The Pavement Doctor of Calcutta
In 1979, in Calcutta, India, a British doctor opened
a free medical clinic for the city's poor. With no building available, it operated under
ragged tarpaulins at the side of the road.
Word spread in the slums. The clinic grew steadily until it was treating several hundred patients a day. With no legal status, the doctor was mercilessly hounded and harassed
by the authorities. At one stage he was thrown in Alipore prison.
Despite everything, and incredibly, the pavement clinic operated six days a week for 14 years, until 1993.
The doctor is still in Calcutta today, now aged 86.
He heads up the aid agency called 'Calcutta Rescue' which he was finally able to register
after years of squatting at the side of the road.
His name is Jack Preger. He generally avoids publicity, so
relatively few people around the world have heard of him. This may change with a film due for release in Swizerland on 26 October 2016. A preview can be viewed here (More information on the film's release elsewhere to be advised.)
Jack Preger at his street clinic under tarpaulins. It operated six days a week for 14 years.
Few people know about his extraordinary story
Image courtesy of Magnum Photos
This web site contains comprehensive information and previously unpublished facts about Dr. Jack Preger, MBE. Based on many hours of private interviews, it comprises an e-book of 17 chapters set in various parts of this huge city, and presents as a dialogue between the British doctor and the author.
For the most part, it is recorded here just as it was spoken in the various locations. It covers his childhood; his family; his time as a farmer in Wales; the strange events that led him to study medicine as a mature student, and his early years as a doctor in tragic circumstances in Bangladesh, which led to his expulsion from the country.
Whitefield School, Church Lane, Manchester England.
Image courtesy of David Levy
It follows his subsequent journey to India, where after working briefly for Mother Teresa, he set up and operated an extraordinary medical clinic at the side of the road for 14 years, his time in Alipore Jail, and his tireless work, for the poor of Kolkata - ongoing to this day at the age of 86.
He talks frankly and openly about many topics of interest to many people, unveils his personal beliefs; his own fears and failures; his philosophies; his skeptical attitude to the Church and off-the-shelf religious faiths; death and dying. The ensemble is spiced with humour.
Chapter 1 of the book follows an introduction and an informative 'Reader's Digest' feature.
For an overview of Calcutta Rescue see : www.jackpreger.com