On March 15, 2017, Dr Balwant Ghatpande of Pune had two great reasons to celebrate — he turned 102 and he became one of India’s oldest practicing doctors.
Dr Ghatpande has been a practising doctor of traditional allopathic methods since 1941, and now, even at the ripe age of 102, he has no desire to stop.
“I would never retire (…) Until my death I wish to continue to practice medicine. I pray that I should die while working in the dispensary,” he told Hindustan Times.
His dedication to patients keeps Dr. Ghatpande working up to 10 hours a day and his love of science and learning means that he continues to work out of passion, charging just Rs 30 per patient.
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Proudly carrying on his family lineage, he tells Hindustan Times, “Being a doctor is one the most noble professions, where you can do the highest service to people. It gives humanitarian satisfaction, as well financial security. I have received everything from this profession, from reputation to money and the goodwill of people.”
Dr Ghatpande himself has enjoyed a life of good health, an achievement he attributes to a daily cold bath. He wakes up early, exercises and when he is not treating patients he is reading the daily newspaper or is engrossed in a medical journal, keeping his knowledge up to date with the modern medical scene.
It is not often that the world is blessed with an individual so committed to helping others.