On Saturday, Dr. Kaul opened the state-of-art Prasad Joo Khan Heart Centre for poor and needy patients in Pulwama’s Hawal village. Alka Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, inaugurated the facility.
The centre will cater to the needs of the people of south Kashmir. “This project means coming back home. I am trying to give back to the society I belong to by providing good heart care. I am investing in hope,” Dr. Kaul quoted by The Hindu.
Dr. Kaul, chairman and dean of academics and research at the Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Delhi, will attend to patients at the centre’s outpatient department in Pulwama once in a week, and also meet them Srinagar.
He hailed from Hawal Pulwama area before his father shifted to Delhi. The flat sections atop the highlands of Hawal were once home to 44 Kashmiri Pandit families. However, only one Pandit family, Omkar Nath, was left behind after the rest migrated in the 1990s in the face of raging militancy.
On Saturday, locals accompanied Mr. Nath to the inauguration of the project. Many Pandits from the Hawal transit camp also attended the event. “It was not possible to realise the dream project without the help of locals,” Dr. Kaul said.
In fact, several Muslim villagers in Hawal launched a signature campaign and wrote to Deputy Commissioner Baseer-ul-Haq Chaudhary “for allocation of government land to the Gauri Kaul Foundation, which has set up the centre, to building a heart centre”. The villagers fear that widening of a highway may result in the dismantling of the centre.
“We the residents of villages — Hawal including Migrant Colony, Gaberpora, Kuchowpora, other nearby and adjoining areas of the district demand that the son of soil Padma Shri Dr. Kaul cardiologist a larger heart institute will be an ideal service for the people,” the villagers’ letter read.