DHENKANAL: Selfless service for poor and uneducated villagers, which has become a rare phenomenon in present time, comes naturally to a teacher in a remote village of the district. Apart from rendering his professional duty with dedication and integrity, he helps the patients coming to the local health centre know the types of medicines and their doses prescribed by the doctors.
Hindol-based ME School headmaster Iswar Chandra Sahoo (44) is nothing short of a messiah for the people coming to the health centre at backward Sundarikhal village, five kms from district headquarters. The centre, which was opened one and a half year back, operates between 9 am and 2 pm every Sunday with doctors working at Government hospital rendering their services there.
Everyday, around 60 patients, particularly belonging to SC/ST communities coming from places as far as 10 km away, visit the centre to consult the doctors and avail free medicines. Besides keeping the doctors update about the stock of medicines in the centre, Sahoo guides the illiterate patients on how to go about taking the medicines prescribed by the doctors.
If a particular prescribed medicine is not available, Sahoo requests the doctors to prescribe medicine of similar composition to the patients. At times, he even arranges medicines from doctors and clinics at Dhenkanal district headquarters or Cuttack. Moved by his voluntary service, enthusiasm and undeterred spirit, some doctors provide medicines to Sahoo to be distributed among the patients.
He encourages the patients to take medicine after consultation with doctors irrespective of seriousness of the disease. “Never take medicine on advice of staff nurse, medicine stores or pharmacists. Always follow the instructions of the doctors,” he advises the patients. Sahoo, who has been trying to help rural people for past 15 years, also motivates the youths to donate blood.
He says after his father died due to lack of treatment as he did not have money, he decided to contribute as per his capacity to poor and illiterate patients.
Besides hospital services, Sahoo helps students of high schools and colleges in their studies. Many of his students, who learnt the intricacies of mathematical problems, are now working in banks, Government offices, defence, education and police departments, said one of his students Ranjita Jena, a teacher.
Sahoo has been awarded for both his teaching and voluntary health services at various platforms. He received Bolt and Rank award as ‘Best learner and teacher’ from the Governor recently.