Mumbai: It is known that our prisons are overcrowded. Due to crammed existence in these prisons, many inmates contact diseases, especially skin diseases which are contagious. If a skin disease remains untreated, it may proliferate and others can catch it. So, it is important that proper attention is provided and prisoners suffering from these contagious diseases are treated at the earliest.
In a noble and welcome move, Mumbai-based NGO Global Care Foundation, in association with District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) Pune and Pune’s Sassoon Hospital, conducted a free medical camp, especially for skin diseases, among around 1,100 prisoners of Yerwada Central Jail, Pune, recently.
Significantly, Global Care Foundation mainly works to get first-time offenders and those inmates who languish in jails for minor crimes because they cannot pay the bail amount. They are much suited to conduct this camp as they have the expertise in working with inmates.
“When we heard of the rampant skin diseases among inmates, we decided to take the first step. And the first step was to hold a free checkup camp. I am glad DLSA and Sassoon Hospital, both in Pune, responded positively and the response from the inmates at the Yerwada Central Jail was overwhelming,” said Abid Ahmed Kundalam, Global Care Foundation’s founder and managing trustee. Kundalam added that his organisation will try to replicate this in other prisons in the state.
Medical superintendent Dr Ajay Taware and Dean Dr Vinayak Kale at BJMC and Sassoon Hospital were quite helpful and enthusiastic about the free medical camp they conducted. “Around eight team of doctors from our hospital conducted the health checkup, especially for skin and veneral diseases. We had supporting staff, apart from doctors, doing the job diligently,” said Dr Taware. He added that many skin diseases are contagious and the patients needed to be guided how not to spread it. Awareness about cleanliness and hygiene is important to keep one free from these contagious diseases.
Kundalam added that apart from free checkup, prescribed medicines too were given to those prisoners who needed them.
Global Care Foundation helps seek bail for minor offenders and petty crime accused languishing in jails for months and years as they cannot pay the bail amount. The foundation gives legal aid free to inmates (not accused of serious crimes) and their families. It also holds regular awareness camps and has even started rehabilitation centre for drug addicts among the minor inmates at children’s home at Dongri.