The Indian Medical Association, a doctors’ organisation, has set up a medical library in Chinsurah, that claims to be the first of its kind in the state.
The library is the brainchild of pediatrician Indranil Chowdhury, secretary of the Chinsurah unit of the association, and Sunetra Majumdar, a doctor attached to the health department.
State health minister Chandrima Bhattacharya inaugurated the library on January 23. Chowdhury quoted the minister as saying that the facility was the first of its kind in Bengal.
Named after the late Bijan Sengupta, a doctor from Chinsurah, the library intends to cater to the layperson. It is to guide one on the treatment required for a disease and save that person the trouble of running to several doctors for basic information.
“The books at the library talk about diseases in detail. A patient can find out what has happened to him, why that has happened and what is the course of treatment. The books are written in English, but Archana Bhattacharya, a retired doctor, will be present during the library hours and explain everything to a visitor,” says Chowdhury.
Along with the books, there is also a digital library.
The facility was sponsored by Sanjay Ghosh — the owner of Simoco, a mobile phone and wireless equipment manufacturing company.
Ghosh is from Chinsurah and his father was a doctor.
The library is housed in a 950sqft flat in the second floor of Rohra Plaza, a four-storey building at the Chinsurah bus stand.
The flat belonged to the association for a long time, and there were talks of selling it.
But Chowdhury, on becoming the secretary, stopped it from being sold.
The library was set up at a cost of Rs 3.5 lakh. The money was used to purchase furniture, an AC machine and equipment for video-conference.
Around 1,000 books are now in the the library, some bought using the library’s funds, others donated by doctors.
Of the money already spent, a part was contributed by the member-doctors, but the bulk came from a well-wisher businessman who did not want to be named.
Only 17 doctors of the 122-member association have come forward to help so far.
Chowdhury and Majumdar are mulling over ways to raise more money.
“We have informed nationalised banks here about the availability of our video-conference room on rent for meetings and conferences. We have also informed medical companies. We will charge Rs 5,000 a day as rent,” Chowdhury said.
So far, Rs 65,000 has been raised by giving the facility on rent.
The association had called all its 122 members for a meeting on March 6. All members were requested to give Rs 5,000 as a one-time contribution. With that, the library has bought more books.
The library is also meant to help junior doctors and medical students.
Chinsurah MLA Asit Majumdar has promised Rs 2 lakh every year from his MLA local area development fund to develop the library.