Oct 11, 2008

My hospital is my life now: Asha Parekh

She is no longer seen that often on screen. But yesteryear's go-go girl Asha Parekh has big plans for the hospital named after her, the BCG Hospital aka the Asha Parekh Hospital. Besieged with problems and facing a lockout for the past eight months, the hospital in Santa Cruz is about to re-open and the actress wants to transform it into the best medicare facility for the working class. Recounting the deadlock experience, Asha Parekh told IANS: "It has been hell for us. Eight months ago some people barged into the hospital and forced the staff to leave the premises, arguing that we were going to convert the hospital into a shopping mall. I tried to argue with them, saying I wasn't a mad woman to do something so insane and insensitive to the needs of the people in and around Santa Cruz." Asha Parekh featured in some of the biggest hits of the 1960s and 70s such as "Love In Tokyo", "Kati Patang", "Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai", "Teesri Manzil" and "Do Badan". Throughout her career the actress has been involved in charitable work as well. "I don't even want to talk about my social work," she brushes off the compliment. "The hospital is more than a project or a mission for me. It's my life now. Earlier, I never took interest in its day-to-day working. But the long shutdown has made me realise how important the hospital is to the common people of Santa Cruz. "There are no other affordable health services for the middle class in and around Santa Cruz. Why are all the good hospitals in Mumbai only for the privileged patients? Is the common man's life less important? My hospital was and will be for the working class."

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