No one could have imagined that the same town which was once wary of Dr Kishore Chandra’s posting to its community health centre would be moved to tears at his farewell.
A social media post showing 500 people marching in procession, playing drums and hugging the 32-year-old doctor, while bidding him goodbye is going viral!
From the youngest to the oldest, every local in the quaint town of Tentulikhunti in Odisha feels indebted to the 32-year-old doctor. And it wasn’t a surprise to see them (including the doctor) all teary-eyed, as he packed his bags to leave the town to pursue a postgraduate degree in orthopaedics at a private medical college/hospital in Bhubaneswar.
One would wonder what did the man do to deserve such respect? Well, the list is long.
Kishore was posted to the dilapidated community health centre in Tentulikhunti eight years ago. During this time, he transformed the rundown structure into a modern medical facility, equipped with an operation theatre of its own.
According to a Hindustan Times report, Kishore, a graduate from the Rajiv Gandhi University of Medical Sciences in Bengaluru started working in Tentulikhunti when over 80% of specialist positions in the medical field were lying vacant.
He often worked long hours to treat people who would travel long distances to meet him. Dr Das told HT, “People would come here from far-off places, spending as much as Rs 300-400 on travel. I felt bad turning them away just because he had arrived late.”
It wasn’t just his goodwill that made him such an appealing personality among people. He single-handedly transformed the health centre by setting up an air-conditioned delivery room, an operation theatre, and an oxygen concentrator, in addition to other facilities.
And it wasn’t just Tentulikhunti he catered. A year into his practice, when the village of Jharigumma in the vicinity fell prey to a diarrhoea outbreak, he formed a medical team to ensure quick relief and even pressured government officials to stop the discharge of sewage into the local well, which was one of the causes for the epidemic.
It was only a matter of months until he got every villager in this inaccessible place vaccinated against measles.
Lauding the doctor’s journey, Tentulikhunti Block Development Officer, Anakar Thakur, said, “Dr Das was always at the beck and call of over 70,000 people on our block.”
And before he left the town, Dr Das planted over 500 saplings on the hospital campus.
Dr Pramod Kumar Meherda, Health Secretary, Odisha, told Hindustan Times, “We are very proud of him. Doctors like him are our role models.”
Moved by the affection of the locals, Dr Das said,
“I will surely return to Tentulikhunti if I get the chance. Since childhood, I was told that doctors are like God to their patients. The people here treated me like one.”
The entire village walked alongside the doctor to see him off. Such was the crowd that the main road of the town was jammed for over an hour!
If that isn’t true love, we don’t know what is. Dr Kishore Das and the unusual rapport that he shares with these humble locals is an inspiration for several doctors who are sceptical of being posted to remote villages for fear of being disconnected from the rest of the world.
It is only in quaint villages and towns like these that love is immeasurable and medical practitioners are given the respect they truly deserve.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)