As desperate times need desperate measures, Indian cricket fans have started to look for innovative ways to watch the India-Pakistan World Cup showdown at Ahmedabad on October 15.
With India's passion for cricket and the knack for jugaad, it is understandable that fans are now making their way to hospital rooms in the city instead of hotels as the hotel prices have already shot through the roof for the match weekend (October 14-15).
- Hotel rates in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, shot up to Rs 70,000 (in some cases) after the World Cup schedule was announced on June 27. The India-Pakistan match is on October 15; and rates on that weekend is understandably the highest.
So, instead of surrendering to exorbitant hotel tariff, these smart visitors are finding an amusing solution - staying in hospitals!
Stealing the deal
Reportedly, city hospitals are experiencing an influx of inquiries from cricket enthusiasts seeking one or two-night stays at their medical facilities.
- The cost of these unconventional stays varies from Rs 3,000 to Rs 25,000, providing an all-inclusive package with food and even a comprehensive medical examination!
- That is a far better deal than staying in hotels that either run out of rooms or are insanely inflated.
- Also, unlike hotels, where the time of the month or occasion determines the room rate (higher on weekends and festivals, for example), hospital rates are fixed.
- With hospital rooms offering facilities akin to hotels, fans are joyfully settling in. The twin-sharing hospital rooms that allow a patient and an attendant to stay together, make it a pocket-friendly alternative to the eye-watering hotel prices.
- Hospital authorities, too are thrilled with the enthusiasm among the fans. Dr Paras Shah, Director of Sannidhya Multi-Speciality Hospital, told Ahmedabad Mirror, "Since it's a hospital, they are asking for a full-body check-up and an overnight stay, so both of their purposes are fulfilled – saving money on lodging and getting their health check-up done."
Isn't that better than just a buffet breakfast which one would miss anyway?
- The trend is catching on, and more hospitals are embracing it and are curating special packages. Dr Nikhil Lala, Group Medical Director of Sterling Hospitals, said, "This is mostly due to the upcoming World Cup India-Pakistan match that is scheduled on October 15. So, we are thinking of coming out with other health packages."
- CEO of Apollo Hospitals (Gujarat), Neeraj Lal, chimed in, "We usually get more patients in the months of September, October, and November. But as of now, we have maximum bookings in the second week of October for a complete body checkup, which includes their stay too."
The clever idea of combining excitement with health check-ups seems like a win-win situation for all. Right?