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Future Perfect

Future Perfect

Author: Neeraj Mishra
Publication: India Today
Date: August 7, 2006

Introduction: A camp hospital-turned-education village in Madhya Pradesh becomes one-stop learning destination
In a place like Bhopal, where infrastructure is in a shambles and where there is no planning in the name of development, a state-of-the-art 150-acre campus with a 750-bed hospital, two dental colleges, one medical college, one management institute, one paramedical college and one school, is sure a novelty. The brainchild of an NGO People's Group, this campus is a one-stop shop for all the educational requirements of a child-from kindergarten to class 12 and beyond.

"The idea is that as soon as a child joins the People's Public School, his parents should stop worrying. Over the next 20 years he is our responsibility as we provide him a school, college and then perhaps a job at our hospital," says 62-year-old Suresh Vijayvargiya, a Bhopal-based entrepreneur who set up this organisation in 1992 under his trust Sarvajanik Jankalyan Parmarthik Nyas.

People's Group has come a long way since its inception as a store-turned-camp hospital in 1991 to provide healthcare facilities to the victims of the post-Babri Masjid demolition riots in Bhopal. Most of the transformation took place in the past two years when Vijayvargiya went to the US where he had worked earlier and had many contacts from whom to raise finances for his dream project.

Today, apart from schools, colleges and hospitals, those in the People's Group campus enjoy the facilities of a stadium, auditoriums, a residential colony, a shopping complex, guest houses and hostels. The quiet environment of the campus, about 10 km north west from the city, also inspires students to study. Says Devika, 20, in her second year at the People's Group Medical College, "The distance from the city and a self-sufficient campus means we have no distractions."

And it is not just the buildings and the physical infrastructure which the NGO worked on. It took care to remember that best dreams would crumble if quality human input was ignored. So it went about recruiting doctors and specialists from all over the country. "We have thought of every last detail. From hiring specialists, teachers and civil contractors to a work force of 5,300 people to making every household item available in a thinly populated suburb," says A.K. Khurana, executive director of the group.
If the ever-increasing crowd at the hospital is anything to go by, then the venture is already a success. Most patients come from neighbouring areas and swarm the hospital for its assured service and latest equipment. As for those in the campus, there is hardly any reason to complain.

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