“Vaidhyo Narayana Hari,” said our ancestors, meaning— Doctor is our real visible God. But today every profession is practiced with lucrative mindset and medicine is no exception. In such a profit motive society, Kalam Fan Club has handpicked and introduced to readers, service motive Doctors like Dr. Seema Sadhika and Dr. Shankre Gowda from the state of Karnataka and Dr. Mahadev Lohana from Ahmedabad, Gujarat in recent posts. As a sequel, we are introducing one more service motive medical practitioner Dr. Asif Iqbal from Kashmir, a state which is known today for wrong reasons like terrorism, deaths, and violence. Dr. Asif Iqbal is an eye specialist—Ophthalmologist in medical terminology. While thousands of graduates and professionals are struggling day and night to realize the dream of fetching a secure job in Govt. sector, this Doctor who had earned doctor degree and position in a Govt. Hospital of Kashmir threw away stable govt. job to serve more and poorer patients in his immediate locality and state. Also, he has been able to derive maximum work satisfaction from his service, which is a mirage for many professionals in this cut throat competition age.
According to a report of the parliamentary committee made available in 2016, In India, we have one doctor for every 2000 people. But according to World Health Organization-WHO report the ratio should be 1:1000. When many doctors migrate to developed nations in pursuit of higher education and better prospects, this Doctor’s decision to quit a secure job to serve better in his land is a remarkable one.
The spark of becoming People’s doctor
Dr. Asif Iqbal is from the remotest village called Dodasanbal in Rajouri district of Kashmir. He completed his medical degree in ophthalmology with a lot of hardship and also secured a position as a doctor in Rajauri district Govt. hospital. Dr. Asif possessed a spark to help poor patients with a lot of care and was doing the best possible service as a Govt. doctor. But Govt. positions impose a lot of limitations, and Dr. Asif was looking forward to more flexibility which unfortunately was not available in Govt. set up.
As quoted by him “I can’t express the satisfaction when people bless me for my services. Their blessings are more than any fees for me. I will continue my service for poor until I am alive.” His words clearly depict that he has a soul with greatest service inclination. So he quit secure and highly paid Govt. job and started a clinic of his own named— Dr. Asif Eye Care Center Rajouri to serve poorer sections of the society. According to web sources, he has done more than 100 eye surgeries for cataract and has distributed free lenses, spectacles, and medicines for people who cannot afford. As the adage goes “Birds of same feather flock together”— Dr. Asif Iqbal is not alone in organizing medical camps. Dr. Atul Sharma, (Medical officer), Dr. Shailender Sharma, specialized in Orthopaedics and Dr. Sapna, Gynaecologist often join hands with Dr. Asif to conduct medical camps for needy people in remote corners of Kashmir.
Here is a Doctor who is in footsteps of World famous Eye surgeon from Bangalore Dr. M. C Modi, who had done a record number of eye operations for the needy. He procures the necessary funds required for his service by collecting nominal fees from people who are capable of affording. Though this Kashmiri doctor has a long way to go in his career, the spark he has within will definitely drive him to greater heights.
Recognitions & Awards
Dr. Asif is recognized with a National award for his service in the field of ophthalmology. The award is called as Hero’s award for excellence in the field of Ophthalmology by Unnat Bharat Foundation at Constitution Club New Delhi Rafi Marg. Even Police officers of Rajouri often extend their support and cooperation to Dr. Asif’s mission.
Kalam Fan Club is happy to bring out this post on Dr. Asif Iqbal when entire Kashmir is reeling under violence, and terrorist attacks, News of humanity and service definitely brings a ray of hope in all of us.