For the people of Tentulikhunti village in Nabarangpur district, 32-year-old Dr. Kishore Chandra Das was the only thing standing between life and death.
But on Monday, when Dr. Das left Tentulikhunti for higher studies, people burst into tears. They were unable to bear separation from him as he was no less than a God for them.
When Dr Kishore Chandra Das was posted at a dilapidated community health centre eight years ago, the townsfolk seemed wary of him.
But then, a lot has changed with time.
Lot of people, both young and old, came out on the streets to bid Dr Das a tearful farewell when he finally packed his bags last Sunday. He had decided to leave the town to pursue a post-graduate degree in orthopaedics.
“The entire town seemed to be crying,” said Tulu Satpathy, a local resident. “They hugged Dr Das, and asked him to return after he had completed his higher studies. So many people came to see him off that the main road of the town was completely jammed for over an hour.”
So, what warranted such an outpouring of affection for Dr Das? Ask the local residents, and they will relate a story of how the 32-year-old medical professional almost single-handedly turned their dilapidated community health centre into a modern medical facility with an operation theatre of its own in less than a decade.
Sources said Dr Das spruced up the health centre by setting up an air-conditioned delivery room, an operation theatre and an oxygen concentrator, among other facilities. This, coupled with the doctor’s extended working hours, earned him the goodwill of the public. “People would come here from far-off places, spending as much as Rs 300-400 on travel. I felt bad turning them away just because he had arrived late,” said Dr Das.
In 2014, the nearby Jharigumma village witnessed a diarrhoea outbreak. Dr Das put together a medical team to treat those affected by the ailment, and goaded government officials to stop sewage from seeping into the local well. A few months later, he got all the residents of an inaccessible village vaccinated after a measles outbreak.
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