For the last 44 years, Dr. Ramana Rao has cured or treated over two million people in India — at no cost. Dr. Rao is the physician for a clinic in Bangalore, India, which also happens to be the oldest free clinic in the world.
Dr. Rao is not just known for his pro-bono work but for his work with well-known personalities in India like Amitabh Bachan, the late Dr. Rajkumar, Chief Ministers of the state and bureaucrats.
Yet he is not known for his renowned work with celebrities, but his work at his clinic, where he serves thousands of patients every weekend.
It’s not every day that you meet a celebrity doctor who dedicates most of his time to serving those in poverty for no cost, but Dr. Rao does exactly that. In 1973, Dr. Rao opened the clinic to the public, the day after he received his doctorate.
Since then, he has been able to offer free service at the clinic despite the ever-rising prices of healthcare equipment and medical costs. He provides everything his patients would need ranging from basic health care to oral health treatments, even supplying patients with food while they wait.
Dr. Rao runs the clinic with the help of his family and fellow doctors. He has 10 dentists, six nurses and one skin specialist on site, as well as help from his wife and sons, who are doctors, and a team of volunteers. His son, Dr. Charit Bhograj, is an interventional cardiologist and his other son, Dr. Abhijit Bhograj, is an endocrinologist.
Eight months ago, Dr. Rao launched a campaign on Milaap, a crowdfunding platform, and has raised around $87,000 so far.
“I came here for the first time eight years ago with my mother. I started volunteering seven years ago because I was impressed and I wanted to help,” Baba Jan, a volunteer at the clinic, said.
“The reason I became a doctor was to serve my community,” Dr. Rao said, according to Sunny Skyz. “The Sunday Village Clinic is dedicated to help the section of society who have no means or access to quality health care.”
“I believe only a doctor can serve the humanity by curing them and reducing the suffering,” he told The Logical Indian.