28th June 2015
Going by the response of the audience at the CF
gathering held on Sunday, June 28, 2015, our event was a great success. This
time a different set of speakers proved very interesting to an audience that
was awed by their service and sacrifice for the nation and its people. No
organisation, no funding, no employees…. a pure one man show!
The first speaker, Dr Anil Patel shared
his journey of 35 years and spoke about how he was inspired by the likes of
Mahatma Gandhi, Baba Amte and Tai, Dr Abhay and Rani Bang, and how even
some Bollywood movies like Bawarchi, which taught him how to keep others happy.
Based in a tiny village Yavatmal, near Nagpur city in Maharashtra,
Dr. Patel, an ENT surgeon has dedicated his life to serve the
poor and needy patients. Before Dr. Patel began his practice in the area,
villagers had to travel as far as Nagpur, which is about 3 and a half hours
away in case of any medical emergencies but now the medical
treatment is closer to home for them. Besides his practice in this
region, Dr. Patel has conducted camps in many villages, towns and cities across
India and he left the audience surprised when he mentioned that he
needed only the very basic things such as a chair and small table to set up
camp, and had often conducted camps in huts and even under trees!
He has meticulously kept all the data of his
patients over the last 35 years and was able to document his meeting with many
different people. Through his presentation he gave us a glimpse of his yester
years, his philosophy of 'minimum medication, minimum surgery,' and his policy
of charging a nominal or no fee when he provided his services to the
underprivileged. Dr. Patel also revealed that while he practices yoga,
cycling and exercises regularly to stay fit, it is his mother who is in her 80s
and very active, who is a constant source of inspiration for him. He shared
some of the most serious cases he has encountered over the years, how he has
had to brave tough climatic conditions and even do without basic infrastructure
at times. Dr Patel has come a long way and now his son Dr Gaurav Patel (
ENT ) has too has joined him in this movement to make a difference.
Our second speaker, Dr Avinash Pol also
famously named 'One Man Army,' is a practicing dental surgeon based in Satara.
He works from Sunday to Friday and goes out to the villages
on Saturdays, tackling various causes that trouble each village. Beginning with
sanitation he has successfully handled
water conversation projects as well. What sets him apart though is his
ability to mobilize people and government machinery across different schemes.
He is also known for having the ability to involve government officers in each
cause. He showcased several case studies to the audience. Mentioning how his
initiatives have helped harvest thousands of acres of land and made many
villages 'Tanker Free,' freeing them of the financial burden of having to pay
high prices for these tankers. He stated that due to this income per family had
shot up across many villages in Maharashtra. For example, the Jakhangaon
village had only about 28 acres of land under cultivation, but Dr Pol's
intervention and using Ms. Anu Aga's MP Funds, today more than 947 acres is
under cultivation. Additionally milk production in the village has gone up from
4000 litres to 48000 litres per month and as many as 60 families have returned home
to their village. Last month our CM Mr Phadnavis paid a visit. At Alavdi
Dr. Pol, with monetary help from CF has constructed a small dam and with the
help of villagers, a pipe line was laid, which has taken their income to Rs
20000 per acre and still counting! He mentioned several such success stories
and even shared how he has been successful in getting Rs. 25 crore from the Siddhi
Vinayak Trust for drought relief in Maharashtra. Dr Pol also received an award
from President Abdul Kalam in 2005. We salute this 'One Man Army,' and
hope to continue being part of all his causes and movements across the
country. Parag and Poonam Karia : We had the fortune
of having them from USA based Arpan Foundation which is supporting CF. They
have visited a few of our associates and shall be meeting some in Mumbai, they
later mingled with the audience and made some new friends, CF is highly
grateful to them for their support.
<-- Parag & Poonam with
their son Ishant
Many were interested in visiting these doctors.
The meet was concluded by a vote of thanks and a promise to meet again...