Odisha Town Bids Tearful Adieu To ‘People’s Doctor’

Kalahandi: Some fought back emotion; some others hugged with tears rolling down their eyes while others showered blessings on him and joined a procession on entire stretch of road outside Thuamul Rampur Community Health Centre (CHC) in Kalahandi district to bid farewell to their beloved doctor.

Dr Abinash Rath who joined Thuamul Rampur CHC almost five years ago was not only a ‘people’s doctor’ for locals of the area but someone who has earned the status of ‘living god’ because of his selfless service towards the people.

A resident of Bhubaneswar, Abinash was posted in the CHC in 2015 and was known for his prompt service and disciplined work. Reports said, Abinash has been transferred to Pipili CHC in Puri district.

While many would think twice even before joining work in an area like Thuamul Rampur which lacked all types of facilities for a professional like doctor, Abinash was rather very enthusiastic in mingling himself with the lifestyle of the locals right from the very beginning of his stint. He took little time in developing an attitude to put his dedication and foremost duty for the betterment of the locals with his medical knowledge.

But after five years, when Abinash finally packed his bags to leave the town on Wednesday, little did the people know how painful his departure from the area would be.

Speaking during the farewell procession for Rath, Kiran Kumar a local youth shed light on the various instances when the doctor put humanity above profession to help suffering people of the region.

“This is one of the saddening days of Thuamul Rampur as we are bidding farewell to Dr Rath. In case of any death, the doctors who were posted at the CHC before Rath sir used to take over two days for post-mortem. But after he joined, he used to go the spot and conduct post-mortem which saved the money of the tribal people,” he said.

“He was the doctor of the state cricket team earlier and after his joining he also encouraged the local youths to pursue sports as career. He was a disciplined doctor and always present in the hospital for discharging service,” Kiran added.

“Our souls are crying. We will never get a doctor like him. He used to visit houses personally to treat patients, he was like a son to us,” said a sobbing woman.

Amidst the tearful farewell, Abinash who also could not help himself break down before the overpowering love and affection of the people, said, “I am a resident of Bhubaneswar but I will never repent that I wasted my five years in Thuamul Rampur rather I enjoyed working and earned lot of memories. Though I am happy that my posting is near my home, I will never forget the people of Thuamul Rampur.”

“When I joined here initially, the tribal people were unaware about health services but they are gradually developing. The people of Thuamul Rampur have immense potential. I didn’t expect this kind of farewell from the locals. I am leaving the place with a heavy heart,” said a teary-eyed Abinash.

Speaking to OTV by phone, Abinash called upon the State government to help doctors improve healthcare service delivery.

“There is shortage of doctors in the State and we often work over time. People as well as the health department should co-operate with us which will help in the better service delivery. I will try to work in the same way in Pipili like I served in Thuamul Rampur,” he said.