CHENNAI: After waging a brave battle against Covid-19, the city’s ‘Rs 10 doctor’ died of respiratory failure on early Wednesday morning. Well known for his philanthropic services, Dr C Mohan Reddy (84) charged only Rs 10 for consultation from poor patients, and even treated many outpatients in his mid-tier hospital during the lockdown.
Dr Reddy tested positive for Covid-19 on June 25 and was admitted to a private hospital. “He had recovered after some days. On Wednesday, however, he collapsed suddenly and died of respiratory failure,’’ Dr CMK Reddy, brother of the deceased, told Express.
When the news spread during the day, a pall of gloom fell over Villivakkam neighbourhood, especially the slum areas. A nurse at Dr Reddy’s hospital said the 84-year-old doctor used to treat patients even for free if he felt they couldn’t afford the cost.
Born in 1936 in Nellore, Dr Reddy had his early education in Gudur, and later graduated from Kilpauk Medical College. After serving briefly in the railways as a general practitioner, he started the Mohan Nursing Home in Villivakkam.
The 30-bed centre catered to the poor people in and around the locality. A bachelor all his life, he lived in the hospital so that nobody misses treatment even at odd hours. “We told him to come home and stay with us during the lockdown, but he asked, who will be there for patients if I leave?’’ recalls Dr CMK Reddy.
“Our mother also lived for the poor.
I would often ask her in her declining years why she was struggling so much to help others. She would then ask me what was the point of her living another two years if she couldn’t help others. My brother followed in her footsteps,” he added. Dr Reddy, on the occasion of his birthday on June 23, distributed food for to many destitutes, who were affected by the lockdown.
He never said no to anyone who approached him, CMK Reddy said. “He used to donate money to temples, mosques, churches and orphanages in the area,” he further said. Recalling Dr Reddy’s decades of service, Kalyanam Krishnamurthy, one of his close associates, said that Dr Reddy often made donations to various organisations and schools in Villivakkam. For his philanthropic services, Dr Reddy was felicitated by the then Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah.