Growing Bigger for the Better

Hajee Sir Ismail Sait’s gift to the city in the form of the Gosha Hospital in 1925 is being given a face-lift with expansion stage-by-stage. The Hospital may soon be a four-storey structure.

By A Staff Writer
Bangalore: Hajee Sir Ismail Sait’s legendary generosity is still seen in various buildings dotting Bangalore city, including the Hajee Ismail Sait Gosha Hospital. The structure, which came up in 1925, is a reflection of the man who had the heart to think of the comfort of the ‘purdah’ women of his community. During the visit of Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy, to Bangalore in 1919, Sir Ismail Sait explained that, “There were two hospitals to obtain treatment, but there was one needed to cover the social customs required for Muslim women. It was impossible to observe strict ‘purdah’ in the large hospitals which were already in operation.”
“Social and religious customs and prejudices effectively shut them out from these institutions. It is, therefore, necessary to provide special facilities for these ‘purdah nashin women’ as otherwise their distress cannot find help or relief,” said Sir Ismail Sait in his speech to Lady Chelmsford, requesting, “permission to build a hospital for purdah nashin women at my own expense at a cost of Rs.51,000”.
The hospital was built by Sir Ismail at a cost of over a lakh and was declared open by Mrs E. Pearse on 24th November 1925. The total accommodation was 10 beds for general cases and 10 beds for maternity cases. Slowly, the popularity of the hospital increased and Sir Ismail, in response, decided to open an additional private block, which was constructed at a cost of Rs.60,000. The foundation stone was laid by Lady Irwin on July 29, 1927 and declared open in 1931.
Today, the Gosha Hospital is under the care of the government and has 120 beds and is an exclusively maternity hospital. According to Dr T. Nirmala Bai, the current Medical Superintendent of the hospital, a sum of Rs 12 crores has been released under the National Rural Health Mission scheme of the Central Government, to upgrade the hospital with 150 beds and, in future, to 250 beds. Stage-by-stage, progress is being made in the construction, first from the basement and ground floor and it will later become a four-storey structure. “The building activity began in March 2012 and it is estimated to be completed in a time frame of 18 months,” says Dr Nirmala.

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