Mrunal Manmay Dash

At a time when the Odisha government is forced to make the doctors sign mandatory bonds to work in the government hospitals for at least two years following completion of their MBBS course, there is a doctor in Malkangiri’s Bonda ghati, considered the most interior and inaccessible part of Odisha, who has gone the extra mile to make the tribals’ life easier.

Dr. Champeshwar Panigrahi came to Bonda ghati two years ago after he was appointed the medical officer of Mudulipada health & wellness centre. At that time, the Bonda tribes never went to the health centre and trusted quacks and sorcerers instead. That's where Dr. Champeshwar's campaign began.

At first, he went from village to village and made people aware and made them go to the hospital. He transformed the hospital and changed its picture by planting flower and fruit plants on the premises. He made arrangements for patients at par with a private hospital.

He also explained the responsibility to the staff nurses and suggested ways to serve the patients in a better way. As per reports, Dr. Champeshwar remains on duty 24*7. It resulted in everyone coming straight to the health centre to see Dr. Champeshwar whenever there was a health problem.

“Our lives changed when sir (Dr Champeshwar) came to this hospital. Previously, we used to go to either Malkangiri medical or Khairiput medical for treatment. But sir is treating us well here at Mudulipada and we are happy for that,” said a Bonda woman.

Asked about the transformation in the healthcare at Bonda ghati, Dr Champeshwar said, “People and children were dying here due to minor diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea. I thought, if God has given me the medical skills, I should utilise them where it is most needed.”

“I developed outreach programmes to aware local tribes about the benefits of medical supervision during pregnancy and other health conditions. Footfalls have increased in this medical and people have started to trust medical science more than before,” the doctor said.

Anuja Mishra, his wife who is also an MBA, is assisting Champeshwar. She could have taken up a better-paying job in a private company if she wanted to. But inspired by her husband's path, she has become a permanent member of the suburbs. She goes from village to village, interacts with women and educates them to come to the health centre.

“There has been a major change after we came here. People have started to understand us more and more. They now understand that they can get treated better in the medical than any at any other quack,” said Anuja.

This selfless service by the doctor and his wife has become a real boon for the people of Bonda ghati.