Pune: Returning home after seven days’ relief work in flood-hit Kerala, doctors from the State Health Department recounted their experiences.
Around 100 doctors from the JJ Hospital, Mumbai, and BJ General Medical College (BJGMC) and Sassoon General Hospital (SGH), Pune, extended medical help to flood victims there.
The team returned on Monday evening to Maharashtra.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Gajanan Bharti, who led a team of doctors from BJGMC and SGH, said, “It was an honour that we could be helpful to the people of Kerala. We extended medical help in terms of supplying medicines as well as diagnosis of various types of diseases during our stay there,” said Dr Bharti.
He said more than medicines, people were very happy to see that people from other states were coming to Kerala to help.
“Patients often spoke about the loss of property. Their livelihood has been destroyed in these floods. Many need psychological and emotional support. Patients were also very sad that all these events happened around the popular and auspicious festival of Onam. However, in camps, they supported each other by making their traditional food usually prepared during the festival. This gave them a lot of hope,” he added.
He added that Keralites tied ‘Rakhis’ to the doctors from Maharashtra on Raksha Bandhan on Sunday.
Recalling his experience, Dr Nikhil Sathe from BJGMC said that the overall experience was very
“We were informed four hours in advance that we would be leaving for Kerala. We were airlifted in an Air Force plane. This was a very different experience for all of us,” said Dr Sathe.
He said the arrangements done by the Kerala government regarding the medical camps were very organised.
“We were initially in Ernakulam for five days. Later, we went to Alleppey, which was one of the worst-affected areas. We helped a lot of patients and their perspective towards the Armed Forces as well as the doctors was very positive,” said Dr Sathe.
He said that in Aluva, Ernakulam, there were Maharashtrians, who have migrated to Kerala for work. “They told us that floods had destroyed their livelihood. They were planning to go back to their native villages in Maharashtra for a few months. But speaking to these people in Marathi felt very nice,” he further added.