Shanti Bhavan Medical Center was founded by N.J. Varughese. N.J. and his wife, Ellen, spent many years of their lives in Simdega District, Jharkhand. They were dedicated to meeting the spiritual needs of people living in remote villages. In the late 1990’s, a malaria epidemic hit the area and over 5,000 people died needlessly. N.J. realized that the people not only needed help spiritually, but were desperate for healthcare.
In 1999, NJ and his team launched a mobile medical unit under the leadership of Dr. Hari Babu. Through the usage of the mobile medical unit, the team successfully treated more than 100,000 native villagers over a period of 10 years. However, the need for a modern healthcare facility became clear when our doctor had to leave many impoverished people behind to face certain death due to illnesses that could not be treated in the back of our medical bus.
In 2002, N.J. Varughese envisioned the hospital in a dream. He believed that he was supposed to build a modern medical facility in Simdega District. He was not a doctor, a construction worker, or a businessman. He wasn’t sure how this would happen, but knew that someone had to do it for the people. Over the next 12 years, every need was provided for. The land was purchased in 2005, and construction began on Shanti Bhavan Medical Center in early 2007. Building a hospital in a poor remote area is very difficult, with little to no infrastructure, running water or electricity. This hospital was built by many blistered, calloused hands, with much sweat, tears, and prayers.
The hospital was inaugurated on February 8, 2014. This day was a great day of celebration for the area, but for N.J. Varughese and his team, it was much more. The vision has grown and the campus of Shanti Bhavan will continue to grow as well. The campus consists of the 200 bed hospital, outpatient clinic, an apartment building for the doctors and the nurses’ living quarters, which are still under construction. The Nurses’ living quarters will also be a place of education and training for nursing students. N.J. and his team are currently building a cardiology department to perform the first open heart surgery in the region.