Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity. –Hippocrates
Many professions in the world are held in high. But some of them are of the highest esteem. The profession of medical is one of them. A doctor is deemed to be the next to God on the earth. However, with the advent of commercialization, this sacred profession has been corrupted too. Many doctors charge hefty fees. Also, many are said to be in complicity with medicine companies. They get their commission in return for referring medicines manufactured by these drug companies.
However, there are still people who have maintained the principles of the profession. Many do not even charge for the treatment itself. Here is one such man – Dr. S. C. Shankare Gowda. Dr. Shankare is very popular around Mandya of Karnataka as ‘Rs 5 doctor’ for he treats only for Five Rupees. Dr. Gowda is a skin specialist and treats all types of skin diseases with an almost full success rate.
Hailing from Shivanahalli Taluk, a village in the South Indian state of Karnataka, Dr. Gowda used to practice in Mandya, which is some 12 kilometers away from his village. When he noticed that a large number of patients from his native area came there to consult with him, Dr. Gowda decided to return to the parish and start practicing there.
Dr. Gowda does not only charge few rupees for the treatment but also treat with much delicacy and expertise. His magical hands have cured many people who couldn’t get cured at big hospitals. Still, after being much a famous physician, Dr. Gowda doesn’t own a mobile phone. Neither he has a computer nor access to Internet, yet Dr. Gowda has the advanced knowledge of the diseases. His clinic doesn’t have a landline phone, assistants nor a compounder. The modest doctor manages everything by himself.
Dr. Gowda does not offer private appointments. If people want to see him, they need to come to Mandya and stand in the queue to get his treatment. He doesn’t show favoritism. Be a VVIP or a common man, every person has to stand in line. However, there is a separate queue for ladies and kids.
A humble man from the very outset, Dr. Gowda is least bothered about his clinic aesthetics or his appearance and looks. While in his village, he sees patients on the side of a bakery or by the road or in his farming field. Not only the local folks but many patients from different places come to his village for treatment.
Dr. Shankare Gowda is also an agriculturist and has keen insights into the lives of the poor laborers who live in the region. He is well acquainted with the fact that the rustics need affordable healthcare. So, apart from treating many of them without the already reduced fee, Dr. Gowda prescribes them affordable medicines.
Dr. Gowda is said to be inspired by Dr. K. Govinda, an ex-professor of Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, who used to attend to patients till late night.
Dr. Shankare Gowda is revered much by people of the district for his exceptional service to society. So people always see him as their leader. At present, Dr. Gowda serves as the Mandya Zilla Panchayat vice-president. He was elected without doing any campaign. Now, there is a public pressure on him to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Mandya. Some parties are even trying to persuade him to be their candidate.
Dr. Gowda has been honored by Kalpavruksha Trust with Karnataka Kalpavruksha award.
For his selfless work, media houses have paid him respect by dedicating several articles to his story and work.
Mahatma Gandhi once remarked: “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” People like Dr. Gowda are the reason that our belief in humanity is still intact. Many are there, like Dr. Gowda, serving people dedicatedly in silence. They are the real heroes our society badly needs.
It is known that the majority of the countryside does not get proper treatment due to financial problems. It is on the government to make sure that appropriate health care facilities reach all. However, due to massive corruption among officials and lack of dedicated management, it hardly seems possible. In such deplorable circumstances, individuals like Dr. Gowda are ‘Rays of Hope’. Dr. Gowda should be presented as a role model to youngsters willing to take up medical studies. It would inspire them that a man like Dr. Gowda is also associated with this field. We have to ensure that our youth know that it is not only about career and job. A doctor is much more than that. He has burdened with a great responsibility on his shoulders, and that cannot be measured in terms of money and fame. It is his conscious obligation to serve humanity and save lives.