Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.
At a time when several medical students from private institutions aim to earn a six-figure income or pursue a post-graduate degree abroad after completion of their course, an Andhra Pradesh doctor has set an example.
Dr Noori Parveen, a 28-year-old doctor from the Kadapa district, is providing medical aid to people from economically weaker sections at just ₹10. Besides the minimal consultation charges for outpatients, the doctor levies only ₹50 per bed for patients requiring hospitalisation. Dr Parveen hails from Vijaywada. Coming from a middle-class family she cleared the competitive examination to earn the MBBS seat in Fathima Institute Of Medical Sciences. After passing out of medical college, she decided to work on improving medical care in her state.
"I opened my clinic deliberately in a poor locality of Kadapa for people who cannot afford expensive treatment," the doctor said. "I started my clinic even without informing my parents back home in Vijayawada. But when they came to know about my decision to charge nominal fees they were immensely happy and blessed me," she remembered.
Fondly called the 'Mother Theresa of Kadapa', Dr Parveen said that she started the '₹10 initiative' to help the needy and serve humanity. The doctor launched initiative on February 7, 2020. But she was forced to shut her clinic due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, within a week, she decided to reopen her clinic, round-the-clock, to ensure necessary facilities to the underprivileged amid the crisis.
She stated that there is a dire need to increase the number of Primary Healthcare Centres and upgrade the facilities to motivate the doctors, reported Edexlive.
Dr Parveen credited her parents for motivating her to come up with such a noble initiative. "My upbringing was like that. My parents imbibed me with the spirit of social service. They set an example for us by adopting three orphans and arranging their education."
Over 40 patients visit her clinic every day and are benefiting from subsidised charges. Normally when private doctors charge patients anything between ₹50 to ₹200 per visit, Dr Parveen has become a ray of hope for the poor and the disadvantaged.
"A life is not worth living if one does not care for the sufferings of the people," she said. "Most of the patients who visit us are suffering from malnourishment and weakness," she told Gulf News.
After working with a corporate hospital post her MBBS, the doctor said that she had seen the not-so-pleasant side of private healthcare and thus decided to start with her own practice. Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, she has been educating the people on the virus to drive away their fears before initiating treatment.
She plans to pursue a post-graduation in Psychology and set up a multi-speciality hospital to extend services to every patient in need.
In an attempt to not turn away patients, she oversees people with orthopaedic disorders, neurological concerns and cardiac issues. She takes help from expert doctors by consulting them over the phone.
"There was a neuro case I treated once, when he came to me, he needed the support of his children to walk. After exactly one month, he returned walking on his own two feet. He asked me if I remembered him and thanked me profusely. That case really made me very happy," the doctor recounted.
Her clinic recently completed one year of operation. It is a well-equipped clinic with a lab, three patient beds and a pharmacy.
When asked if it's possible to run the place on the meagre fees, she said, "The commission I get from the medicines help, plus my parents extend their support whenever I need it."
Reportedly Dr Parveen started two social organisations to promote education and affordable health care among the poor.
The organisation–Inspiring Healthy Young India– conducts numerous programmes to educate and inspire children and youth about education and health. Meanwhile, she also established Noor Charitable Trust in memory of her grandfather to take up social work. It was under this trust that she organised a community meal programme for the poor and during the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
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