When Dr Kishore Chandra Das got positioned at a decaying community health center in Tentulikhunti eight years back, the townsfolk appeared suspicious of him. They had witnessed a lot of experts change over the ages, and nobody trusted Das would be a special personality.
But after that, a lot can be transformed with time.
More than 500 people appeared on the lanes to bid Dr. Das a weepy farewell when he lastly packed his bags last Sunday.
“The entire town seemed to be crying,” stated Tulu Satpathy, a local occupant who participated in the farewell rally taken out from the health office to the outskirts of the city in Odisha’s Nabarangpur region.
“They hugged Dr Das and asked him to return after he had completed his higher studies. So many people came to see him off that the main road of the town was completely jammed for over an hour.”
Dr. Das had started his work in Tentulikhunti at a time when more than 80% of specialist positions in the medical arena were lying empty.
Sources stated that Dr. Das spruced up the health center by established an AC delivery room, an operation room and an oxygen concentrator, along with other services. This, along with the practitioner’s extended working hours, made him earn goodwill.
Dr. Das stated, “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.”
In the year 2014, the close by Jharigumma community went through a diarrhea epidemic.
Dr Das composed a medical squad to take care of those people and goaded administrative representatives to prevent sewage from diffusing the neighboring well.
“Dr Das was always at the beck and call of over 70,000 people on our block,” said Tentulikhunti block development officer Anakar Thakur.
As per Nabarangpur chief district medical officer Saroj Nayak, “Dr. Das did a splendid job here. Even the day before he was supposed to leave, he planted over 500 saplings on the hospital campus. He is a very popular figure in our region.”
Dr Pramod Kumar Meherda, Odisha health secretary, also praised the great practitioner.
“We are very proud of him. Doctors like him are our role models,” he said.
Dr Das called the farewell as a very “touching” thing.
“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,” he stated.