Samarpan Foundation opens environmentally constructed 7,000 sq ft, 30-bed charity hospital serving the 95,000 inhabitants of Bali Island, Sunderbans, West Bengal, India free of charge. Constructed from recycled plastic PET bottles (replacing bricks) and nylon-6 fishnet, (replacing steel in concrete slabs) the hospital is a world first in construction.
Built in an impoverished, remote and dangerous region, the hospital is 5 hours by boat and road to the nearest major hospital in Kolkata. Dangers in the region include Bengal tiger attacks, 12-foot salt water crocodiles, 8 kinds of venomous snakes, giant scorpions, sea snakes, dog sharks, swarming killer bees, frequent cyclones, monsoons and flooding. There is no electricity and temperatures reach 54C (130+ F) in the summer with 98% humidity.
Samarpan Foundation Chairman, Patrick San Francesco says “The unnecessary loss of life due to lack of medical facilities for the 95,000 people living on the islands prompted Samarpan Foundation to build a modern hospital complete with the latest diagnostic equipment, operation theatre, emergency room and ICU. This is in keeping with our vision 'shedding light to even the darkest corners'".
The PET bottle and nylon-6 fishnet construction has been tested for certification by the Structural Engineering Research Centre, a constituent of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in India. The structure withstood 18 simulated earthquakes ranging from 0.16g to 1.0g in force.
Patrick San Francesco says “The hospital building is constructed with 'bottle bricks' which are made of discarded PET bottles filled with mud. The roof is made of concrete but instead of reinforcing the concrete with steel, nylon-6 fishnet has been used. The motive behind this programme is waste management and affordable construction. This is a global first and a typical Samarpan Foundation strategy of 'thinking outside the box'".
The hospital constits of: