I was introduced to the remote, impoverished village of Anupshahr, India by a patient in my Internal Medicine practice in the U.S. My patient, an enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer, who was building the village’s only toilets implored me to accompany him on a visit to this place in poverty-stricken northern India.
What I saw there, or rather what I didn’t see there, convinced me that my help was greatly needed and welcomed. There were no doctors, no antibiotics, no testing, no care for newborns and many ill-conceived notions about diseases and health in general. There were some government issues vaccines but the organization and administration of these were haphazard at best.
The disparity in medical care given between girls and boys was obvious from the start. If a girl child became ill she may be neglected, where as a boy child’s health would take a priority. Even if a family used any resources they had to get their child to a city for treatment, that care may be substandard. The fact that there was little to no health care seemed to be fully accepted.
I knew at that first visit that I was fully committed to bringing quality health care to this indigent population. I wanted them to understand that regardless of caste, gender, religion, etc., their lives mattered.
With the generosity and hard work of many, we have realized the dream of having a free standing clinic on the grounds of PPES in Anupshahr. This bright and clean space allows us to invite interested medical professionals to volunteer and utilize their talents for this incredibly rewarding and worthwhile mission of bringing healthcare to some of the poorest people in the world.