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Medicine Baba: Godfather for poor patients

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 Sonali Thakur
Getting expensive medicines is a very daunting task for poor people in India, and many patients die due to lack of medicines. In this scenario, 'Medicine Baba',  who collects medicines that are not needed any more, and gives them free to the poor, is just like God for the hapless.

Several patients die due to non-availability of medicines. Getting expensive medicines remains a difficult task for them. In such a scenario, if anyone makes lifesaving medicines available to the poor, he is no less than God.

Omkarnath Sharma, popularly known as 'Medicine Baba' has been providing medicines free to the poor in hospitals, charitable clinics and even at the residence of the poor patients.

Mr. Sharma has become a popular face even in Delhi-AIIMS, Fortis, Ram Manohar Lohia and Max hospital where even doctors urge him to give medicines to poor patients. Wearing a saffron kurta printed with his phone numbers, Medicine Baba starts his day at 6am from his rented home in Delhi's Uttam Nagar. Crippled at the age of 12 in a car accident, he walks 5 to 7 km daily, stopping door to door and asks for unused medicines. He is not a trained pharmacist but he always checks the expiry date and prescription before he distributes medicines.

Medicine Baba told DTMT: “My vision and mission is to connect with the community to develop a medicine bank for the needy. Along with that, best medical facility to poor persons all over India."

He started his journey to collect and provide unused medicines when he witnessed the collapse of a Delhi Metro under-construction bridge claiming the lives of two labourers' and injuring many others. The local hospital organized only the first aid treatment. The injured went home to die because they couldn’t afford the cost of the medicines. That incident shook him and he decided to collect unused medicines for the needy.

He said “Every home in Delhi has extra medicines. If everyone contributes to this movement, no one can die because of lack of medicines. He says he collects Rupees 3.30 crore worth of medicines annually.

Medicine Baba has earned many awards for his work including “Delhi Gaurav Award”, “Swaabhimaan” award, and twice the "Notable Film Personality award”.

He stores all medicines in his small rented room next to his home. The room is filled with alphabetically printed boxes of painkillers, antibiotics, insulin injections, cancer medicines etc. Citizens of the area established collection boxes in every locality so the residents of the area drop medicines they don’t need. His son also helps him to distribute and store medicines.

He hopes that with everyone's support he can build a nationwide network of medicine banks to help the poor patients in distress.

Without doubt, Medicine Baba has started a movement with huge potential. It is only when right thinking people come forward and help, that this movement can become nationwide and achieve its true potential.

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