Wednesday, August 4

NRI donates Lake Gardens flat to health NGO after death in London

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Liver Foundation West Bengal (LFWB) that runs on donation got a surprise gift from all the way from London. An 85-year-old NRI from Kolkata, Shibani Basu, who died on October 7, had written in her will that her flat in Lake Gardens would go to LFWB.

The octogenarian had lived in London for almost 60 years, where she worked as a librarian. Her husband, the late Nirmal Basu, was an accountant. Basu would visit India every year on vacations. Last time she was here, she was already battling with cancer. She flew back to London for proper palliative care. “After her death, we found her will, where she had pledged her Lake Gardens flat to LFWB and requested that a ward at Indian Institute of Liver and Digestive Sciences (IILDS) be named after her husband, Nirmal Basu.” Said Kalyan Bose, vice-president at LFWB, an NGO. He is Basu’s nephew.

Since the Basus were childless, it was Kalyan who would look after Shibani whenever she would visit Kolkata. She learnt about the liver foundation’s work, including IILDS, the hospital in Sonarpur that opened its doors to patients in February 2016, through Kalyan.

“We are touched by the gesture of such individuals. We will utilise the space in the most judicious way,” said Partha Sarathi Mukherjee, director at LFWB.

Set up in 2006, the organisation has been into various projects, including work on hepatitis, organ donation, research and the latest being the hospital in Sonarpur. Its study on training of informal medical practitioners, involving Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, has won much praise.

Because of its work, the organisation has drawn attention from across the globe with funds flowing in from the likes of Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, USA, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and John Martin Foundation USA. The hospital at Sonarpur, built on land given by the Bengal government, had lesser-known individuals, including locals chipping in. “We wish to see a world, where giving is an infectious trait and spreads at a faster pace in society than the all-pervading and too visible trait, called ‘enjoy all in one go’. The flame needs to be ignited,” said Abhijit Chowdhury, secretary LFWB.


Source: Times of India

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