CHENNAI: Dr C Mohan Reddy (84), who used to charge just Rs 10 from poor patients for consultation in Chennai, passed away early Wednesday morning.
Well known for his philanthropy, Dr Reddy, despite his age being against him, joined the battle against COVID-19 and treated many outpatients in his mid-tier hospital even during the pandemic.
Dr Reddy himself got infected with COVID-19 on June 25 and was admitted to a private hospital in the city. "He recovered from COVID and tested negative. But he collapsed suddenly and died of respiratory failure," Vascular Surgeon Dr CMK Reddy, brother of Dr Mohan Reddy, told The New Indian Express.
Dr Reddy's death has shaken many patients in the neighbourhood of Villivakkam, especially those in the slums there. One of the hospital's nurses said the doctor even treated many patients for free when he found they did not have any money. He charged a nominal Rs 100 a day for admissions.
Born in 1936 in Nellore, Dr Reddy did his early education in Gudur and later, he graduated from the Kilpauk Medical College and became a general practitioner. After serving briefly in the Railways, he started the Mohan Nursing Home in Villivakkam, which has about 30 beds, just to serve the poor in and around the locality.
A bachelor all his life, he lived in his hospital to ensure he was available for patients even during odd hours. "We told him to come home and stay with us during lockdown but he said, who will be there for patients if I leave the hospital?'' recalled Dr CMK Reddy.
His brother pointed out that Dr Mohan Reddy had a yen to serve like their mother had. "In her old age, I used to ask my mother why she continued to be active all the time and continued helping. She would reply, if you don't allow me to help at this age, what's the point of me living for two more years? My brother too had the same mentality," Dr CMK Reddy poignantly remembered.
Dr Mohan Reddy did not just stop at treating patients, he went further distributing food for many needy people in the locality.
"On his birthday on June 23, despite the pandemic, he distributed food packets to the slum dwellers in the locality," his brother points out.
For his philanthropic services, Dr Reddy was felicitated by the then Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah.
Kalyanam Krishnamurthy, a close associate of Dr Reddy for 15 years, spoke of how "he used to donate to many organisations in the city. He also has made donations for schools in Villivakkam."
Dr CMK Reddy recalled that his brother also donated to temples, mosques, churches and orphanages in the area.
"He never said 'no' to anyone who approached him. He was a great service-minded doctor," he added.
Dr Reddy's patients, associates, family members flooded social media platforms with their condolences.