School In Karnataka Slapped With Sedition Charges, Now Offers 244-Bed Covid Care Centre
Syed Sujeel Ahmed | India Tomorrow
BENGALURU, AUGUST 6—Bidar, a small town in North Karnataka was in the eye of a storm and occupied national headlines during February this year when a school, Shaheen, from the town was slapped with sedition charges.
At the peak of anti-CAA protests, the school had staged a play allegedly involving anti-Modi slur. The conduct of the district police and the rigorous manner in which they conducted probe involving school children of the age 5-9 years, came under sharp criticism by the child rights groups and civil society, as they claimed that the probe violated the Juvenile Justice Act.
Guardian Minister of Bidar in Yeddyurappa government, Mr Prbahu Chavan and district M.P Bhagvant Khuba, both belonging to the BJP, demanded revocation of school’s permission and strict action against the school management. A schoolteacher and a single mother of a nine-year-old student, who is a housemaid, were put behind the bars, leaving child lonely at home. The same school now provides one of the biggest non-government COVID-19 care centre in the town working in tandem with the district administration.
Last month, the school converted its newly constructed building spread across 4 acres of land at the outskirts of the city into a 244-bed temporary COVID-19 care centre, providing basic amenities for the initial treatment of mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 patients.
“The school has a dedicated ambulance to ferry patients. More than 27 oxygen cylinders are available at the centre. Among the medical and paramedical staff, one doctor and four nurses are working on school’s behalf. Another doctor and three nurses are provided by the district administration for the treatment of the patients. Food facility is offered by the district administration”, school CEO Tauseef Madikeri informed.
Speaking to India Tomorrow, administrator of the COVID care centre, Qawaja Patel told that on an average 8-10 patients are getting admitted in the centre and an equal number getting discharged. “On a peak day, 25 patients got admitted. However, praise be to God, there has been no fatalities so far in the centre,” he added.
“We are keeping here mild symptomatic or asymptomatic patients and if they develop serious complications, we shift them to the dedicated COVID-19 hospital of the town,” said Dr Shafi, in-charge doctor of the centre appointed by the district administration, while speaking to India Tomorrow.
Madikeri said, “The school was earlier providing quarantine facility with free food and transportation services and last month it was converted into a COVID-19 care centre.” He further added, “As the district’s COVID-19 death rate has been fluctuating anywhere around 3.6%, which is second only to Bengaluru, apart from a COVID care centre, the school is fully involved in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the town and has taken several pro-active measures.”
According to Mr Madikeri, the school has appointed 43 dedicated ward wise volunteers for preliminary screening of suspects. After screening, if someone is found to have Covid-19 symptoms, he is consulted with the doctor on mobile phone immediately and provided with necessary first line of treatment or shifted to COVID care centre.
Sanitization of Temples, Churches & Mosques
Among other initiatives which the school has taken, include sanitization of all religious places such as temples, churches and mosques. Provided ration kits to barbers, laundry men, taxi and auto drivers. The school also helped them register for availing government aid. The chairman of the school Mr Abdul Qadeer volunteered his own SUV to the district administration for use.
While inaugurating the facility on July 28, district commissioner Ramchandaran R, thanked the management of the school and urged people to make use of the facility.
Bidar District Commissioner Ramchandran R visiting the Covid care centre
During the first phase of lockdown, school chairman Abdul Qadeer collaborated with the district administration to spread awareness about COVID-19. He put up a public address system on a van to speak to people and went around the city spreading awareness.
Produced more than 1000 doctors
Shaheen is an Urdu medium school that has turned more than 1000 students, mostly girls, into doctors in the last 16 years. Its PU College has remarkable abilities in making 100s of students grab government medical seats every year.