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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Odisha doctor opens ‘One Rupee’ clinic to treat the poor & underprivileged

The clinic has been opened in Burla town by Shankar Ramchandani, an assistant professor in the department of medicine at Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research.

In order to provide treatment to the poor and underprivileged people, a doctor in Odisha’s Sambalpur district has opened a ‘One Rupee’ clinic.

The clinic has been opened in Burla town by Shankar Ramchandani, an assistant professor in the department of medicine at Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), Burla, where patients in Odisha have to pay just one Rupee for treatment.

According to Ramchandani, the one Rupee fee clinic was set up as he had wished for years to provide free treatment to the poor and underprivileged beyond duty hour, The New Indian Express reported.

“I joined VIMSAR as a senior resident and senior residents are not allowed to do private practice. Hence, I could not start the ‘One-Rupee’ clinic. But I was promoted as assistant professor recently and as an assistant professor, I am allowed to do private practice after my duty hours and hence, I have started the clinic in a rented house now”, said the 38-year-old doctor.

“I charge one Rupee 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 added.

The clinic remains open from 7 AM to 8 AM in the morning and 6 PM to 7 PM in the evening. It has been set up at the Kachha Market area in Burla.

With the ‘One-Rupee’ clinic, Ramchandani now has the opportunity to serve the poor, destitute, unprivileged, elderly persons, physically challenged people and the people who do not have access to or cannot afford proper medical care.

“I am a doctor of the masses and not the classes,” he said.

With hundreds of people regularly coming to the OPD of VIMSAR, a long queue of patients can often be seen.

“I have seen elderly people and people with disabilities waiting for hours for consultation with doctors in OPD. They don’t need to wait for hours and suffer at the hospital. They can come to my clinic and get consultation at Rupee 1 only,” he said.

The clinic was inaugurated last week and 33 patients came to the clinic on the first day. Ramchandani’s wife, Sikha Ramchandani, who is a dental surgeon, is also helping him.

“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 Rupee 1 in a nursing home. Hence, I decided to open this ‘One-Rupee’ clinic,” said Ramchandani, who has made headlines earlier when he took a leprosy patient, carrying him in his arms and dropping him at his house in 2019. 

Ramchandani was also lauded when he attended a COVID-19 patient beyond his duty hour. He had also carried the patient to VIMSAR in his car amid the pandemic in October last year.

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