In the little village of Kangazha, 25 kms. from the nearest rail-head there is a Multi-speciality hospital which has been bringing not only health and cure but also hope and cheer to hundred of country folk during the last 3 ½decades. The hospital had its beginning in a strange way.
On a coolDecember evening, Mr.P.Geevargeese was relaxing after a day’s busy schedule. From terrace of his Manohar Hill Home , the vista is panoramic; but on that cloudy night, there was little to see except the few lights that glimmeredin the distant house. It was late and the township was asleep. Mr. P.Geevargheese was felt the tranquility of the scene reflected in his own heart.He was at peace. There was reason to be happy too. Business was booming. His factories were working to capacity and sales were brisk.He felt the smug satisfaction of the self made man that he was .
A rain-drop fell upon his bald pate and he decided it was time to retire.Ashe turned to go in, he noticed the table-lamp that the children had carelessly lefton the open terrace.In an automatic motion, he picked it up and began to coil the flex attached to it.A tremendous shock lifted him clear over the parapet and flung him to a distance of 15 ft. to the ground below, barely clearing a pair of iron prongs used for bending rods.
Convalescing in the Hospital while his fractured ribs healed, he watched with sympathy the stream of patients that crowded in to that Medical Centre.He saw their miserable plight, their distress, and their frustration.The hospital, a Government one, could not cope with the numbers that needed urgent care.Patients, seriously ill who had traveled miles of difficult road seeking medical attention, were, as often as not, turned awayfor wantofroom or had to besatisfied with the scantattentionavailable.Mr. P. Geevarghese was moved by thespirit of compassion.
In a brilliant flash he sawhis Mission.A HOSPITAL FOR THE NEEDY IN A RURAL AREA .Themessage was loud and clear.
Mr. P. Geevarghese acted on his inspiration with amazing speed. On the 19thof March 1964, barely three months after he left his hospital bed, the cottage hospital in Kangazha became a reality.
In a rented two- storied building in Kangazha, not far from the present site of the Hospital, a small beginningwasmade.The staff comprised of 1 Doctor, 2 Nurses, 2Compounders, aLab. Technician and two-manoffice staff.A public charitable trustwas formed to administer the affairs of the hospital.
The little hospital was named after MAR GEEVARGESE DIONOSIUS of revered memory, who was the Head of the Orthodox Church of Malankara (Kerala) whose piety and moral stature had always been a source in inspiration and a beacon-light to Mr. P. Geevarghese.
When the present site was purchased, the odds seemed unsurmountable.The area in andaround Devagiri had no electric supply for miles, there was no provision for water supply and no line of communication or approach roads.Undaunted, Mr. P. Geevarghese as Managing Trustee went ahead with the improvement of land and the construction of buildings using the considerable resources at his disposal.
A great transformation was soon evident.The landscape was changed beyond recognition.For the first time in its history, the village ofKangazha shone with the splendors of electric light.Theapproach road to Devagiri which was onlya serpentinefoot-path was leveled and broadened to a motorable road.The village come alive .
The Hospital was shifted to Devagiri in 1967.
The bed strength was 30.At this stage, a team of four highly qualified doctors from Ludhiana who were motivated by an urge to serve the poor and the sick in a rural area joined the hospital.Thegrowth of the hospital after this was phenomenal.Patients flocked in from far and near attracted not only by the skill of the new doctors but also by their attitude of love and human sympathy which conformed to the motto “ In love Serve One Another”.
Hospital services improved in volume and quality.In 1968, a good Clinical Laboratory section and a blood bank were established. On 26-2-1968, the first closed heartoperation , a mitral valvotomy wasperformed successfully.Following this, more closed heart operations and lung operations were done by the team of doctors and staff of the hospital.
By 1970, the bed strength increased to 100 and New Departments ofE.N.T., Ophthalmology and Child Health were added.The hospital continued to progress towards its goal of bringing modern medicine to rural ‘India’.
The Hospital now has a bed-strength of 300 and offers speciality services in the following disciplines.General Medicine, General Surgery, Urology, Cardiology, Nephrology, Neurology, Ophthalmology , Paediatrics, Orthopedics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, E.N.T., Mental Health, Anaesthesiologyand Dental Surgery.
On the Panel are Medical Professionals of the highest caliber who are specialists in different disciplines.
Withexcellentpara-medical services such asI.C.U., Ultra-Sound Sonology, X-ray, Haemo-dialysis, Trauma Care, Neo-natal care, Endoscopy, Physio-therapy, Audiology & Speech Pathology, Diet Counseling etc. in support, the quality of careoffered to the patient is ofa high degree.
The Hospital had barely completed20 years of existence when the Founder breathed his last.Much had been achieved within that period.
MGDMHospital had grown into a multi-faceted Institution serving the rural poor in diverse ways.Besides a 300 bed curative facility, there were Community Programmes for Health, Development and Rehabilitation in operation in several rural centers; Educational programmes included a School of Nursing a School of Health Workers a School of Medical Lab. Technology and a High School anda VocationalTrainingCenter.
The little mustard seed had grown into amighty tree.
K.P.S. Menonformer IndianAmbassador to U.S.S.R. wrote: “ The Hospital owes its existence to a ‘ MAN OF VISION AND FAITH ’.
The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches who visited the Hospital in 1971 wrote:
‘It is good to see what happens with a vision and generous service for the ill ’.