Doctor Of The Masses: Re 1 Clinic For The Poor In Odisha’s Burla

Sambalpur: I am a doctor of the masses and not the classes. These are the words of Dr Shankar Ramchandani, an assistant professor in the department of medicine at VIMSAR, Burla in Odisha’s Sambalpur district.

His emotional attachment to the poor reflects in his services too. Dr Ramchandani has opened a ‘One Rupee’ clinic to provide treatment to the poor and underprivileged people.

The clinic is his long-standing desire to provide free treatment to poor and underprivileged beyond duty hour, said the 38-year-old doctor.

Why does he charge Re 1? Ramchandani said “I charge Re 1 from the poor and underprivileged people as I don’t want them to feel that they are availing the service free of cost. They should also think that they have paid some money for their treatment.”

He runs the clinic from a rented accommodation at Kachha Market in Burla town. It is open from 7 am to 8 am and 6 pm to 7 pm.

The ‘One-Rupee’ clinic has provided him with an opportunity to serve the poor, destitute, unprivileged, elderly persons, physically challenged people and the people who do not have access to proper medical care.

Hundreds of people regularly visit VIMSAR OPD and wait in long queue for their turn. Some elderly and people with disabilities also have to wait in the OPD. Instead, they can come to my clinic and get consultation at Re 1 only, he added.

Ramchandani’s wife, Sikha Ramchandani, a dental surgeon, is also helping him.

The clinic started operation on Friday and 33 patients came to the clinic on the first day, he said.

Ramchandani, who had also hit the headlines when he took a leprosy patient carrying hin his arms and dropped him in his house in 2019, said, “my late father, Brahmanand Ramchandani had told me to set up a nursing home.

But a nursing home requires huge investment and it is not possible to provide treatment to poor people at Re 1 and hence, I decided to open this ‘One-Rupee’ clinic.”

Ramchandani had also drawn the attention of all and received widespread appreciation when he attended a COVID-19 patient beyond his duty hour and also carried the patient to VIMSAR in his car amid the scourge of novel coronavirus in October last year, as per report by the PTI.

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