The sheer number of people who live in Kolkata mean that often hospitals struggle to cope with everyone who requires care. In addition, poorer families may not have the means to be able to afford the cost of medical treatments. As a result, many people who are sick may end up outside wards or begging on the streets, in need of medical attention with no-one to care for them.
In 2013 KBF received 500 Rupees from a supporter within ‘Friends of KBF’, in order to buy gloves and face masks, so they could take some of these people to government hospitals and help care for them whilst there. Then, in 2015, with the help of an organisation called Life Association, and with permission from the patients, local authorities and hospital staff, KBF opened a hospice, so that they could begin taking people whose needs could not be met by visiting them in the overcrowded hospitals.
Within the hospice every person gets a bed or mattress, good food, dedicated staff to care for them and even some trips out if their health allows. With basic care, many recover and those who do not are allowed to die with dignity.
KBF now take care of around twenty patients, with a full time nurse and a part time doctor and physio. The hospice has become like a family and many choose to stay on even after they are better.