In the words of Dr Ashish:
|Dr.Kavitha cooking with a Choola|
Cataract of a tiger
A} After 2 yearsof starting MAHAN, Istarted eye hospital in Dharni. For first year, there was no financial support for her work. There used to be very few patients for initial one to two years. Due to superstitions, it was very difficult to convince patients for cataract surgery in Melghat.As most of the tribal patients in Melghat are very poor, they can not afford charges of operation for cataract. So many times, Iused toget depressed. ‘Probably I will have to operate cataract of a tiger’, I used to say sarcastically.
We used to live very simple life so that we could save a substantial amount of money and after few months we purchased operating microscope worth Rs.2,00,000. Mr. Prabhakar Palaskar (retired engineer, P.W.D.),one of our closed well wisher from Nagpur donated some amount. Kavita operated upon 10 cataract patients from that donation. And there after gradually we received more financial support for our eye hospital from Kasturba Health Society(Patron respected Dhirubhai Mehta), Sight Savers International, , Caring friends, Mumbai, etc. Till now, I had operated more that 700 eye patients including cataract patients successfully including Intra-ocular lens implantation free of cost.
Worship the patient is real worship to God
B} For one year, I visited more than 50 villages in Melghat and conducted door to door screening and treatment of patients. Going to weekly Bazar was one of the options to reach the masses, overcoming the problem of commute. Our son, Athang was 4 months old. I used to keep him in cradle(zoli) made by tying a cloth between 2 branches of a tree and manage the patients. I used to bring patients for surgery in our own vehicle. Many times I used to come at night from villages and prepare food for the blind patients and feed them. Also wash their clothes. It reminds “Patient is God and to worship the patient is real worship to god”.
C} Once a pregnant lady was about to deliver the baby. However there was a problem in baby coming fully out of her body. Her relatives were persistently asking Kavita to conduct the delivery. Kavita on reaching to patient’s home found that her condition was very critical.There were no equipment which are required for delivery. Most importantly it was not hospital but patient’s house. Again same question ‘to be or not to be’. If Kavita does not operate, one of them will die.However kavita performed delivery successfully.
However the baby had birth ashphyxia . Kavita treated the baby and saved her life .
Next problem was - mother could not secrete breast milk for her baby. At that time, our son, ‘Athang’ was six months young. Kavita used to send half of her milk to that newborn baby and keep half for Athang. Today that milk brother of Athang is living normal life. Now many of our village health workers & team of supervisors have motivated many tribal female leading by examples to breast feedother babies whose mother had lactation problem. Many children were saved this way.
A face to face with calf& Snake
D} Once I went to a village as usual for supervision of field activities. As there was no return bus from the village I preferred to stay in the village in night. I slept outside the hut of a tribal. (Few days before this a tiger had attacked that village). At around 5a.m., I realized that somebody had put leg on my abdomen(belly), I frightened thinking that probably it is the tiger and shouted. And when I open my eyes I saw a calf had kept his one leg over me and was ready to put other leg. But due to shouting, that calf ran away.
In the next morning, I went to the forest for defecation,(as there is no latrine in most of the villages). Within fraction of seconds, I listened rustling sound of leaves.I was horrified to see a black cobra snake near by me. Somehow I could escape from that.