The 1 Rupee Doctor Gift’s Free Eye Surgeries To Tribes In Melghat.
Dr. Ravindra Kolhe Gift’s Free Eye Surgeries To Tribes In Melghat for a nominal fee of Re 1.
Dr. Ravindra Kolhe and Dr. Smita Kolhe have transformed the lives of the tribals of Melghat. They have improved health outcomes in the area and helped the villagers gain access to electricity, roads and primary health centres, and charged just Rs. 1 for consultation. This is the story of their incredible journey.
Dr. Ravindra Kolhe started working in Melghat to help people cure their illness. Kolhe would charge a fee of Rs. 1 per patient as the people living in the village were dependent on farming and didn’t have enough money to afford healthcare facilities. Kolhe had almost 400 patients. Kolhe left Melghat in 1987 to complete his MD. He prepared a thesis on malnutrition in Melghat and his work got the attention of the world as BBC Radio covered Melghat bringing it to everyone’s notice.
The year was 1985 and Mr. Deorao Kolhe
He is working with Indian Railways. His son, Ravindra, was doing his MBBS from Nagpur Medical College. Everyone was waiting for the young man to finish his studies and return to his village Shegaon; Ravindra would be the first doctor in the family.
Dr. Kolhe decided he wanted to offer his services at some place that was far away from any medical facility. He chose Bairagarh, a small village in Melghat, Maharashtra. The journey to Melghat started from Amravati and all transport ended at Harisal, from where one had to walk 40 km to reach Bairagarh.
Once Dr. Ravindra and Dr. Smita had successfully worked on improving the health conditions in Bairagarh, the villagers started pestering them for help with cattle and plants too – thinking the couple had solutions to all their problems. As there was no other doctor in the village, Dr. Kolhe learnt about the anatomy of animals from a veterinary doctor friend, and studied agriculture at Punjab Rao Krushi Vidyapeeth, Akola.
Dr. Ravindra Kolhe was inspired
The books of Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave. Ravindra came across a book with the title ‘Where There Is No Doctor’ by David Werner and that’s when he decided that he would work in a place that is far away from any medical facility. He chose Bairagarh, a small village in Melghat, Maharashtra as to reach this village, a person had to walk 40kms.
Free Eye Surgeries
Dr. Ravindra Kolhe also learned about the anatomy of animals from a veterinary doctor and he studied agriculture in Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola so he could help the villagers with their cattle and plants related problems as well.
Dr. Ravindra and Dr. Smita Kolhe worked together to develop a fungus-resistant variety of seeds and started farming. The couple also organized several camps to raise awareness amongst the youth about new farming techniques, how they can save the environment, and other beneficial government schemes.
In 2019, Dr. Ravindra Kolhe and Dr. Smita Kolhe received India’s fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri. This award was given to them by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind.
On 4 December 2020, Dr. Ravindra Kolhe and Dr. Smita Kolhe participated in the show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ for their Karamveer Special episode.