This is the incredible story of how one man has made it his mission to make sure that medicines reach those who need them the most in India. The National Health Mission in India has had a stagnant budget and limited free services. Undeterred by India’s failing healthcare system, Omkarnath Sharma or as he is fondly called – ‘Medicine Baba’ – goes door-to-door in Delhi, walking over 7 km per day, to collect unused medicines from households and medical colleges, and give them to people who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford them. What makes this even more incredible is how he does it.
40% of India’s population doesn’t have access to modern medicine because they are costly or because government hospitals don’t have them in stock. And 45% of the 1.6 lakh crores in pharmaceuticals that India produces is exported each year! Moreover, since demonetisation in India, there is news of people dying because hospitals are refusing treatment, not accepting old currency notes, and banks and ATMs are out of cash. In such a time, it’s amazing how selflessly Medicine Baba is trying to turn things around.
Omkarnath has been providing this service for the last 8 years, but his humility is inspiring, and the fire in his eyes hasn’t died down. “I am not asking for medicines, I am asking to save people’s lives,” he says, with determination.
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