By P. Vijian, NNN-Bernama,
Thimphu, Bhutan : A young Indian doctor, who partnered with Mercy Malaysia, the disaster relief agency non-governmental organization (NGO), to carry out medical relief work in remote flood-ravaged Bihar state in India, has received an outstanding regional award for his contributions.
Dr Ravikant Singh, who founded Doctors For You, a voluntary medical team of young Indian doctors, worked with Mercy’s volunteers to roll out medical aid in northern Bihar during the 2008 Kosi floods — which devastated and displaced tens of thousands of villagers.
At the 16th South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) Summit here, Dr Ravikant was felicitated as the youngest person for his commitment during a major natural disaster.
“From the final 15 candidates, I was selected for the SAARC Youth Award for my contribution in a natural disaster. I received 3,000 USD, certificate and a gold medal,” he told Bernama after receiving the award in Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital.
“Along with Mercy Malaysia, my team of doctors had carried out medical relief work in disaster areas and continued our programmes even after the disaster.”
The 28-year-old Dr Ravikant works in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in KEM Hospital in Mumbai.
During the flood crisis, Mercy mounted a medical relief project to help flood-affected villagers, assisted by Dr Ravikant’s medical team, treating more than 100,000 patients.
In addition, Mercy, backed by the voluntary doctors, funded the setting up of a healthcare centre in Saharsa District in the interior of Bihar, where more than 30,000 patients had been treated so far.
At least 900 local pregnant women, deprived of decent medical care, are now seeking treatment at the centre and about 90 deliveries were successfully carried out.
“My goal is to start a medical disaster relief team like Mercy Malaysia for the South Asia region which is prone to natural disasters,” added Dr Ravikant.