Dr B Ramana Rao, a consulting physician and cardiologist is the man behind the health of prominent personalities in India like Amitabh Bachan, late Dr Rajkumar, Chief Ministers of the state and bureaucrats. But he does not enjoy his celebrity status. Even though he has a list of reputed patients to show, what makes him unique is his selfless effort of serving the poor for the past 43 years through his free clinic at T Begur village in Bangalore. At a time when medical costs are escalating, Dr.Rao with the help of his family manages to run the clinic since 1974.
When he had gone through the interior areas of the country, he found that there were so much poverty and suffering. He realised that the poor could not even afford the medical expenses. He found several instances when the family lost their breadwinner. This conditions shook his heart and propelled him to establish a free clinic in his home city. “I believe only a doctor can serve the humanity by curing them and reducing the suffering,” Dr Ramana Rao told The Logical Indian.
He opened his free clinic in 1974 and it functions on Sundays. Started with five patients, the hospital has now thousands of patients every Sunday. Patients flock to the clinic from 100 km around, and the queue begins from Saturday night. “Every Sunday, the number of patients varies from 700 to 1200, and we did not even miss a single Sunday”, said doctor Rao. His doctor sons- Dr Charit Bhograj and Dr Abhijeet Bhograj according to him, have a natural flair for rural welfare. His team consists of 35 people including his two sons, ten dentists, six nurses, and one skin specialist.
They spend an amount of Rs 2 lakhs per week to run the clinic. “We meet most of the expense from our own resources and receive 10% as donations from generous hands. Microlab and Himalaya help me with medicines. Now, we face acute shortage of money,” he added.
His philanthropy does not end with treating the poor. He has also built a shed for his patients and provides them free lunch. Apart from the free medical facility, Dr Ramana Rao has made 7000 toilets in the surrounding villages. He has adopted 50 schools in the city and gives books, uniforms and other study materials. His team have also dug four borewells for water supply, connecting 60 villages. He also offers clothes and rice during festivals for the needy.
Dr Ramana Rao was honoured with Padma Shri for medicine in 2010 and bagged Dr Abdul Kalam National Award for rural medical service in 2008. The Logical Indian appreciates his work and hopes that more people follow his footsteps.
Have you ever spotted a speeding car without a care for the traffic signal? Ever spotted a person rushing to the other side of the road when the traffic light is green? Ever seen bikers use pavements as roads to save a few minutes? Ever seen cars change lanes on highways or rush hour traffic on a whim? Well, so have thousands of other Indians.
Road safety in India is a serious concern. For a country that boasts the second largest road network in the world, it is inarguable that we need to pay more attention to our safety on roads – a place where we step out every day, spend a handsome amount of our time.
The government has come up with several regulations on road safety, but is this enough? Not if awareness around the topic is still lacking.
The intention behind the initiative is to bring together lawmakers, local authorities, traffic police and citizens under one umbrella.
The cities will be rated on parameters such as Pedestrian Rights, Road Lighting and Maintenance, Motor Laws and Traffic Control, Emergency Services, Road Cleanliness, Connectivity, Road Transport Infrastructure, Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management, Road Safety, Differently abled friendly, Road Quality and Road Safety For Children.
Here are the ten cities that were chosen for Road Safety Index 2018 and the reasons that make their roads safe or unsafe:
Mumbai has facilities for the differently-abled like reservations in public transports, special train compartments, concessions on fares, etc. The city that never sleeps scored the best when it comes to citizens’ participation in making the city accepting and warm toward the differently-abled. It won the category ‘Differently-Abled Friendly’.
However, there are areas of improvement – illegal hawkers, pavements and footpaths need to be fixed or reconstructed.
Anyone who hails from the capital of West Bengal knows about its recreational parks and brightly lit streets. Its traffic police deserve special mention for redirecting rush traffic every day as Kolkata roads are narrow and many are one-way streets.
During Durga Puja, the city tries to make Pandals differently-abled friendly by installing ramps.
It won the categories – ‘Road Lighting & Maintenance’ and ‘Road Safety For Children’.
But the City of Joy needs to work more on giving its residents #HappyRoads. Issues of waterlogging and numerous street hawkers, roadside vendors in busy areas need to be solved.
There’s no one who’s been to Delhi and not praised its excellent connectivity. Delhi prides itself for broad roads, top-notch metros, pavements and foot over bridges. The national capital surely serves as an example for cities across India when it comes to road connectivity hence, it won the categories ‘Connectivity’ and ‘Road Quality’ in the Road Safety Index.
While Delhi has made many of its public places differently-abled friendly, the areas that need improvement are long hours in traffic, fixing of roads that pose a hindrance to daily commute and rash driving by bikers.
The city boasts well-marked zebra crossings, adequate footpaths for pedestrians, underground SMART dustbins, reduced encroachments. Raipur fares well in almost all parameters of road safety. It won the category of ‘Road Safety’ and ‘Pedestrian Rights’.
However, the city could do better with stricter fines for traffic violators and awareness about road safety and garbage disposal.
Other cities can take inspiration from Chennai on how to ensure good road safety. The city has wide, well-connected roads that are lit properly. It also boasts rigorous night patrolling where traffic rules violators are fined. One of the best initiatives taken by Chennai is the separate parking space on city roads that prevent traffic from accumulating. It came out on top in the category ‘Motor Laws & Traffic Control’.
Areas where Chennai needs to improve are street lighting and cleanliness.
Indore is one of the few cities that has used plastic waste for construction of roads and covered garbage disposals, which explains why the city won the ‘Road Cleanliness’ category. Indore also has adequate zebra crossings, visual signals, street lights, footpaths.
But areas where the city needs improvement are – strict action against traffic violators, public spaces more differently-abled friendly.
There is a lot to learn from the road safety measures implemented by Ahmedabad – sound medical facilities, separate lanes for local buses, special cab service for differently-abled, wide roads. Ahmedabad won in the category ‘Emergency Services’, ‘Road Transport Infrastructure’ and ‘Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management’.
If the Heritage City improves road safety awareness among citizens, it’s bound to fare even better. Better street lighting and lesser encroachments will work in favour of Ahmedabad.
The other cities shortlisted were Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad but they didn’t win any category.
Maruti Suzuki’s initiative to rank cities will encourage citizens and administration to do better and emerge on top.
The Logical Indian community wholeheartedly appreciates the various initiatives undertaken by Maruti-Suzuki in this direction. Not only the government but we, as citizens of this country, should also pledge to make our roads safe. One of the first steps towards this is that we understand our duties.
We hope the authorities take a note while we pledge to do our own bit towards happier, safer Indian roads.
For more information about the Maruti Suzuki’s initiative and the Road Safety Indexclick here.