Bengaluru: Dr Raman Rao, a consulting physician and a cardiologist, is jut another doctor on week days. He examines patients and charges his fee.
But he is a different man on Sundays. Early in the morning on Sundays, he travels to T. Begur, a village about 60 km from Bengaluru, where he examines patients free of cost. He also provides them medicines for free, besides meals. And he has been doing this for the past 44 years. “I had cleared my MBBS examination on 14 August 1973 and the very next day, my father opened a clinic for me in this village and asked me to examine and treat patients without charging anything at least once a week,” he says. He followed his father’s advice and is still doing it.
Team of 35
After marriage, Rao’s doctor wife too started accompanying him and now his two doctor sons are also part of the project. “We have a team of 35 persons, including ten dentists, one dermatologist, six nurses and other volunteers,” he says.
“I examine all the patients myself first and then send them to other doctors,” Raman Rao. Padmashri was conferred on the good doctor in 2010.
20 lakh patients
When the clinic was launched, around 8-10 patients came every Sunday. Now, the number is around 1,200. So far, he has examined around 20 lakh patients.
“In our country, only the rich have access to good medical care. In my own little way, I am trying to alter this situation,” Dr Rao says.