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In the service of the disabled

I believe in God but more in the service of the disabled and underprivileged human beings whom I consider God in flesh and blood Kiran



VERSATILE Kiran on his keyboard Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

If he had not donned the stethoscope he would have become a sculptor or a singer. But certain things that he learnt while scraping and carving the wood made him attempt the EAMCET for a medical seat. On his third attempt while studying B.Com. he qualified for the entrance and today he is one among the top orthopaedics in the city.

He is N.V.S. Kiran, the son of the former Head of the Department of Medicine in the King George Hospital, N. Srinivasa Rao.

"Since my childhood days I was interested in sculpture and music and had no inclination for studying medicine. I learnt to carve figures from wooden blocks from my mother, Sirisha Kusuma, and was particularly fond of carving human figures. And whenever I used to create a deformed figure I used to sulk. But my mother always encouraged me and made me realise that they could be corrected. That made me think about the problems of the disabled persons and how they could be helped and I decided to become an orthopaedic surgeon," says Kiran.

Philanthropic ideas

After completing his MBBS he acquired the Master of Surgery from the Diplomate National Board, New Delhi.

The idea of doing something for the physically challenged sprouted in him much before he qualified as a doctor. In his second year of medicine he started an NGO, Image Creations.

"The basic idea was to create an image of self-confidence among the disabled persons. I started off by organising concerts, exhibitions and road shows. During this period I realised that mere motivational pep talk would not serve the purpose; what they needed is an economic break. Members of Image Creations worked hard to get suitable breaks for a couple of persons, in the form of securing allotment for small residential plots or a pan shop for a livelihood. I got so engrossed in the work that I lost one year of my studies."

Image Creations was only the starting for Dr. Kiran. After the completion of his degree he started a registered society by name Krushi Orthopedic Welfare Society.

"After my degree I realised the need for a much focussed approach. I wanted to set up a hospital for the poor and the disabled and ran from pillar to post for a piece of land; there was no favourable response from the Government. I finally decided to set it up in my house in collaboration with Bharadwaj Hospital. I slowly started acquiring secondhand equipment for the hospital and the operation theatre. In 2003, I started the hospital."

Considering the amount of work done, he says, "In the current year itself we have over 3,000 out-patients for consultation, conducted over 182 minor surgeries and 142 major surgeries. The surgeries range from rectifying broken pelvis to spine rectification to compound bone fractures. We do not have any fee structure like the corporate hospitals. We are happy with whatever the patient can give and the rest is obtained from various donors through paper advertisements. We receive from Rs.100 to Rs.5,000 and from medicines to blood from various people. There is absolute no burden on the patient till he or she is fully recovered. And once okay, we try to provide them a livelihood. Most of my staff members are disabled persons, as I believe in the adage, charity begins at home."

Apart from conducting surgeries either free or at a discount, Dr. Kiran recently a launched a Krushi Health Card, through which the disabled and the teachers from the schools for disabled can obtain hefty discounts. "I feel that such teachers are doing a yeoman service silently and deserves to be recognised."

Dream Project

The dream of setting up a hospital for the poor is finally materialising for him. He has taken up a complex from Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority wherein he would be setting up a 40-beded hospital for the poor. He has christened it as Shramajeevi Hospital.

"It is not going to be free, as there will be a minimal charge of Rs.40 a day per bed. But it is going to have all the services, which are available in any good hospital. It will have a library for the disabled, a computer training centre and a photography and audio-visual training laboratory.

Dr. Kiran has also presented over 20 papers all over India in various seminars and is the recipient of two Ugadi Puraskars.

He has produced a tele-film, "Aagandi oka shanam" (stop for a minute), highlighting the problems of the disabled, directing it and composing music for it.

Though he has a busy schedule, he continues his hobbies of wood chipping and singing.

SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE

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