Coronavirus outbreak: Local MLA shows the way in Kolhapur

Updated: Apr 20, 2020, 18:21 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

Ruturaj Patil shells out from pocket for 1,000 PPE kits for doctors, NGOs, ensuring dispensaries, food delivery to poor continue in city's south area

A local GP with the protective gear
A local GP with the protective gear

At a time when many general practitioners (GP) have been forced to keep their clinics shut due to the ongoing pandemic, Kolhapur has a different story to tell. GPs are functioning as usual as nearly 1,000 medicos in this region have been provided with PPE kits."

Around 30 doctors from the region came together and started a community clinic in order to provide free consultation, diagnosis and medicine to the needy and poor. This group of doctors, after practising at their private clinics, used to volunteer two hours every day to serve the weaker section of society. But, with everything coming to a halt in the lockdown, this clinic service, too, was affected.

A member of an NGO wearing PPE delivers food to a needy home
A member of an NGO wearing PPE delivers food to a needy home

Aware that non-availability of basic medical services could add to the existing health crisis Ruturaj Patil (grandson of Padmashree D Y Patil) ordered 1,000 PPE kits. Ruturaj expedited the process of delivery and distributed the protective uniforms to the medical fraternity.

Harish Nangare, 45, a visiting doctor to the community clinic claimed that he has been practising for 22 years and has never seen a situation where many doctors don't want to step out of their house to run dispensaries. "Due to the pandemic, clinics were shut and even the community clinic was getting affected. But, with the distribution of protective kits to private practising doctors medical services are back in the area," Nangare told mid-day over the phone.

Ruturaj Patil, Cong MLA
Ruturaj Patil, Cong MLA

Ruturaj Patil, 29, a GenNext Congress MLA from Kolhapur south, maintained that the government and administration is there to take care of basic needs like food, ration and even providing shelter in some cases.

"But, there is no scheme or provision to provide protective gear to private doctors. No one knows how long this crisis will continue and shutting of local clinics for long might add to the existing health crisis. Hence, I ordered the protective kits. As a precautionary measure, the gear was also distributed to volunteers distributing food to the poor and migrants in the region," Ruturaj said.

Asked about the quantum of MLA funds used or government money spent on this procurement, the young MLA said, "Not a single rupee. Why should money come from the MLA's fund or government kitty every time. Can't public representatives spend for society from their own pockets?" Patil, a graduate from Mumbai's Welingkar Institute quipped.

A 20-year-old NGO – White Army – which has been credited with helping the administration during earthquakes and landslides has benefitted from this gear.
"We are serving food to truck drivers and those stranded here. The family members of our volunteers were worried for their safety and now these PPEs have provided relief," Ashok Rokade, founder president of the NGO added.

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