A Healing Touch
Latur was a small tehsil place in the erstwhile Nizam state. It was merged with Maharashtra in early sixties. The rule of Nizam was oppressive, intolerant and despotic. Therefore it was extremely backward socially, culturally educationally and in every walk of life. Obviously medical facilities were very poor.
These RSS workers have brought the principles of Gandhian trusteeship in practice with organisational skills of Dr Hedgewar. Working on minimal salaries, without private practice, the doctors serve rural and urban sectors, best of medical services under one roof. Dr Gopikishan Bharadiya, Dr Ashokrao Kukde, Dr Mrs Jyotsna Kukde and Dr Ramkrishna Alurkar were the pioneers with missionary zeal and spirits. About 45 medicos, 300 paramedical and other workers together, present a homogeneous group, inculcated with organisational spirits, nurtured by ‘RSS Sanskar’.
A small 10 bed hospital unit with only basic facilities has grown into 200 bed multi-specialty Tertiary care unit in 5 decades. Today it is a unique hospital in the Devgiri Prant, catering the medical needs of about 7 districts, inclusive parts of Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border. It has super-specialty units like heart surgery, urology, cancer surgery, radiation therapy, dialysis services, advanced cardiology and many more units. The widely spread units work is under the name – ‘Vivekanand Medical Foundation and Research Centre,’ a public charitable trust and registered society.
A testimony or a challenge was faced during the ‘Killari’ earthquake in 1993. It has taken a toll of 10,000 lives and caused a massive destruction, the episode was an occasion where the RSS and associated organisations joined together and proved their ‘mettle’ under the Vivekanand Rugnalaya.
It has received applause from all sectors of the society, the government and even from abroad. Hence the calamity turned into an opportunity to gain more strength and experience to serve the humanity and to envisage new projects. Now it is no more a backward area; Latur has become a medical centre, an educational hub as well as a cultural centre. —Prasad Joshi