Subhashini Mistry

By Karan Mehta
The woman who built a hospital from nothing!
There are few who dare to dream and fewer who change that dream into a reality. One such person we came across is a 65-year old woman called Subhashini Mistry.
Born into a poor family of farmers in West Bengal, Subhashini was married at the age of 12. She and her husband lived in a little village called Hanspukur which is just about 20Km south of the city center of Kolkata.
By the age of 20 she had four children and at the age of 23 due to lack of medical treatment she lost her husband.
Her husband, a poor labourer, died of gastro enteritis in the 70s. After his passing, she was all alone with her four kids. Soon after his death, she decided that she would not let anyone else face the kind of difficulties she had to face due to the lack of healthcare.
Over the next twenty years she worked as housemaid, labourer and vegetable seller from which she saved Rs.20000. She also educated one of her children (Ajoy Mistry) to become a doctor with the help of philanthropists.
She got the residents of Hanspukur to pool in and established a trust called "humanity". She then bought about half an acre of land and established a hospital in a small hut.
Today the hospital stands a 5000sft building with a new floor being built. No treatment costs more than Rs.5 and no surgery costs more than Rs.5000. Ajoy’s wife even doubles up as the manager and a nurse.
"I do not know much, all I know is that people should not suffer the way I did, I was able to do what I did by my inner strength given by god." says Subhashini.
She does not sell vegetables in Sealdah market anymore, but her daughter does.
Ajoy her son doesn't take a salary for his work, but sustains with a monthly allowance from a philanthropist and some money he gets paid, if and when he makes house calls.
Subhashini was also the first one to receive an intra ocular lens implant at the Humanity Hospital.