Meet Thiruvengadam Veeraraghavan, who has dedicated his life to make affordable medical care a reality for the poor people living in Vyasarpadi situated in North Chennai.
For the last 40 years, Veeraraghavan has been charging nothing more than Rs 2 as fee for the patient come for consultation.
Fondly referred to a the Two-Rupee Doctor, Veeraraghavan completed his MBBS from Stanley Medical College. According to TOI, he started off his career accepting only Rs 2 residents of Vyasarpadi, which he later increased to Rs 5 under immense pressure from his own patients.
Many doctors in the neighbourhood got together and demanded that the man at least charge Rs 100 for consultation.
But Thiruvengadam didn’t budge, he instead stopped asking his patients for fees completely. He decided just to take whatever they were able to afford or shell out as per their understanding or merely accept eatables, snacks or food in exchange.
At a clinic in Erukancherry, Chennai, the senior doctor looks at patients starting from 8 am to 10 pm. That’s not all, after 10 pm attends to more patients near Ashok Pillar in Vyasarpadi.
For now, his only source of income is his position as an Associate Fellow in Industrial Health (AFIH), a corporate hospital, to screen job aspirants.
He dreams of constructing a hospital for the slum dwellers of Vyasarpadi, and serve them until death with his family including his wife, Saraswathi, a retired Railway official and his two children T Preethi & T Deepak who trained for medicine in Mauritius.