Dr Kishore Chandra Das was posted in Odisha's Tentulikhunti village of the Nabarangpur district eight years ago. He found the village health care centre in a dilapidated state. The villagers were sceptical about Kishore's contribution to the community, as they had seen many doctors come and go. But in less than a decade, they saw the same health centre turn into a modern medical facility, thanks to Dr Kishore.
Speaking about the love he receives from the village, he says,
People would come here from far-off places, spending as much as Rs 300 to Rs 400 on travel. I felt bad turning them away just because I had arrived late
In order to pursue a post-graduate degree in Orthopaedics at a private medical college-cum-hospital in Bhubaneshwar, Kishore had to end his association with the village.
In a post by Hindustan Times, Tulu Satpathy, a local-resident said,
The entire town seemed to be crying. They hugged him, and asked him to return after he had completed his studies. So many people came to see him off, that the main road of the town was completely jammed for over an hour.
An alumnus of Rajiv Gandhi University of Medical Sciences in Bengaluru, when Kishore reached the village the first time, 80 percent of positions in the medical field were lying vacant.
Dr Kishore transformed the village health centre by setting up an air-conditioned delivery room, an operation theatre and an oxygen concentrator, among other facilities. He also worked for extended hours to revive the health centre.
In 2014, when a nearby village witnessed a diarrhoea outbreak, he put together a dedicated team to treat the infected ones. Most of the villagers were affected by the drinking water that got mixed with the nearby sewage. Dr Kishore also got the entire village vaccinated for a measles outbreak. Over the course of time, he won the hearts of the villagers who were deprived of basic healthcare.
On the day of his farewell, he also planted 500 saplings in the hospital campus and left everyone teary eyed.