Establishment with more than 45 specialists, general practitioners, nurses and hospital staff render consultation, treatment to public every Thursday

GEORGE TOWN: The Temple of Fine Arts (TFA) has been tending to the less fortunate since 2000, offering a range of free general and specialist consultation and treatment at the Sivasanta medical camp.

Camp coordinator P. Murugiah, 67, said more than 45 specialists and general practitioners (GP), and over 20 nurses and hospital staff volunteer every Thursday at the camp, located at 11 River Road, that is adjacent to a Tamil school.

“On service nights, we usually have two specialists and one GP on duty, and at least five other volunteers to help with recording blood pressure and sugar level,” he said, adding that on average, the camp receives 30 patients from 7pm to 9pm.

“The volunteers include ear, nose and throat physicians, eye and respiratory care specialists, dermatologists, orthopaedic doctors, paediatricians, gynaecologists, cardiologists, nephrologists, neurologists, dentists, oncologists and urologists.

“The specialists would also make recommendations for patients to seek further treatment at the Penang General Hospital.

“I coordinate the roster with our volunteers and ensure everything runs smoothly. Most of our volunteers are also members of the Penang Hindu Association (PHA).

“Over the past five years, we have donated more than 20 medical beds to bedridden patients and 45 wheelchairs to disabled individuals and senior citizens.

“We also provide milk powder and diapers for infants and the elderly, and free prescription spectacles for the poor. So far, we have donated more than 500 pairs of spectacles to schoolgoing and college students, especially those who face financial difficulties.”

Murugiah, who is also president of PHA, said the camp operates from a building owned by the local council.

“Without the local council’s support, (the initiative) would not have been possible. We are grateful for the continuous assistance and cooperation provided by the council. We are also thankful to regular donors for supporting us financially.”

He said the selfless individuals who dedicate themselves to transforming the lives of the vulnerable, truly embody the essence of humanitarianism and community spirit.

The camp, established by a welfare subcommittee of TFA at the request of its founder and advisor Swami Shantanand Saraswathi, upholds the organisation’s motto “Love for God and Service for Fellow Beings”.

TFA, a non-profit organisation, also nurtures young artistes in performing traditional Indian dances and playing musical instruments such as the harmonium and sitar.

It also demonstrates its commitment to serving others through charitable initiatives such as the medical camp, that operates with a sense of servitude, offering free healthcare without expecting anything in return.