Dental surgeon arrives in Odisha as part of his mission on wheels

Kendrapara: At a time when many medical practitioners seek a hefty pay package or plum posting in urban centres, a 64-year-old retired dental surgeon from Gujarat has arrived here as part of his mission on wheels.

The surgeon is on a mission to provide free treatment to people deprived of healthcare facilities in the far-flung corners of the country.

Rajendrasinh Rathod, the dentist from Baroda and his mobile ambulance health clinic, recently reached Rajkanika in Odisha’s Kendrapara district after covering 25 states.

My motto is to provide dental healthcare to people in remote areas where government-run health service network still remains elusive. I treat the people free. Attending people suffering from dental ailments gives me immense pleasure , Rathod quipped.

The dental surgeon wanted to spend his retired life in a constructive way serving people with his expertise.

Fed up with earning money through private practice, he took up the task of providing free medicare. “It Is giving me immense satisfaction”, he said.

When he travels, his spouse Pushpakumari, an assistant, a cook and a driver accompany him.

Rathod s ambulance van wears the look of a mini-hospital. It is armed with equipment for conducting surgery. .

Besides providing free medicines, Rathod conducts dental surgery without charging fee. Over 16,000 people have so far been provided free treatment by the Baroda-based dental surgeon.

I stayed here for a couple of days. I tried my level best to treat maximum number of patients”, he said.

After retiring from job, he embarked on such a mission on February 17, 2013. Rathore said his plan is to conclude the mission on 1st January 2017.

“I am financially well-off. That s why, it did not matter much for me to extend free medical assistance. A charitable institution had come forward in donating the ambulance van. That goaded me to undertake the mission on wheels. I carried out my health camp at Balasore before landing at Kendrapara district,” he said.

“It s disconcerting to note that dental health care scenario in Odisha is dismal”, he said adding people badly lack an awareness to take care of their teeth.

It also disturbs me to find that majority of government-run hospitals in Odisha are bereft of dental health care units and dentists”.

Shibendu Narayan Bhanjdeo, scion of erstwhile Kanika feudal state, said Rathod won the hearts of people here.

He is a very good surgeon and successfully treated cases of chronic dental cavity disorder. We reciprocated it by extending hospitality to him.