An Indian doctor has treated over 2 million people for free
The world's longest-serving free clinic and has been treating patients in Bangalore, India since 1974.
Dr. Ramana Rao is well-known in India. The consulting physician and cardiologist is the man responsible for the health of many known actors, politicians, and even state ministers.
What really sets him apart, however, is his selfless effort of bettering the lives of India's poor.
For the past 44 years, Dr. Rao and his family have been operating a free health clinic in T.Begur, a village of around 650,000 people in rural Bangalore, some 950 kilometers south-east of Mumbai.
What began with only a handful of patients, has now grown into a project of massive scale, with between 700-2000 patients coming to see Dr. Rao and his team of 35 every Sunday.
The medical staff includes his wife and two sons (who are also doctors), ten dentists, six nurses, and one skin specialist. Some of the staff volunteering at the clinic are even former patients of Dr. Rao.
Patients come to the clinic from far away, and on most weekends the queue begins to form on Saturday night. “Every Sunday, the number of patients varies from 700 to 1200, and we did not even miss a single Sunday”, Dr. Rao told The Logical Indian.
And Dr. Rao's philanthropic work doesn't end here. Over the years, he has also built a shed for his patients where they receive a free lunch while they wait.
Apart from the free Village Clinic, he also installed 7,000 toilets in the surrounding villages, adopted 50 schools in the city and gives books, uniforms and other study materials.
His team has also dug four borewells, which supply water to 60 villages in the area. He also offers clothes and rice for the poor during festivals.
"The reason I became a doctor was to serve my community," Dr. Rao says. "The Sunday Village Clinic is dedicated to help the section of society who have no means or access to quality health care."
The clinic is funded primarily by donations through India's largest crowdfunding website Milaap. The funds raised are used to buy medicines, nebulizers, and injections for the clinic.