Why do people consider doctors as second only to God? This is because they know that God gives them life once. It is the doctors who try their best to save these lives in times of danger. No one likes to die. They place their full faith on the doctors treating them. This is why they treat them as equal to God. The people know that God is not going to come to save every person in the world. The doctor is HIS representative on this Earth. One such doctor is Dr. M L Saraf.
Here is a man who had the option to live a luxurious life in the United Kingdom. In fact, the people of the UK would have adulated him in the same way Indians do here. He would have earned a lot of money for himself as well. After all, money is an important factor in life. Can anyone deny it?
M L Saraf let go of all these opportunities because of his single-minded decision to serve to poor and underprivileged people in his country. He returned to India after completing his Masters in Paediatric Orthopaedics in the University of Liverpool. The Robert Normal prize was no doubt, a five-star achievement for a man who does not know the meaning of failure in life.
After joining his alma mater KEM Hospital, he started taking lectures in the G S Seth Medical College. Teaching was his passion as much as serving the poor. He wanted to pass on his knowledge to people all over India. He worked with determination to ensure that Mumbai becomes free of polio. That Mumbai has nearly achieved the distinction today is due to the efforts of M L Saraf in bringing about awareness about the disease in and around the villages bordering Mumbai.
The first thing M L Saraf did on assuming responsibilities at KEM Hospital was seeking out the poor and treating them. He understood that these people had to suffer a lot of hardship to commute all the way from their villages to Mumbai. Secondly, these are daily labourers. They lose a day’s earnings if they have to travel for treatment. Considering the fact that they are the principal earning members of the family, these people prefer not to go ahead with the treatment.
M L Saraf found a way out. He took the permission of the authorities at KEM Hospital and ventured to go to their villages once a week. There are many advantages of this endeavour. The first one is that the villagers need not come to Mumbai for their treatment. The hospital has come to their doorstep. This allows the villagers who would not have otherwise travelled to Mumbai, to avail free treatment. Hence, the coverage of patients increases with more people taking advantage of his treatment. People from the nearby villages can also avail these treatment facilities. This is the best occasion for M L Saraf to create awareness about the dangers of polio and the benefits of its eradication. No wonder, he is the Divine Incarnate for the villagers.