“There wasn’t and there cannot be another god for us like the doctor. So many doctors are concerned with making money, but he was never bothered about that,” says Bhoopathy, sobbing at the funeral of Dr Balasubramaniam. Dr Balasubramaniam, also known as “Rs 20 doctor” was a man respected by many for his philanthropic work and his outlook towards serving patients. The respect people had for him was evident on Friday, after his death due to cardiac arrest when thousands joined to mourn his loss.
Dr Balasubramaniam ran a clinic in Sidhapudur near Gandhipuram in Coimbatore. Born in Bodinayakanur in Theni District, Tamil Nadu, he set up clinics for the poor wherever his employment with the ESIC took him- in Theni, Chennimalai in Erode, and Coimbatore. Initially, he charged Rs 2 for a consultation but owing to rising prices, he slowly increased his fee to Rs 20, which was the maximum he would charge. Even till two years ago, his fee was only Rs 10.
Last year, while talking to Covai Post, Dr Balasubramaniam said that God gave him sufficient money to take care of himself. He only helped the sick and the weak in their recovery, and let God do the rest of the work.
Bhoopathy who has been visiting him for ten years says, “The fees were charged from patients only if the doctor gave them injections. We would spend perhaps Rs 30 on medicines, give the doctor Rs 20. We never spent more than Rs 50. And we were always cured for our ailments. If we went back to him again, he wouldn’t take more money from us.” as reported by The News Minute.
The streets of Sidhapudur overflowed with people on Sunday morning as thousands came to pay their respects to the much-beloved “20-rupees doctor”. Dr Balasubramaniam was their saviour. Outside his clinic, people lined up to light candles and offer prayers, and to bid farewell to him when his body was brought to his clinic before being taken for cremation.
The Logical Indian mourns the death of a wonderful human being and a great doctor and offers condolences to the family, and all the people whose lives he touched.