Temple of Healing
VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 3, MAY-JUNE, 2018
1 mega watt solar plant inaugurated at SSSIHMS
DR.GURUMURTHY, DIRECTOR, SSSIHMS, PRASANTHIGRAM
THE 1 MEGA WATT SOLAR POWER PLANT WAS SET UP AT A COST OF RS.4.1 CRORE ($610,000) AND WILL supply 1/3RD OF THE HOSPITAL'S ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION
With the Blessings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a 1 Megawatt solar power plant started functioning at SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, campus on the Aradhana Mahotsavam of Bhagawan Baba on April 24, 2018. Spread on an area of around 5 acres and established at a cost of around Rs. 4.1 crore (approx. $610,000) the solar plant will fulfil 1/3rd of the electricity requirement of the hospital.
As solar power will ensure lesser dependence on the power grid it would also help in reducing the carbon footprint of the hospital.
The solar power plant established at the SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, is a part of a larger 2.1 Mega Watt solar power project initiated by the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. As a part of the project an 800 Kilowatt solar plant has been set up at the Sri Sathya Sai University while a 100 Kilowatt solar plant and a 200 Kilowatt plant has been set up at the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Prasanthi Nilayam and at the Sri Sathya Sai Archives respectively. The project is one of the largest in the country by a charitable organisation.
The total expenditure for the whole project is to the tune of Rs. 9 crore (approx. $ 1.3 million)
For the solar plant at the SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, the approach was to have both roof top solar panels and also use the fallow land available within the campus.
going green: THE SOLAR POWER PLANT AT THE SSSIHMS, PRASANTHIGRAM
The hospital campus receives bright sunshine almost throughout the year and the fallow area behind the hospital building provides a great opportunity to set up the bulk of the solar panels.
A major portion of the hospital's main building's roof was also covered by solar panels augmenting the electricity production.
Subsidary buildings around the main hospital building were also covered with solar panels. Here we see solar panels on top of the Screening and Registration Block of the hospital.
The hospital campus is free of obstructions, which is conducive for the setting up of the solar power plant. Here solar panels have been set up on the roof of the sevadal and staff canteen.
A total of around 3,200 solar panels have been put in place to generate electricity. The solar panels, which were sourced from an Indian company have a minimum assured life span of 25 years and require little maintenance, which mainly involves cleaning of the dust getting accumulated on the panels. This is done once in 15-30 days depending on the specific area. At the current running cost, the cost of the solar plant could be recovered in a span of 4 years.
The solar plant at SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, is so planned, that it runs on a continuous back up from the electricity grid. If there is heavy cloud cover, which reduces the output of the solar plant then the power from the grid will compensate it and when the output from the solar plant increases then the power drawn from the grid will automatically reduce.
The solar plant is designed to provide electricity in the day time only.
The electricity generated from the solar power can be used not just for ordinary lighting etc. but also to run medical equipment like the CT scanners and MRI machines also.
The setting up of solar power plant at the hospital is one more step towards conservation of the environment, which follows the complete switch over by the hospital to LED lighting, which was done in a phased manner in the past two years. Currently the hospital is lit completely using only LEDs.
LORD DHANVANTRI MOORTI STHAPANA BY BHAGAWAN SRI SATHYA SAI BABA AT SSSIHMS, PRASANTHIGRAM.
SRI S. RAVI KUMAR, SENIOR MANAGER, IMAGING SCIENCES AND UROLOGY, SSSIHMS, PRASANTHIGRAM
Sai, my Pranasakha: Bhagawan and Sri Ravi Kumar outside Swami's residence - Trayee Brindavan.
IN THIS EDITION OF EXPERIENCES, senior manager at SSSIHMS and singer of the prasanthi Bhajan group, SRI. RAVI KUMAR TALKS ABOUT HOW it is a double bonanza blessing for people who are involved in Bhagawan's work
As I keyed in the first lines of the code for a small module of the Hospital’s Payroll software, I heard the sound of hurried footsteps in the Cardiology OPD. Our IT (Information Technology) department was a small room within the Cardiology department. I knew what that meant. Swami had visited the hospital. It had always been a thrilling experience for staff and patients alike to be blessed with His visit. As I prepared to rush out of the room to get a glimpse of Swami, the crowd moved into the Cardiology OPD. Swami had decided to bless the patients waiting in the Cardiology OPD. I kept the door of the IT room open so that His eyes would fall on the computers and of course on us. Swami came in, both hands raised … Blessing the 100-odd patients there. He then saw the open IT room and peeped in. He saw the server – a mighty x486 computer in those days – and the 2 other computers. With a twinkle in His eyes, He raised his eyebrows in appreciation, blessed Sri Kannan, my senior in the departent and me, and said ‘Manchi pani cheyyandi’ (do good work) and went out of the OPD. Those were the moments we looked forward to. Those moments gave us the energy to do more than what we thought we could. That was how the Divine Mother’s visit would leave everyone beaming in face and joyous at heart. It was magical. It is this energy that permeates this hallowed institution we call the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram and makes patients get better. It is said that medicine keeps the patient amused while God does the healing. Our hospital is a testimony to this adage.
One aspect of serving in this hospital has deeply impacted me. Swami has created such a magnificent place of healing for all irrespective of caste, class, creed, race, religion or nationality and by merely being a part of the staff of this Institution, He has given us a double bonanza blessing. The first blessing is that He allowed us to be a part of His massive and unique health mission. The second blessing is that we get the additional Blessings and good wishes of the people who pass through this centre of healing. Let me explain. There was once a wizened old man who had come to the hospital for Urological treatment. After he underwent a CT scan, he insisted on touching my feet. I was shocked. But finding my wits told him that it was I who had to touch his feet. He looked at Swami’s photo hanging in the CT scan room and with tears in his eyes told me (in Telugu, and I translate here) ‘This mahanubhaava has given so much for people like me who have nowhere else to go. And people like you who are nearer to Him are passing on that love to us." I was touched beyond words because of the pure sentiments expressed by this person who was like a grandfather to me. It also set me thinking about the second blessing I mentioned about earlier. In the end, both of us bowed down to that Master who is continuously ‘curing’ us all. I must add here that this double bonanza blessing that I talk about extends to everybody across the world who in some way or the other is a part of the Swami’s hallowed Mission.
Sai Sameepyam: Bhagawan Baba with Sri Ravi Kumar and other students of Swami requesting Swami to grant His permission for the 'Sai Sameepyam' programme
Thinking about this incident where a grandfatherly person told me that we were ‘near’ to Swami had me thinking about another incident that happened several years later. One day in the year 2010, we the students of Swami’s college, who were working at the SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, went up to Swami near His residence at the Yajur Mandir in Prasanthi Nilayam and requested His permission to conduct a programme called ‘Sai Saameepyam’. As He was reading the card, He asked us what the programme was all about. We told Swami that the staff of the Super Specialty hospital at Prasanthigram wanted to spend a weekend staying in Prasanthi Nilayam and participating in all the activities of the Ashram. Swami asked us why we wanted to do it. We told Him that it was for His saameepyam – for nearness to Him. He proceeded to tell us that mere nearness was not enough – dearness was more important. Swami explained, that sincerity at work automatically translates into dearness with Him.
From the days of three computers, this hospital has today become one of the most IT-enabled hospitals. From the days the first spiral CT scanner was installed here, incidentally the first in India, the Radiology department has one of the best CT scanners capable of doing even Coronary Angiogram CT scans and a state-of-the-art MRI machine. The statistics that one can view in this newsletter are a testimony to the continuing flow of Swami’s Love for humankind.
And, behind every number that adds to the statistics, there is a unique story – the story of Swami’s Divine Love.
Love in action
BY SSSIHMS Team
A Happy Family: Bharani after his second eye operation. He can now see perfectly with both eyes.
"Swami's hospital is like a guiding light for people floundering in the darkness of despair"
It all just started with a new sitting arrangement. The 11-year-old Bharani a brilliant student was always seated in the first row of the classroom. But then a new teacher was assigned to the class who wanted to change the sitting arrangement. Soon Bharani found himself in the last row. He did not mind the new sitting arrangement. But something changed and that too dramatically.
One day Bharani's mother, Pramila who would teach him at home, while checking his notebook, found many words misspelt in the notebook. She was aghast. A student of Bharani's calibre making spelling mistakes?
"What is all this?" she demanded. " I don't know, this is how the teacher had written it on the blackboard", Bharani replied. Pramila would have none of it. "You are telling me that your teacher is making mistakes," she admonished Bharani. Bharani pleaded innocence. Then Pramila realised that this phenomena of Bharani making mistakes was a recent one. She went through the whole notebook and found that only the last few pages were riddled with mistakes, while the earlier pages were fine. Being a smart mother she knew that the fault lay neither with Bharani's teacher nor with Bharani. "May be something has changed in the past few days", she thought. "Tell me child did anything change in the classroom in the past few days," Pramila enquired. "Yes Amma, now I am sitting in the last row, while earlier I was in the front row." Pramila then took Bharani to a calendar with large printed digits, pulled him to the end of the room, and asked him to read the letters and observed him closely. What she saw, seemed to prove her misgivings.
Bharani first strained his eyes and then gradually started drawing himself closer to the calendar. But Pramila insisted that he stay where he was and try reading the dates from there. Bharani could not, he kept trying to draw closer to the calendar. Pramila knew that Bharani’s eyes were weak and he was not able to read the letters correctly.
Bharani’s father, Srinivas worked in a private company near the town of Bellary, Karnataka and earned around Rs.15,000 ($230) a month and nothing could prepare this little household for what was coming their way. The family first visited an eye specialist in their hometown of Guntakal, thinking it to be an ordinary case of myopia, but the doctor told that the ailment the kid was suffering from was far more serious. “ The doctor told us that the lenses in my son’s eyes were displaced and the condition required complex surgery on both eyes to relieve Bharani of the ailment.
“I thought it might be a small ailment, which could be corrected by wearing the right kind of specs, but we were not prepared for this kind of a news,” Pramila said. The parents first took Bharani to a hospital in Hyderabad. “ They told us that depending on the kind of equipment being used in the surgery, the minimum amount we will have to pay would be Rs. 150,000 ($2300) to a maximum Rs. 350,000 ($ 5,400). “We told them we are just about middle class people and it was not possible for us to arrange this kind of money.” “ In that case, they told us, they could not help us.” Bharani's father Srinivas said.
Dejected Bharani and his parents made their way back home. The problem seemed insurmountable. And there was also the danger that Bharani's vision would deteriorate even further.
“It was then that one of our relatives told us about the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram, started by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, where all treatment for everybody is provided completely free of charge” Pramila said teary eyed.
When we came to the hospital for the first time we realised how beautiful it was. The eye specialists did a thorough check up and then told us that Bharani would be required to undergo two surgeries one for each eye. We were totally surprised when we came to know that all treatment would be provided completely free of charge. There is not billing department in the hospital,” Pramila said.
Back to normal: Bharani with his mother Pramila and father Srinivas at home in Guntakal
According to Ophthalmic surgeon at SSSIHMS, Dr. S. Lakshminarayanan, the lens in Bharani's eyes were subluxated, to put in in simple terms, the lenses were displaced from their normal position, which had resulted in Bharani not being able to see properly. This condition is known to deteriorate over time. The surgery for this condition is a complex one. “Normally when we replace a lens in cataract patients, it is not difficult, because we have the supporting structures (capsular bag and zonules) intact which hold the new lens in place. But in Bharani's case, zonules were weak and elongated and could not support the lens causing it to displace from its normal position. So in addition to replacing the lens we were required to provide a support to the lens as well. The process involved fixation of lens to the sclera (white part of eye), so as to hold the lens in place. It is a very delicate and complex procedure.” Dr. Lakshminarayanan said. “ The right eye was operated last year and now in April, 2018 the around six months later the second eye was operated. The boy is doing fine and his vision has much improved than before and the new lenses are stable,” he added. "Though this was a defect from the birth, yet I think it was the gradual deterioration of the eye sight and the change in the sitting arrangement in the class, which brought his ailment to light,” the surgeon said.
Director of SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram Dr. Gurumurthy, said that the equipment used in the department, like any other department of the hospital, is state-of-the-art. “What Swami provides to the patient here is the best one would get anywhere in the world. Just last year a new microscope worth around Rs.5,000,000 ($77,000) was inaugurated in the Ophthalmology operation theatre. And most importantly, the treatment is completely free of charge to all the patients irrespective of caste, class, creed, race, religion or nationality,” he said.
Pramila and her husband Srinivas are all smiles after the surgeries. “We were extremely concerned about the fate of our boy, but after treatment here, we are so relieved. Our boy’s sight has been restored. This is not a hospital, it is a temple, ” Pramila said. " In the hospital the doctors, nurses, and the sevadal are so loving. I never felt that I was ever away from homel," she said.
“For families like ours, which were floundering in the darkness of despair, Swami's hospital is like a guiding light. We can only say that we will always be deeply indebted to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba,” Srinivas said.
till March 2018
Inauguration of the Urology Department: Bhagawan Baba with the then President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma and the first Director of SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, Dr. A N Safaya, during the inauguration of the Urology department at the hospital in 1992. As mentioned earlier we would bring to you an hitherto unseen photograph of Bhagawan Baba in the hospital in this section in every issue.
Swami's senior Secondary School Students Visit Hospital
Students from the Sri Sathya Sai Senior Secondary School, (10th Standard) visited the SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, for an in-depth study of the various facilities and services as part of their academic programme.
SEVADAL VOLUNTEERS FOR MARCH-APRIL
All India Sevadal, mainly from Tamil Nadu and Kerala served at the hospital during March 2018.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Sevadal served in the hospital during the month of April, 2018
VISITORS TO THE HOSPITAL
Around 60 doctors, journalists and teachers from Amaravati District of Maharastra visited the hospital to study Bhagawan's Healthcare model.
Office Bearers of Rotary Club International South Africa visited the hospital. Director of SSSIHMS, Dr. Gurumurthy gave them an overview of the work being done by the Sri Sathya Sai Health Mission.
We offer our deepest condolences at the sad demise of Sri P. Vijaya Bhaskar, Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust on 4.5.2018. We pray that Bhagawan Baba provide strength to the bereaved family to cope with this huge loss. Sairam.
Dr. Gurumurthy, Director, SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram.