Nabadisha: A new direction towards free medical services, medicines for poor

Enterprising young Dr Akbar Hossain runs the facility with his energy, resources; dreams of building a 25-bed hospital.

By Zaidul Haque, TwoCircles.net,

Kolkata: The city boasts of super-specialty hospitals but barely 30 kms from the heart of this buzzing metropolis is Nilkuthi, a Muslim dominated village, with no proper government health facility.

A son of the soil, young doctor decided to change it. And although it runs from a building with kutcha roof with brick walls, the ‘Nabadisha Seba Sadan’ attracts poor people from around for the humanitarian health service available, all thanks to Dr Akbar Hossain, 32. More than 30,000 patients benefit from this every month.

The young medical practitioner – apart from his regular job – devotes rest of his time to serve the poor people, give them free medicines and treatment. Nabadisha Seba Sadan is run under the auspices of Nabadisha Social Welfare Society of the same Nilkuthi village under Usthi police station in South 24 Parganas district.


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Dr Akbar Hossain

Five days a week, at least eight doctors from different streams – Homoeopathy, Ayurvedic and Allopathic – regularly attend the make shift facility to help out mostly poor who come to avail the almost free service. All they need to do is enroll their names with just Rs five. Then the patient gets free treatment and medicine.

Dr Hossain himself comes from a very poor family. His father Sajahan Mondal, a small land holding farmer, always inspired his son to engage in some kind of social activity. Mondal sent his son to Al Ammen Mission of Howrah, a legendary school for minorities, with a simple wish to make him a better human being.

Dr Hossain, who completed his Ayurvedic Medicine degree (BAMS) from the JB Roy State Ayurvedic Medical College and Hospital under the West Bengal University of Health Science, now works in the state’s Health department and posted at Kolkata.


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Poor People gathered for free medical assistance in front of Nabadisha Hospital

When he was reading at the Senior Secondary level at Al Ameen Mission, he was inspired by an advice by social activist and writer Abdur Rauf, who told him how it was important “to become a good professional, one should be a good human being.”

Another thing that motivated him was his observations at time of his internship at the Shambhunath Pandit Hospital. “I saw many poor Muslims come to hospital to get medical treatment and medicine. Many of them did not even have enough money to travel or to buy medicines. That moved me so much, I resolved to build a hospital for the poor,” Dr Hossain told Twocircles.net.

In April 2010, he started with a rented room. After a few days, a kind-hearted local came forward to help him to start the charitable hospital in his village. Alhaj Rafiquzzaman donated small piece of land in favour of ‘Nabadisha’ Hospital.

Dr Hossain said, more than 30,000 patients benefited from this hospital. And not just Nilkuthi, people from 5-6 villages in the neighbourhood depend on this hospital to get free treatment and medicines.


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Dr Akbar Hossain at Nabadisha Hospital

But how does he manage the funds to give such free medicines and treatment? Dr Hossain says: “A renowned businessman and social activist in the state Biri merchant Sajahan Biswas has assisted me several times by given direct financial support for purchasing medicines for the poor. I also get regular support from my professor and friends who are doctors.”

In fact, some of them regularly attend the ‘Nabadisha’ and contribute in giving free medical treatment to the needy.

Dr Hossain now dreams of building a small 25-bed hospital if he is able to garner any financial help from any organisation or even the government. He plans to purchase more land to spread the facilities of the hospital.

Abdul Hannan, Imam of Nilkuthi village mosque, told Twocircles.net, “Dr Akbar became a doctor from grass root level. He is a devout, five times Namazi. During Ramzan, he changes the visiting hours of doctors, which is very appropriate. We wish him success for his dream of building a hospital totally for poor people in this Muslim dominated area.”

“Akbar was involved with such social activities from his teenage. Not just health field, Akbar also has contacts with few educationalist, who have offered books for poor student. He has also arranged admission of several young students to Musilm missionary school free of cost,” Hannan said.


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People listening Medical awareness programme in front of Nabadisha Hospital

Nabadisha also arranges eye operations and pathological examination facilities free of cost. The young enthusiast writes to medicine companies to give more samples for poor people.

Devoting all his time apart from his job for the Hospital, he wants to see more poor people, especially Muslims, to come to his hospital to avail medical facilities. “When I know that a poor family cannot purchase medicine, then I am very upset. I will be very happy whenever I fulfill the poor peoples’ medical facilities from this area at least.”

Dr Hossain says he also plans to have an ambulance to ferry free of cost poor people. The immediate plan is to first convert the current facility into a two-storied building and then introduced beds and others facilities.

Giasuddin Molla, State Minister of Minority Affairs and Madrassa Education Department, residing in Nilkuthi’s neighbouring village visits the hospital sometimes. But locals claimed he has not allocated any money for ‘Nabadisha’ hospital.

Dr Hossain, termed as a “friend of poor” by locals, has sent out an appeal to all sections of people to come forward to donate for the 25-bed hospital.

(Dr Akbar Hossain can be contacted to this email: [email protected])

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