June 10, 2007

Inspiration for the day

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Dr.A.K.Rairu Gopal and Dr.Sakuntala, Thalap, Kannur

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‘To the doctor’, this clue by midnight-passengers is sufficient for autorickshaw drivers of Kannur to know where their destination is.  For the drivers know that none other than Dr.A.K.Rairu Gopal of Thalap would be waiting for patients at that unearthly hour.  Yes, for the past 20 years, the doctor has been treating patients from 2.30am to 3.00pm.  And for the last 30 years, his fee has remained an unbelievable Rs.2 per patient.

Son of Dr.A.G.Nambiar and Lakshmikutty, Dr.Rairu inherited a strong sense of values from his father.  His father told him that it was better to loot a bank than be a doctor just for making money.  So, since beginning his practice at the cooperative hospital at Thana, he expects very little from his patients.  If for lack of change, some patients offer him Rs.10, he scrupulously donates the excess amount to temples. 

His wife, Dr. Sakuntala has been a constant support in his endeavours.  In the early days of their marriage, he was so busy with the practice, that the children rarely saw him at home.  They used to convey their requirements to him through notes.

He has a compassionate heart towards animals too.  Between his clinic ’Durga’ and house ‘Lakshmi’ is a cowshed.  Since starting the practice, he has been maintaining cows.  Earlier there used to be 4 cows, but now there is just one.  Even when the doctor was busy day and night with patients, he used to attend all works connected with their maintenance himself.  This included cleaning the shed and the cows, gathering grass, milking and selling it at the Cooperative Society and nearby tea shops.  That was his way of meeting both ends meet.

His love of snakes is not well known.  As a student of MBBS at Medical College, Kozhikode, he had once saved a cobra from an irate mob.  Slowly the ‘snake catcher’ student’s collection increased to 32 cobras by the time he left the college.


Courtesy: M.P.Sukumaran, Sree, Malayala Manorama, May 6, 2007
Contributed by: Administrator

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