February 28, 2020

Inspiration for the day

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Mohan Kumar Y.S, Kasaragod

When he had completed his MBBS, his father, a teacher, told him to serve the people of the village.  So Mohan Kumar, a native of Kubadaje in Kasaragod bordering Karnataka, began his medical practice in the neighbouring panchayat of Enmakaje.  There was no road between the two panchayats and he had to walk through the farms of Plantation Corporation of Kerala. 

In the rented room of a clinic, he used to be the one man medical delivery system.  Once he used to charge Rs.2 as consultation fee but made it free later on.  Later he had to open another clinic in Swarga as he was moved by the plight of a mother who had to carry her child on her shoulders for 4 kilometers to his clinic.

But what changed his role in society from a dispensing doctor to an activist was the acute increase in various deadly diseases in his area.  At first he did not understand that the villain was the poison Endosulphan being sprayed on the trees of Plantation Corporation from helicopters.

Painstakingly and meticulously, he collected data about the increase in morbidity in the area and wrote an article in the Kerala Medical Journal in 1997. It took another 3 years for the world at large to become aware of the social and health cost of the quarter century old aerial spraying of pesticide.

Yet, 20 years after that expose, the sufferings of the victims continues without much support from Government.  Many undeserving persons have received monetary benefits while genuine ones continue to be neglected.  The promise of a medical college in the area remains a dream.  Even the basic infrastructure of roads presents a pitiable picture.

Dr.Mohana Kumar, who is a member of the Endosulphan cell, has stopped going  to the meetings.  His words do not carry much value in the deliberation of bureaucrats, who get their sitting fee and allowances.  So, as his father had once advised him, he sticks to his dharma of serving the villagers.




Rekha Chandra (text), Prasoon Kiran (photo), Samakalika Malayalam, January 6, 2020


One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken."