A private clinic run by a 65-year-old retired physician for the past 38 years from his home in Murshidabad’s Seikhpara village has gained repute for his magnanimity and service.
Mohammed Abdur Rashid, 65, has been running the free clinic every Sunday out of his portion of the one-storey home that he shares with his brother’s family. The area is 3km from the Bangladesh border.
“My father had instilled in me the importance of doing something for people,” said the doctor, who retired from Murshidabad Medical College in April after a 38-year-old professional stint in which he served at state medical colleges in Calcutta, Malda, Birbhum and Bankura.
“It is like a bazaar here on Sundays. And the mood is festive too, because people like him,” said a resident.
Rashid studied at Katlamari High School in Seikhpara, where his father was a teacher. After earning his MBBS in 1981, he completed an ENT diploma in 1982 and an MS in 1989.
“I have conducted this free clinic every Sunday since I got my degree in 1981. Maybe, I have had to miss a Sunday or two because of unavoidable circumstances but never without notice,” smiled the doctor, who is assisted by school friends Abul Kalam Azad and Suleiman to manage the long lines on Sundays.
“Seikhapara is 50km from Behrampore. But that doesn’t stop people from coming here rather than going to other private clinics or hospitals,” said Salma Khatoon, 18, a college student from Nadia.
Khatoon first came to Rashid’s clinic in May this year, after spending two unsuccessful weeks at other local doctors in trying to diagnose an ear pain.
“I heard about Dr Rashid from a neighbour. When we first came to him, he put my daughter on medicines for a week and then gave her an earwash the next week… There was an insect lodged inside,” said her father Rafiqul Mondal, 44, a farmer.
For Rashid, it is about fulfilling his father’s wish. “I know Seikhpara is a remote area. I am here to serve residents, as my father wanted. If it is also benefiting so many others, I am glad.”
Source: The Telegraph