Ranchi: a hospital for the poor and the tribals, a "monument of mercy"

In response to Pope Francis’ call, Msgr. Theodore Mascarenhas, auxiliary bishop of Ranchi, speaks of the project for a health facility that will be built in Mandar. The plan calls for a 400-bed hospital, a medical university and nursing school. Also there will be a dormitory for employees, a pharmacy and a "mercy department" completely free of charge. The cost of the project is 46.5 million euro.


Ranchi (AsiaNews) - A hospital for the poor and the tribals, that will provide quality care, with medical staff trained and attentive to the needs and welfare of the marginalized. This is the goal of the Constant Lievens Hospital and Medical College, a 400-bed hospital under construction in Mandar, the Archdiocese of Ranchi (Jharkhand State). Msgr. Theodore Mascarenhas, auxiliary bishop of the diocese and promoter of the initiative, speaks with enthusiasm of the project, which responds to the call launched by Pope Francis for every diocese in the world to build a "monument of mercy" during the Jubilee Year. The Bishop also underlines the difficulty in raising funds and appeals through AsiaNews: "We are fighting for the necessary funding. Please help us to promote and publicize our commitment to the poor in India".

The hospital was founded by the CBCI Society for Medical Education North India, an NGO of the Indian Catholic Church. It will be built on the of a now defunct structure, originally built in 1947 by the Medical Mission Sisters Congregation and donated to the diocese. The old building has about 100 beds and is in need of a major restructuring. It will be enlarged with a new complex that will include the hospital itself, kitchens, a medical research department and another pathology  department  along  with  molecular  biology  services, a pharmacy, a laboratory for blood transfusions and a dormitory for the staff.

Next to the health facility, there will be also a medical college and a nursing school. In total, there will be 251 healthcare professionals on staff, including 50 doctors, 135 nurses and 66 paramedics. The aim of the promoters, said Mgr. Mascarenhas, is to "heal and comfort those who are suffering with compassion and respect, as Jesus taught us, with attention to the rights and dignity of the tribals and the marginalized".

The choice of the site, the bishop said, "is not accidental." Jharkahand is among the poorest area of the whole Union. It is inhabited mostly by poor and illiterate tribal people, where the maternity and infant mortality rate is very high.

According to the CBCI Society for Medical Education North India, 43,96% of the population lives below the poverty line; 12.5% ​​of the population suffers from lack of food, compared to a national average of 2.3%.

As for access to medical care, almost 80% of births still take place at home in precarious sanitary conditions. In addition, the mortality rate during childbirth is high for both children and mothers.

The total cost of the project, the bishop concludes, "is 3.5 billion rupees [46.5 million euro, ed.] It also includes the construction of a 'department of mercy', which will provide medical care completely free of charge and it will finance the costs through other departments. We need everyone’s help and support".

For donations, you can contact the Archdiocese by emailing cbciranchi@gmail.com