From WHAT CAN A BODY DO: How We Meet the Built World by Sara Hendren published on August 18, 2020 by Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2020 Sara Hendren.
One of the largest public hospitals in Asia is in the city of Ahmedabad, in India’s western state of Gujarat. The sheer magnitude and reach of the care it offers has resulted in an informal economy that thrives around and between its long row of buildings. Families camp out along its sidewalks and entryways, waiting for relatives or friends. Vendors in brilliantly colored clothing sell snacks, and dung patties for fuel, to these captive crowds, talking and trading as their paths are crisscrossed in every direction by mopeds, bicycles, animals, and pedestrians. And down at the end of the row, in the basement of a building that