January 28th, 2015
Yes, you heard it right. Omkarnath Sharma, a retired blood bank technician, has undertaken a very noble cause, strewn with difficulties. Since 2008, he has been walking on the streets of Delhi to knock at the doors of upper and middle class families to collect expensive medicines which are leftover after their treatment and gives them to the poor. His ultimate aim is to establish a free medicine bank for the poor and needy.
In 2008, an under-construction metro in Laxmi Nagar collapsed and many injured people were given only first aids at expensive hospitals and came home to suffer. Our Medicine Baba was shocked. It was ironic indeed that many people were dying in the hospitals due to lack of medicines while large quantities of unused medicines were being discarded by households every day.
Omkar Nath sorts his mornings take of medicines that he’d collected in Delhi | Image: simondetreywhite.com
He saw an opportunity here to bridge the gap between demand and supply. He leaves his rented house at Mangalpuri slums daily at 6 am and takes a bus to various localities in Delhi. Where buses do not commute he simply walks. This despite being crippled from the age of 12! This does not deter him as he wears his saffron coloured kurta which says, “Mobile medicine bank for poor patients”.
The medicines collected by him are carefully catalogued in his binder at the end of the day – with their names, the manufacturer, the donor and the expiry dates of medicines. He discards the ones which have expired or are exposed to air since they are fatal to consume. Thereafter, he distributes them to various NGOs, clinics and hospitals, like AIIMS. These medicines have been used to cure the poor of ailments from fever to cancer. He is famous in some circles now and has regular contributors.
Omkar considers this his calling and does not make any profit in his endeavours, though he has a wife and a mentally-challenged 44-year-old son and finds it difficult to make both ends meet. They even ridiculed him when he started his mission, thinking that he was going to beg, but have now reconciled to it.
Mrs Roshni Devi gives some unwanted medicine to Omkar Nath in Delhi | Image: simondetreywhite.com
The inspiring man also meets skeptics on his way who have not heard of him and are not ready to reach out a helping hand. However, overcoming their cynicism, the modest man has been regular in this noble work which has earned him a celebrity status in local areas. He is even aired on television news channels in the evenings.
This is an effort by The Logical Indian team to make our readers, especially from Delhi, aware about this incredible mission. Please let your family members know about him so that he is not turned away from your doors if by chance he comes for medicines, particularly on weekends. In case someone would like to call him, his numbers are – 09250243298 and 09971926518. He will answer with a flourish: “Medicine Baba speaking”.
His Facebook link is: https://www.facebook.com/medicinebabaji