In 1991, the Government of India established 1st of July as National Doctor’s Day. It is a day to commemorate and recognise the services that doctors extend to us.
Dr B C Roy, a very famous physician was born and subsequently 80 years later also died on this very day.
A recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award in 1961, the Government of India declared July 1 as Doctor’s Day as a mark of respect to Dr Roy and his contribution to the field.
He is one of the few people in history who was able to complete his F.R.C.S. and M.R.C.P. degrees simultaneously (within only two years and three months). He never shied away from helping those in need and whenever needed even performed the tasks of a nurse.
This article is about an organisation formally established in 1992, called Veerji Ka Dera, in Delhi. This organisation comprising volunteers come together to provide medical assistance to the needy.
The Better India spoke to Kamaljeet Singh, one of the founders of this organisation.
It was Tirlochan Singh, who started this in 1989. When it began, the idea was to provide medical assistance and distribute food to all those who needed it.
Eventually, it took on a larger shape and is now being run by his sons, Brigadier Premjit Singh Panesar, who retired recently, and Kamaljeet Singh.
On an average, they nurse between 350 to 400 persons in need of medical assistance each day.
Kamaljeet says, “We are a group of volunteers, and each one comes forward with the belief that we must perform ‘seva’. Every morning at 7 a.m., the dera volunteers arrive on the street right across Gurudwara Sis Ganj and other places in the national capital to take care of the medical needs of the homeless.”
Speaking about some of the doctors who come each day to treat the patients, Kamaljeet says, “We have had doctors associated with us for over two decades, and it was only upon their demise that the association ended. As of now, we have Dr Tahir and Dr D C Aggarwal who come and help us.”
The doctors tend to the patients sitting on the footpath. There are no fancy cubicles or clinics.
“The patients who come to us are mostly migrant workers and daily wage labourers from various parts. They cannot afford to go to big hospitals and clinics to get treated,” says Kamaljeet.
The organisation also runs a 65-bed hospital at Dashrathpuri where destitute patients are treated.
The volunteers also get patients admitted to AIIMS and DDU hospital as and when needed.
Besides this, the volunteers can also be found at Vridh Ashram at Dashrathpuri near Janakpuri, near Rajdoot Hotel in Nizamuddin, at the Sai Baba Temple at Lodhi Road, Keshavpuram Mandi near Tilak Nagar, and Yamuna Pushta near ISBT, Kashmere Gate.
The doctors and volunteers associated with this organisation are providing service above self.
For more details, contact Kamaljeet Singh on +91-9810458567.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)