WEST BENGAL: He had a dream of cracking the civil service exam and he achieved his goal. Yet he has not forgotten his devotion to another noble service: Medicine, a profession that he took to more than a decade ago.
Meet Arun Biswas, the block development officer (BDO) of Bhatar in West Bengal's Burdwan district. "I started out as a doctor in Purulia after completing MBBS from North Bengal Medical College in 2009. My dream of becoming a civil service officer drove me to crack the West Bengal Civil Service examination but when I see a person suffering from ailments, I cannot stay away," said Biswas.
After joining as a BDO in 2017 in Purulia's Jhalda-II block, the state civil service officer decided not to waste his knowledge of medicine. He started visiting two nearby primary health centres on weekends, the two weekly off days, and treating people free. Biswas continued helping people in distress during his four-year posting.
"Most of the people living there were poor. The number of doctors at the health centres was not adequate. I decided to join them on my off days, instead of having leisure time at my office quarter," said Biswas. Biswas nursed the ambition of cracking the UPSC civil service exams. After completing MBBS course, he joined Manbazar-II block primary health centre in Purulia as a medical officer.
"I appeared for the UPSC thrice, but failed to crack it. I became frustrated and resigned from my job as a medical officer. With inspiration from my wife Mahua, I appeared in the WBCS in 2015 and got through," said Biswas.
During his four-year tenure in Purulia, Biswas helped many needy people in Jhalda-II block who still contact him over the phone even after being transferred to Bhatar in Burdwan. Before joining as Bhatar BDO, Biswas was posted for four months in Howrah district.
"I am now posted at Jhalda-II block for the past 18 months. I am yet to visit patients at the local health centres because of the state government's new venture titled Duare Sarkar (government at doorstep) launched last year to serve common people. I am still tied up with the venture other than my other routine work. Now I am planning to visit the health centres shortly to treat the needy people," said Biswas.
Though he is unable to visit the local healthcare units, Biswas helps everyone around him. His driver Kashinath Das received knee injuries in an accident. "I went to a local doctor, but his medicine didn’t work. When I joined duty, the BDO noticed I was walking uncomfortably. He examined my injury and prescribed me medicine for seven days. Now I am completely fine," says Das.
Similarly, Assistant BDO Arabindo Pal was treated by Biswas."I was suffering from ailments and planning to visit Chennai or Bengaluru. When I applied for one-month leave before Durga Puja, he asked me the reason. On hearing everything, he prescribed me medicine for one month. Now I am much better," said Pal.