Amid the contagious spread of the deadly COVID-19, an 87-year-old doctor from Maharashtra's Mul in Chandrapur district has been attending his patients in remote villages.
According to an Indian Express report, the Homeopathy and Ayurveda practitioner did not lose his will even during the ongoing health crisis and continued to perform his job and serve patients selflessly.
Ramchandra Dandekar, with his bicycle for company, has been travelling barefoot daily for at least 10 km to various villages in Ballarshah, Mul and Pombhurna talukas, providing doorstep treatment to people free of cost, for the past 60 years.
"My routine is the same as before. I want to continue to provide selfless service to the poor in villages," Dandekar said.
Dandekar was a lecturer at the Chandrapur Homeopathy College for one year after he completed his diploma from Nagpur College of Homeopathy in 1957-58. Soon after this, he was transferred to the village area and started serving the patients who cannot afford treatment.
According to his elder son Jayant Dandekar, the elderly man visits the villages from Monday to Friday on the basis of a fixed timetable he has prepared for himself. He carries only some medicines and a medical kit along with him.
During his visits, he does not even carry a watch or a mobile phone with him.
His son also said that if the octogenarian has received a notice to attend patients located in remote talukas, he travels by bus and visits their homes on cycles which are kept in villages. Adding to that, he said that his father would stay in someone's house if he gets late with his service.
"Everyone calls him 'Doctor Sahab Mul waale,' and he visits around 20 homes in each village," Jayant said.
However, his visits are not the same as before due to the pandemic but he continues to serve the patients despite the COVID-19 scare and the risk of infection.
His son who is proud about his father's altruistic efforts says, "He guides and advises people to get admitted to nearby hospitals if they are found suffering from fever or other symptoms of the virus."