Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital in east Delhi unwittingly runs many a business, along with the one of healing lives. As long as money is not an issue illegal drugs, blood or even a woman can be obtained.
Those in need of blood need just approach Chand at Gate No 7, who charges "... 22 rupaiye lagen ge — for one unit." It actually translates to Rs 2,200 a unit , with the package reaching you by sunset. Chand gets it via his own 'methods' from a blood bank.
"Boys come from the village," says Chand, "donate blood, collect anything between Rs 300 and Rs 500 and go home."
However the hospital authorities profess ignorance. "I have taken over only recently. I have not received any complaint yet but we'll look into the matter," assures Dr PC Dikshit, MS, GTB Hospital.
"So far, we have not received a single compliant from anyone in the area. But I will look into the case and will clean up the mess", says deputy commissioner of police, Jaspal Singh.
Gate Number 3 is for those seeking female company. Pimps here do brisk business. Not very far off is the snort shop. Charas (hashish) is given only to regular clients but ganja (marijuana or pot) is easily available for as little as Rs 10.
The hospital has had its share of crimes too . Two weeks back , a woman doctor was molested outside the burns emergency, at day. Fortunately the alarm she raised was attended to . A few attendants caught hold of the accused and handed him over to the security. The hospital corridors which connecting the wards remain dark and lonely by night. There is no trace of security.
"Molestation cases are common and women doctors and nurses don't feel safe. We try to move in groups to ensure no one is alone, but it is not always possible," says a nurse-on-duty.
This is not all. Most wards, including the nursery, are not monitored. "If someone steals a baby or exchanges them, whose fault will it be?" asks a nurse.
The wards are bursting at its seams, too. Hospitals soon become second homes when families of the patient move in with him/her. "They move in with their mattresses, pillows, mosquito nets and stoves. Since most of them are poor people here for treatment from outside, they have no money for rest houses and hotels. The hospital has no waiting rooms, so these attendants end up making it their home till the patients recover," says Dr. Mriganka Sharma, president, Resident Doctors Association of the hospital.
The administration displays helplessness. "If we ask the patients to follow the one-attendant-per-patient policy, they beat us up. We can't do anything," says Dikshit.