Meet 87-Year-Old Doctor Who Travels 15 Km Every Day To Treat Villagers In Maharashtra’s Chandrapur Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Meet 87-Year-Old Doctor Who Travels 15 Km Every Day To Treat Villagers In Maharashtra’s Chandrapur Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

While COVID-19 has affected the healthcare facilities immensely, an 87-year old doctor from Chandrapur, Maharashtra continued braving the pandemic to reach his patients on a bicycle and provide them treatment
Meet 87-Year-Old Doctor Who Travels 15 Km Every Day To Treat Villagers In Maharashtra's Chandrapur Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic‘I will continue serving the people till my limbs are working,’ said Dr Ramchandra Dandekar who travels on his bicycle daily to provide door-to-door medical treatment to the poor
Highlights
  • Dr. Dandekar does not charge any fee from the poor
  • He travels barefoot, inspires others to learn to live with minimum things
  • He has been visiting patients on his bicycle for last 60 years

New Delhi: At a time when COVID-19 pandemic has forced most senior citizens to stay inside their homes as they are more vulnerable to the infection, the 87-year-old Dr. Ramchandra Dandekar in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra has been going out of his way to provide healthcare to the poor families in the nearby villages. Braving this time of crisis, the doctor who practices Homeopathy and Ayurveda travels about 15 kilometres on his bicycle every day to visit his patients and help the villagers with free doorstep treatment.

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While talking to NDTV about his efforts, Dr. Dandekar said that that he has been visiting patients in the villages of Mul, Pombhurna and Ballarshah talukas of Chandrapur district for last 60 years. He said,

For the last 60 years, I have worked for helping the poor people in villages. When COVID-19 pandemic started, my relatives and friends told me to stop going to villages and stay at home but how could I? For a doctor, his patients’ health comes first. So, I continued visiting the villages. I will keep serving people till my limbs are working.

He further said that in his prime he used to cover 4-5 villages in a day and would even stay out for a day but due to growing age he now returns to his house at night.

Undeterred by the ongoing health crisis, Dr. Dandekar wakes up at 5 AM and starts his day with Yoga and by 7 AM he leaves his house for visiting villages. According to his daughter-in-law Kishori Dandekar who is also a Doctor and practises at her private clinic, Dr. Dandekar comes back from his visits by 5:30-6 PM, takes a bath and cleans his belongings before entering the house. She said,

Coronavirus is deadly for the elderlies but my father-in-law worries more about the people in the villages. Now when a lot of people who lost their livelihoods during the lockdown are back in their villages, the risk of transmission of the virus has increased. When he finds the condition of a patient deteriorating, he even takes them to government hospital and consults with his friends in allopathy medicine about what the next steps should be. He never asks for a fee. Those who are poor get the treatment for free and those who can afford are free to give any amount as fee as per their capabilities, just to cover the cost of medicines.

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Dr. Dandekar’s elder son who is a pharmacist said that the elderly doctor has a fixed timetable for his visits to villages on weekdays and carries his medical kit and medicines with him.

After completing his diploma from the Nagpur College of Homeopathy in 1957-58, Ramchandra Dandekar worked as a lecturer at the Chandrapur Homeopathy College for a year, before shifting to rural areas to serve in villages. For 56-year-old Ramesh Apte, a resident of a village in Mul, Dr. Dandekar is like a God. He said,

Dr. Ramchandra is really like an avatar of Lord Ram to us. He is the only doctor who has been visiting the village regularly even during the corona pandemic. He reaches us at any time on a single call and has never said ‘no’ to any patient. He has helped many people in our village.

Dr. Dandekar gave up wearing footwear about 50 years ago and travels barefoot. He inspires people to learn to live with the minimum essential items. He said,

With less things, you will have less things to be bothered about. This practice will aid in your mental and physical health.

On how to stay fit and healthy during the ongoing pandemic, Dr. Dandekar said that first and foremost, the younger generation should stop fearing the virus and must learn to fight it smartly by following the recommended safety measures at all cost. Secondly, he prescribed spending more time in doing physical activities instead of sitting at one place for long hours. He also emphasised on eating healthy and meditating for a stronger mind and body.

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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,66,15,634Cases
6,33,31,644Active
12,90,85,240Recovered
41,98,750Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,66,15,634 and 41,98,750 have died; 6,33,31,644 are active cases and 12,90,85,240 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 4:07 am.

India

3,15,72,344 44,230Cases
4,05,155 1,315Active
3,07,43,972 42,360Recovered
4,23,217 555Deaths
In India, there are 3,15,72,344 confirmed cases including 4,23,217 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,05,155 and 3,07,43,972 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

62,90,156 7,242

81,933 3,980

60,75,888 11,032

1,32,335 190

Kerala

33,49,365 22,064

1,55,327 5,287

31,77,453 16,649

16,585 128

Karnataka

29,01,247 2,052

23,277 685

28,41,479 1,332

36,491 35

Tamil Nadu

25,55,664 1,859

21,207 314

25,00,434 2,145

34,023 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,62,049 2,107

21,279 280

19,27,438 1,807

13,332 20

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,373 60

784 16

16,84,834 44

22,755

West Bengal

15,26,539 766

11,300 70

14,97,116 822

18,123 14

Delhi

14,36,144 51

554 19

14,10,541 70

25,049

Chhattisgarh

10,01,781 130

2,086 140

9,86,175 270

13,520

Odisha

9,74,132 1,615

15,276 489

9,53,088 2,039

5,768 65

Rajasthan

9,53,622 17

259 9

9,44,410 26

8,953

Gujarat

8,24,829 27

268 6

8,14,485 33

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,796 18

130 0

7,81,153 18

10,513

Haryana

7,69,858 30

712 10

7,59,516 17

9,630 3

Bihar

7,24,719 46

481 1

7,14,596 42

9,642 3

Telangana

6,43,716 623

9,188 126

6,30,732 746

3,796 3

Punjab

5,99,005 58

553 6

5,82,162 60

16,290 4

Assam

5,64,030 1,299

14,114 385

5,44,695 1,664

5,221 20

Jharkhand

3,47,105 56

259 22

3,41,720 34

5,126

Uttarakhand

3,41,982 48

669 3

3,33,952 51

7,361

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,207 181

1,144 5

3,15,686 175

4,377 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,05,728 229

1,098 145

2,01,110 84

3,520

Goa

1,70,900 90

1,077 5

1,66,679 93

3,144 2

Puducherry

1,20,725 98

972 49

1,17,961 49

1,792

Manipur

96,824 1,000

10,895 27

84,408 1,016

1,521 11

Tripura

78,059 271

3,640 221

73,665 488

754 4

Meghalaya

63,745 731

5,750 294

56,933 423

1,062 14

Chandigarh

61,948 5

37 1

61,102 4

809

Arunachal Pradesh

47,477 335

4,252 49

43,000 383

225 1

Mizoram

37,171 764

11,862 252

25,168 511

141 1

Nagaland

27,653 67

1,299 51

25,798 114

556 4

Sikkim

26,132 276

3,297 180

22,498 92

337 4

Ladakh

20,324 4

60 4

20,057 8

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,643 1

36 5

10,603 6

4

Lakshadweep

10,162 7

70 6

10,042 13

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,534 3

10 3

7,395

129

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