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Another fire tragedy – IMS & SUM hospital – Bhubaneswar

I was shocked to see the images on TV on 17th October night about the fire in IMS & SUM hospital in Bhubaneswar. It was reported on 18th Oct that 20 people had lost their lives.

One goes to a hospital with a lot on the mind already – about the illness and the treatment; the financial obligations; the post discharge planning etc. The last thing a patient or her family member have on their minds is fire safety. One expects a Public Space, especially a Hospital, to be fire safe. Even if a fire accident happens, one expects processes to be in place to evacuate the patients and their family members to safety. So it is really shocking that 20 people lost their lives. This after the fire accident in AMRI hospital in Kolkatta where over 90 people were killed a few years ago.

The questions that need to be discussed are as follows:

  • Why is it that we don’t learn from history? After the AMRI fire accident, has anything changed in the way hospitals are audited by external agencies on fire safety? NABH is one of the certifying agencies – have they incorporated any changes?
  • Have hospital managements reviewed and modified their fire safety processes – both on prevention and evacuation? Is fire safety even discussed at the highest levels of the management?

In my view all hospitals in the next 30 days should do the following:

  • Review the current process on fire safety and incorporate changes if any
  • Create an annual training calendar for all employees of the hospital to be trained on fire safety. In fact, an employee should go through a training session once in 6 months
  • Come up with a calendar for conducting mock drills periodically – take the exercise seriously and not as a mere check mark
  • Create a mechanism for all the patients and the family members to be given directions on fire evacuation – ex : play videos on TV screens

In addition, the Fire Department or agencies appointed by them should do periodic audits of the hospitals – say every 6 months.  Also NABH and agencies should re-look at their fire safety processes and modify them based on the learnings from AMRI and SUM hospital.

If we continue to ignore the past, we will have similar tragedies occurring frequently. It is time that all the stakeholders in Healthcare wake up!!

– by Gopal Devanahalli


Gopal is currently Senior Vice President, Manipal Global Education. He has over 22 years of Corporate experience and has worked with Infosys and Kotak in the past. He has been interested in public policy and has recently done a public policy course in The Takshashila Institution. He is a member of the Executive Council of Beyond Carlton. He lives in Bengaluru.


The Brand new

From Uday Vijayan

5 years into our existence as Beyond Carlton, it is always tempting to look back at what we can do better.
One such thing was our website. Our current site was something we created with a simple objective of telling the world we were around and what we did. It was more a digital brochure rather than a live interactive platform.
Beyond Carlton itself has evolved in 5 years and there were many things we had done and somehow we had not told our story at one place.

We believe the website could aggregate our story, our latest efforts,our hopes and aspirations. It should be the single point that people who work with us and also those who want to work with us can get to know more and join us.

In a way a great platform to talk, listen and share. As we embark on taking the Beyond Carlton movement beyond the shores of Karnataka to the rest of the country we  do hope to have the website centric to this effort.

Here’s a picture of the team at work, re-building 20141224_121258_Richtone(HDR) (800x438)

From Lakshmi Rebecca

When I first heard of Beyond Carlton needing a new website, I started thinking about what would make this website WOW on the fairly shoestring budget allocated for theoverhaul. Of course, we almost always do our research. So, my team and I looked at some of the most powerful non-profit and campaign websites out there. We looked at,,,, and dozens of others. And slowly, some distinct features started appearing: parallax design, responsive UI, intelligent layout of information, social sharing-ability, interactivity, use of large images, etc. Somewhere along the line, I also started thinking about the journey of Beyond Carlton and what this new website could mean to this passionate non-profit team and to India. And then slowly, I had an ‘Ahaa!’ moment.

This new website is not about what Beyond Carlton was or is, but what Beyond Carlton means. This website wouldn’t just share about what’s been done at Beyond Carlton, but about what more each of us can and will do. Fire safety is not just the passion of the team at Beyond Carlton, but of thousands of people across India. So this website has to bring this community together and make it stronger… allow anyone to share news, share stories of change, start petitions and gather support, and enjoy a vibrant interaction space as well as blog. This should be one big campaign community and information platform. Someday soon, you will be able to start a campaign in Madurai or Nagpur, and have all of India support you with encouragement, votes and information on

This new website is the beginning of a journey into the future. A bigger, brighter, stronger and safer future for India. And my team and I at Red Bangle are proud to have been part of this in a little way. Happy change-making to you and us at Beyond Carlton!

Beyond Carlton