There are hundreds of homeo physicians in the state, but Dr GLN Sastry stands out. He is considered the father of homeopathy in Andhra Pradesh.
Homeopathy is known as poor man’s medicine and Sastry practised it as such.
When the dreaded Japanese Encephalitis (JE), known commonly as brain fever, spread across the state killing several children between 2000 and 2007, Sastry with his thorough knowledge of homeopathy, saved thousands of lives.
He is the main architect of the BCT programme for the prevention of JE in the state. BCT is a combination of three homeo medicines--Belladona, Calcarea and Tuberculinum. Sastry prepared a module dosage for Japanese Encephalitis and prevented the spread of the decease to a large extent.
Following Sastry’s combination, several organisations took the initiative and distributed the pills to children in schools. The government too took up the distribution of the pills in a big way.
Sastry was born on August 15, 1930, at Agiripalli in Krishna district. His family later shifted to Nandigama, where he completed elementary schooling.
Later, Sastry fought with his father and studied homeo medicine. He was a student of Dr Gururaju Homeopathic Medical College at Gudiwada in Krishna district from 1947 to ‘51. After the diploma in homeopathy, Sastry shifted to Miryalaguda in Nalgonda district and practised there for 10 years. He collected only a nominal fee from his patients.
Later, Sastry joined the government service and worked as professor at homeo colleges in Hyderabad and Gudiwada.
He was superintendent of Government Homeopathic Hospital, Malakpet, Hyderabad, and served as a member of the Central Council of Homeopathy during 1990-97.
He was the founder-member of the Indian Institute of Homeopathic Physicians (IIHP) and severed as its national president. He continued as honorary president of IIHP till his death.
“Sastry’s contribution to homeopathy is remarkable. He brought pressure on the state government to include homeopathy in its medical services in 1956,” IIHP national president KRK Prabhakarmurthy said. He also recalls the services of Sastry in Bholakpur area in Hyderabad when epidemics like cholera spread.
According Dr SK Vashisht, a homeo drugs manufacturer, Sastry started his private practice in Mirayalguda among the tribals and had a very successful practice.
He charged only 4 annas (25 paisa) per patient and was still able to earn Rs 1,000 per month, he said. Sastry is survived by four brothers.
He had no children and his wife died 20 years ago.