“When I was in school and only dreamed of becoming a doctor, one thing about my mother really impressed me. She always says that doctors should treat the poor and needy free of cost. A person is barely able to manage two meals a day in his home. So how difficult will it be for him to meet the cost of doctors’ fees and medicines,” says Anil Kumar, a 52-year-old doctor living in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Dr. Anil, who completed his medical studies in the year 1995, has served in the government health departments of Gujarat and Jharkhand for many years.
Now from last few years, he is working in a private hospital in Ranchi. In addition, he also runs his own clinic. However, people in the city know him as a ‘doctor who gives free treatment to the poor’. Interestingly, Dr. Anil never mentioned that he has been treating needy patients for years without any fees. But during the lockdown and corona epidemic, when he started WhatsApp groups named ‘Save Life Mission’ to help people, people came to know about his work.
Speaking to The Better India, Dr. Anil said, “I was inspired by my mother’s words and when I got admission in MBBS, I was determined that after becoming a doctor, I will treat the needy free of cost. I consider it my luck that the vow I had taken during my studies, I still stick to it. There is no specific purpose behind this work. I just feel that in this way I am fulfilling my duty towards the society.
Sees needy patients for three to four hours every day
Dr. Anil Kumar says, “I help people to the best of my ability. Whenever a patient comes to my clinic, only seeing them gives an idea of their financial condition. I have also worked in primary health centers in rural areas for many years. That’s why I have experience with how hard people run their homes. Sometimes even buying medicines for them becomes a big deal. That’s why I never charge any fees from such patients. If it is possible, I also buy them medicines and give them.
Patients of diseases like normal fever, blood pressure keep coming to him. Nandu, one of his patients, says that it takes several hours to get the number in government hospitals. In such a situation, Dr. Anil is a ray of hope. If there is ever an emergency situation, the first thing that comes to Dr. Anil’s clinic. Because this is the only place where no one will ask you for fees.
‘Save Life Mission’ started in Corona
Dr. Anil Kumar told that in the year 2020, from the month of February, the corona epidemic had started to be guessed. Looking at the situation in other countries, he started to understand that he might not be able to see patients regularly. That’s why he started a WhatsApp group, ‘Save Life Mission’, in February 2020 itself so that he could give online counseling to those who could not reach him. And so it happened. Because on seeing the corona patients started increasing in March 2020 and the lockdown started.
In the last one and a half year, he has started three groups on WhatsApp. More than 500 people are associated with these groups. He gave medical advice to people based on their symptoms. Many times he also arranged for beds in hospitals for patients when their condition was critical.
He told, “People from all walks of life are connected to me through WhatsApp. I have never forbade anyone to give me online counseling. Nor did he charge any fees for it. Because this is our job. If even in this difficult time, I will think about money first, then what is the use of being a doctor.
Rajesh of Kuchu village in Ranchi says that he has known Dr. Anil for the last 15 years. Because at that time Dr. Anil was giving health services in his village. “I have always seen that he helps people. Whenever anyone comes to him for treatment, then he definitely does whatever is possible from him. His nature is also very gentle and hence patients do not hesitate to approach him. Many people have also got help through his WhatsApp group. I contacted my parents when they had symptoms of corona. The parents were taken care of at home after consulting them and today both of them are perfectly fine,” he said.
Dr. Anil says that as long as it is possible from him. He will keep helping people. If anyone needs medical advice, then you can get advice from them by connecting through WhatsApp on 7909032457.
Editing – G N Jha
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