Doctors are often revered and treated like demi-gods. One doctor who certainly deserves all the adulation and appreciation is Dr Omkar Hota. I would even say that he is a superhero –while he doesn’t wear a cape, I wish he could fly – the work he does is beyond incredible.
He recently shot to prominence when he undertook a 10-km journey, on foot, to the Public Health Centre (PHC) in Papulur, carrying a tribal woman, Subhama Marse, who had just given birth and was bleeding profusely.
Isn’t this what superheroes do? Save lives?
Though the Papulur Health Center has been around for 15 years, no doctor has spent more than 24 hours as most refuse to work here. This area is known for two things – mosquitoes and naxals.
“When I came here, I found that very few patients would come to the hospital,” Dr Hota says. When they fall ill, the locals, who belong to the Konda, Reddy and Bonda tribes turned to traditional tribal medicine, often resulting in adverse results.
Soon after Dr Hota joined the medical centre, he started visiting villages, interacting with people, treating them and convincing them to come to the hospital if they fell ill, reported Rediff.
Subhama, is definitely not the first patient he shouldered to the hospital. He told Outlook magazine, “There have been cases of poisoning in the jungle where the patient has to be rushed immediately to the hospital. Or take the cases of the old and elderly for that matter, it is simply not possible for them to walk through the jungles.”
Though just a year-long, Dr Hota’s stint as a medical practitioner in the Maoist hinterland has been exemplary. The selfless doctor has never paid heed to his personal discomfort.
He says that he had promised his mother that he would become a doctor and treat the needy.
How many doctors today can actually say that they do that?
Dr Hota is no stranger to awards. At an event organised last year, the Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, facilitated him while speaking highly of his selfless service. The award was instituted in the name of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, another person who is a symbol of sacrifice and selfless service.
At a recent event organised by UNICEF, Actor Kareena Kapoor Khan spoke highly of Dr Hota’s work.
She believes that every mother needs a safe pair of hands while delivering her baby.
Here’s hoping that other doctors are inspired by this story and follow suit.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)