Friday, June 6, 2008
The people's doctor
Dr Pappu Haldar, 24, does not want to speak much about his educational qualification. Dr Haldar, who hails from North 24 Pargana district in West Bengal, is a doctor in a slum of some 5,000 people in Jaipur, most of whom are illegal Bangladeshi immigrants
"There was no opportunity there and I wanted to get out of that place. I chose Jaipur for two reasons. One I have a cousin here and I thought it would be easier for me to come and live with him as I set up my practice," he says before adding: "And the important reason was that Jaipur being a hot place would have more diseases and cases than other parts of the country."
Dr Haldar came to Jaipur in 2003 and settled down at his cousin's home. "I practiced from a small place next to where we lived. That was when I heard about this slum and I was told there were no doctors here," he said
Dr Haldar charges Rs 20 per sitting as consultation fees. If there is someone in need of a dose of drips, it will cost them Rs 120. He even has stocked a few medicines that are exclusively for times of emergency for patients whose history he knows
All in a day's work for a man who came here only because he thought hot place = more diseases = better business