By MAHESH CHOPADE
We are lucky that we got you as a doctor. Our confidence got a miraculous upturn because of you. We had a very different image of COVID centre but when we came here, we got a pleasant shock. It is as if we are eagerly waiting for your daily visit. Activities like Yoga and Antakshari have completely removed fear from our mind. The positivity shown by you has removed all kinds of fear and negativity from our minds. Not only you, but even your team has stood behind us firmly.
These are the words of a poem written by Ms. Neelam Desai, who could not thank enough the team of doctors at Brahman Seva Mandal in Dadar, Mumbai.
Here, a quarantine centre was being run where Dr. Virendra Mohite and Dr. Shubhangi Kamble had made patients so much at ease that it was difficult to believe that such a place - brimming with laughter, games and Yoga sessions – was a centre that housed COVID patients.
“We observed that in COVID-19 asymptomatic patients, the mental health is most affected; hence, we came up with an idea of various sessions like yoga and meditation. The yoga sessions were first initiated at our Rajeev Gandhi CCC2 centre, then it was further introduced in other G-north centres like DaSilva and Scout Guide. Later, at DaSilva CCC2 centre, many interesting sessions like Antakshri, dance, sketching, etc were started, which helped our patients to recover faster. The DaSilva team was shifted to Brahman Seva Mandal where gaming sessions were introduced for patients. This whole idea of various entertaining sessions was to focus on mental health of Corona patients, which is a priority along with physical health", said Dr. Virendra Mohite.
“We arranged lot of dancing and Antakshari sessions here. We wanted to remove the huge fear that Corona patients suffer from. Specifically, asymptomatic patients and those without any comorbidities need not fear this disease at all. Yoga sessions, dancing, story-telling, meditation - all these help in re-gaining the confidence of patients. It helps patients in taking their mind off the persistent thoughts of the disease. We encouraged them to pursue their hobby. There was this small girl who liked to draw, we encouraged her to do sketches and she did it so beautifully”, said Dr. Shubhangi Kamble, narrating the motive behind starting this initiative.
Apart from fun activities and Yoga, meditation centre also celebrated various festivals. The centre celebrated Rakhi festival which symbolises the love of brother and sister. The centre celebrated Independence Day with gusto and arranged dance competition, patriotic song recitals, etc. as a tribute to corona warriors.
Recently, when major hospitals in Mumbai were flooded due to incessant rains, this centre also provided emergency care to some patients and stabilised them before they could be shifted for further care. The centre strived hard to maintain the mental health and confidence of patients lodged here. Out of 287 admissions, barring few who were later home-quarantined and couple of referrals to higher hospitals, the centre successfully treated almost all of them and then centre was closed.
With activities like this, the centre has really set an example for ideal COVID Care centre. (The author is working in Press Information Bureau, currently posted in Mumbai office)