For the last 60 years, Ramchandra Dandekar, a homoeopathic doctor from Maharashtra's Sushi (Chandrapur), has been visiting the tribal villages in the state on his bicycle.
The 87-year-old doctor has been treating poor patients who cannot afford treatment in the remotest parts of the state. Till date, he has treated thousands of tribal patients. He has not made it mandatory for them to pay fees.
Dandekar had acquired a diploma in homoeopathy and before treating patients in rural areas, he worked as a lecturer in the city.
A known person had asked him to work in rural areas instead of carrying on with the teaching job. Since then, he has been treating the tribal patients selflessly ever since.
The satisfaction he gets after treating patients keeps him motivated to continue his services. He says that he won't rest, and his only mission in life is to keep serving his patients.
Even though he is quite old, he feels that he is fit enough to travel on a bicycle. His day begins at 6.30 am. He travels with just two bags of medicines and some testing kits. He rides his bicycle without footwear or spectacles and returns home by 12.30- 1.00 pm.
Dandekar said that he again goes to see patients in the evening in case, it is required. This routine has been unchanged for the past 60 years.
Sometimes, he also travels by bus. The villages he travels to are located in remote areas with dense-forest. Due to this reason, bicycle or walking are the only options left to reach remotest parts. As many patients are not able to afford their treatment at the hospital, Dandekar treats them at their home.
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