield more,” said Dr Avinash Supe, dean of KEM Hospital.

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All public hospitals have several donation boxes placed in the premises. Most patients and their relatives come from poor and middle class families and thus the collection from these boxes is mostly in the form of coins, Rs 10, 20, 50 and 100 notes. TMH is however an exception as it is frequented by people from all strata.

The phone bells began ringing at the hospitals soon after the PM’s announcement on the night of November 8. People began inquiring with hospitals if they were willing to accept cash donations with the demonetised currency. “In such cases, we are taking the PAN details and allowing people to donate. We are then depositing the money for patients’ treatment,” said Jafri, adding that any donation is beneficial as patients in dire need get help. “We are also accepting the demonetised currency from patients as we don’t want to cause any trouble to them,” he added.

News Source: Mumbai Mirror

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