Dr. M L Saraf and orthopaedics are synonymous with each other. Every orthopaedic student in India would definitely have heard the name of M L Saraf. An acknowledged master in the subject, he loves to teach as well. He believes that people may come and go but the science of orthopaedics will remain forever. One can only keep on adding to it. If he is able to inspire people to take up orthopaedics as their major subject, he considers himself to be a successful man in life.
Many people know him as an orthopedic surgeon par excellence. However, very few people have seen the philanthropic side of his personality. When we speak of philanthropy, we are not referring to the charitable donations that philanthropic people make. M L Saraf specializes in a different kind of philanthropy. He is a doctor and he believes in treating people. He uses his expertise in orthopedics to help and support poor people.
He spends at least a day every week in the villages on the outskirts of Mumbai treating poor children and other people as well. The greatest part of his service is that he does this activity free of cost. In fact, he arranges for the medicines and other support equipment such as calipers for the children from his own sources. He treats rich people as well. Dr. Saraf convinces such rich patients to donate generously to help him in these endeavors. Now, who can say No to such a great person. Here is a doctor willing to forgo one day earnings and go to the villages to serve people. If the rich can help him they consider it their privilege.
Not many people in the world have such philanthropic dispositions. Where do you think he developed this streak in life? It can surprise you that he picked up this idea of serving the poor when he was doing his internship at the KEM Hospital in Mumbai. He noted that the poor people had to struggle a lot while travelling in the famous Mumbai local trains to reach the hospital. He understood that for every villager who came for treatment there were at least a dozen more who could not afford the journey. This is because the villagers lose their salary for the day they travel to the hospital. Now, they could not afford to lose their salary even for one day. As it is they were living a hand-to-mouth existence.
M L Saraf saw the sufferings of the people and decided to do something about it. What could an orthopaedic surgeon do? He could go to the village and offer treatment. This is precisely what he decided to do after becoming a full-fledged orthopaedic surgeon. True to his words, he made it a point to travel to these villages regularly with the sole objective of providing the best orthopaedic care to these poor villagers and their children. His aim was to have a polio-free Mumbai. One must say that he has succeeded to a great extent as well.