I returned from UK after finishing my training in Orthopaedics and Spine Surgery in July 1999 and joined Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi as a consultant. As my native place is Orissa, I regularly visit Orissa and treating patients as well. My good friend Dr.Sreejoy Patnaik offered his hospital facilities for me to see and treat patients.
I used to go for a couple of days and do whatever little I could do and come back. There were many patients who had spine deformity and other spine conditions who could not afford treatment. I used to always feel guilty and sad. Many children were referred to me for opinion by senior orthopaedic surgeons and friends, they desperately needed treatment and I couldn’t help them.
It was my usual habit to have my morning cup of tea with my mother as both of us were early risers. I used to tell her about the events and happening of Orissa, welfare of relatives etc. on my return from Orissa. Though she settled in Delhi her heart was always in Orissa. When she heard of the poverty & lack of free medical facilities, she would always encourage me to do the best I could for the patients.
Years passed by and every year I used to think that things were getting better in Orissa. We had more Spine surgeons, more corporate hospitals, many private Medical Colleges but healthcare was still not accessible or affordable for the poor of my state. One thing which I observed very often was that spinal deformities seemed to be more in poor people may be because I came across more of them. On the contrary, those who could afford and were rich were getting treated in corporate hospitals.
With lots of ideas and dreams in my mind but with no manpower or infrastructure, I registered the KADAMBINI ORTHOPAEDIC & SPINE TRUST (Kadambini Charitable Trust) in 2011, in my Mother’s name. However, initially I really did’nt do much apart from making some patient information bookelets.
My mother’s death on 1st June 2012 really shook me. I live in the same house now with my father and my family and whenever I am home i can still feel her moving all around the house, working all the time, praying, cleaning, cooking, watering the plants, and advising me all the time to look after my health. All her life she was a giver and rarely a receiver. Till she breathed her last, she was more worried about her five children than herself.
I decided that in my next visit I would start with a health camp in my mother’s village. I contacted my uncles who were very supportive and organised all the logistics for the camp, which was held in Patia, my mother’s Village near Bhubaneshwar. No Camp is possible without teamwork. I was very lucky that my friends came from all over the country to help and pharma industry pitched in lots of free medicines which were distributed. The first camp on 2nd December 2011 was a great success.
I hope in years to come my friends, family and well wishers will help me in activities of the trust.
NOBEL 2005, Sushrutam 79, SPAI 76
Spine Surgeon in India