GUWAHATI, July 10 - The closing ceremony of the centenary celebrations of Shree Marwari Databya Aushadhalaya � popularly known as Marwari Hospital � formally got under way at the Pragjyoti-ITA centre this evening with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal lauding the role of the hospital in serving the masses, especially the needy and the downtrodden.
Sonowal, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that the noble initiative taken way back in 1916 should now be taken to the next level.
�All the modern amenities required for 21st-century medical services should be introduced in all units of the hospital with help of the community,� he said, adding that the Centre�s decision to establish an AIIMS in Assam was a step towards achieving the goal of highest standards of medical care in the State �so that the people need not go to other parts of the country for their medical needs.�
Appreciating the role of the Marwari community in charitable activities in the State, Sonowal sought support from the people for the new Government to bring the desired changes.
Local MLA Ramendra Narayan Kalita, who was among the guests of honour, announced that he was ready to provide land at a location under West Guwahati constituency, if the Marwari Hospital planned a medical college.
Dr Saumitra Rawat, a chairman, Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver transplantation, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi; and BB Dave, Chief Post Master General, Assam Circle, were present at the function as guests of honour.
The master of ceremony, Prerna Agarwal, started the programme with a Ganesh Vandana. Thereafter, the hospital staff presented a welcome chorus song.
Felicitations to the chief guest and guests of honour were done by a few eminent members of the community. A green certificate propagating the need of tree plantation promoted by the NGO Early Birds was given to the chief guest and the guests of honour.
The programme was presided over by the president of the organisation, Sarat Kumar Jain. While welcoming the dignitaries, Jain remembered those persons for whose efforts the organisation could reach today�s stature.
It was in 1916 that some enlightened and philanthropic persons from the local Marwari community with a missionary zeal and social commitment started the Shree Marwari Databya Aushadhalaya (SMDA), as an outdoor dispensary to cater to the medical needs of the public in general, irrespective of caste, community and religion. Today, almost 40,000 patients are taking benefit of the services rendered by this dispensary (FBOD) annually.
Secretary of the hospital, Anil Jaina read out the activities report.
People from all walks of life, including medical and paramedical staff from different establishments were present to witness the function.
BB Dave, Chief Post Master General, Assam Circle, released a postal stamp and a special cover on the occasion. A colourful souvenir under the editorship of RP Sikaria was also released by the Chief Minister. Dr. Saumitra Rawat gave an insightful speech, which was appreciated by the medical professionals and others present.
The crowd was also addressed by VK Pipersenia, Chief Secretary of Assam, and MLA Ramnedra Narayan Kalita.
Sarat Kumar Jain, in his speech, emphasized quality medical services to be provided to the needy and downtrodden and said that the hospital would set up a corpus fund to help poor people in respective of caste and creed.
On the occasion, lifetime achievement awards were presented to Dr Alaka Goswami, Dr Amrit Baruah, Dr Archana Mazumdar, Dr Gyan Chand Jain � all from the doctor fraternity � and Dr Subhash Chand Jain, Dr Ashok Beria as part of the hospital establishment.
The Chief Minister felicitated the family members of land donors � Sanjay Dhanuka, Rohit Saraf, Haribaksh Nandlal Kahokholia and Bhagwati Sureka � who had given away their valuable land to the cause of humanity.
Earlier, before the start of the programme, a documentary film was shown commemorating the 100 years journey of Shree Marwari Databya Aushadhalaya, directed by Dhiraj Kashyap.