The Bel Air Hospital, a unit of the Indian Red Cross, has been providing vital subsidised treatment to poor rural communities in Maharashtra state of India for over 100 years.  Under its charismatic leader, Father Tomy, a catholic priest, it succeeded in funding and building a 70 bed hospital in 2023 with a view to providing comprehensive medical facilities for those that could ill-afford proper treatment. 

Impressed by the work of Father Tomy and the hospital, Chellaram Foundation has donated Rs 650 lacs (over $750,000) for the purchase of a high spec MRI machine. The machine has been put to almost continuous use to provide the scans so necessary for the diagnosis of conditions such as aneurysms, tumours, strokes and brain images.

Father Tomy

Profile of Father Tomy

Bel Air Hospital

Father Tomy, a catholic priest from the Missionary Congregation of Blessed Sacrament, was called upon to revive the Bel Air Hospital in Maharashtra in 1993 when it was on the verge of closure for lack of funds.  At a salary of Rs 1 per month, he was successful in raising the resources needed to transform the hospital into a thriving centre for the treatment of patients in its rural community.  

Originally founded to provide recovery treatment for TB patients, under Father Tomy’s leadership, the Bel Air hospital took on HIV/AIDS patients when other hospitals refused to admit them and without support of government support.  Father Tomy now represents India on international AIDS forums.  He has won numerous awards for his humanitarian work and can be justly described as a philanthropic hero. 

The establishment in 2023 of a new hospital with the subsequent addition of The Chellaram MRI Centre is testament to his dedication and the support of The Chellaram Foundation of such an inspirational leader.