Pune, Maharashtra, India., Dec. 31 - The greatest commandment Jesus gave to his diciples was "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." Not many Christians take this very seriously, but Rt Rev.Valerian D’Souza, the Bishop of Pune, is an exception. To commemorate his 25 years in office, he is constructing a Rs 1-crore, 44-bed speciality hospital for needy HIV patients in Akurdi.
According to Fr Nelson Machado, spokesman for the Pune Diocese, the hospital is the brainchild of the bishop and is funded by the donations received by the him during his silver jubilee anniversary celebrations held last year.
“AIDS is a big modern-day problem. The bishop wants to bring relief to the poor and the needy, who have been afflicted by the disease,” Machado said.
The hospital will have a built-up area of 14,000 sq. feet to begin with. There are also expansion possibilities. According to architect Romeiro Silveira, the hospital will be a ground-floor structure, with a special dormitory for women and self-contained single and double rooms. There will be consulting rooms for doctors and an exclusive administrative wing. The central courtyard will house a multi-purpose prayer facility for people from all faiths," he said.
Continued Silveira, “The construction work has been in progress for the last eight months and the hospital should be ready in six months’ time.”
The sisters from the St Anne’s Order of Bijapur, who specialise in medical services,will be in charge of the hospital, he said.