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March 29, 2016

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ABOOBACKER: DISTRIBUTOR OF FREE MEDICINES

Aboobacker, Ponnani, Malappuram

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To a non-descript shop near the Kanoli canal at Ponnani converge many poor patients and their benefactors everyday.  Their purpose: to avail the free medicines being distributed by Aboobacker.  

It is 30 years since Aboobacker started on his noble venture of helping poor patients.  The septuagenarian reminisces how in his teens he had come into contact with bicycle-borne Dr. Achuta Menon, who used to visit each and every house in Ponnani to examine patients.  He took care of the prescriptions of the doctor as well as his goodness  and voluntary mentality.  He sharpened his knowledge of medicines by constant interaction with doctors.

Many doctors, hospitals and distributors of medicines in Malappuram, Kozhikode, Thrissur and Palakkad keep aside sample medicines that come to them for contributing to Aboobacker’s effort.

Once he understood that free medicine distribution was his calling in life, he closed the hardware shop and converted it to a medical shop.  He carries out single-handedly the sorting of medicines and removal of those that are past their expiry period.  Constant interaction with doctors has enabled this 10th standard qualified person to keep abreast of the latest medicines.

Once the vigilance squad of Health Department made an inspection of his shop.  They posed many questions on how someone could run a medical shop without license.  But when they saw the crestfallen faces of those awaiting his services, the bureaucratic decision was totally in his favour.

He has received awards and accolades from Indian Medical Association, Nehru Yuva Kendra and UNO.  However, his fondest memory is to be surprised at gatherings by hands extended in recognition of his service.

He says with happiness that his wife Jameela has never frowned on poor people.

 

Courtesy: K.R.Sunil (text and photo), Mathrubhumi, March 13, 2016

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."