Deserting Roots

He finished his bachelor’s degree in medicine and got selected for specialization in children’s disease, again against a category quota
Representational Picture
Representational PictureFile/GK

"I fear, I can’t waste my talent by offering my services at that center”, Nazir told his immediate officer. “Well, you have been posted there and, as such you are supposed to work at that place”, his officer replied.

“It is difficult to work with these people. I can’t be helpful to them in any way. I have an expertise in a particular field that cannot be delivered there”, Nazir argued with his officer.

Hearing this, the officer lost his temper and ordered Nazir to leave the room, adding, “You have a basic MBBS degree to treat patients. Don’t give me silly excuses. By the way, it is not in my domain to transfer you unless I get a substitute for that center. I can’t afford to betray the people of that place as they have toiled a lot to get someone posted at their center”.

Just a few days after this altercation, the officer receives a communiqué from his head office directing him to relieve Nazir as he was transferred to some other place, and that too without replacing him with a proper substitute.

Nazir, a humble boy, was brought up in a beautiful hamlet that was officially declared backward. His studies were as attractive to him as his hamlet. He was sharp enough to aspire for something that the predecessors of his hamlet could not achieve.

He worked somewhat hard and cracked the medical entrance examination and got an entry in the category quota for being the resident of the backward hamlet.

During the initial years of his college education, Nazir continued to be very much attached to the people of his hamlet. His parents also had high expectations from him. They wanted him to serve the unfortunate ailing people of his hamlet who for the want of medical assistance had to trek through woods and hills to reach the nearest medical facility. Most of the time, extreme weather conditions would deter the people of hamlet to reach the nearby health center in time, thus causing morbidity and mortality. Children and expecting mothers were the worst sufferers.

As years passed along, Nazir was getting familiar with a different world. During his final year at college, he rarely went to see his parents. Meanwhile, he finished his bachelor’s degree in medicine and got selected for specialization in children’s disease, again against a category quota. 

With the flow of time, his aspirations saw a gradual shift. Rather than doing something for his people, he became self-centered and thought only for his materialistic growth.

While most of his contemporaries held themselves back from such temporal stratagem, Nazir and one of his friends who hailed from the capital city, where the college was situated, indulged in malpractice in the hospital. They used to get kickbacks for prescribing medicines of certain manufacturing companies and dabbled in other sorts of unprofessional conduct.

Nazir was not now ready to even distinguish the people of his hamlet. When any of them was referred to his hospital, he displayed indifference and avoided to help them.

Meanwhile, the senior citizens of his hamlet relentlessly tried to get a doctor posted at their newly constructed Primary Health Centre (PHC). By virtue of the interest expressed by the habitants of the hamlet, Nazir was lucky enough to get a job in government health services, once more in a category quota list, and was posted at his hamlet’s PHC.

The posting came as sad news for Nazir since he was reluctant to go back to his roots, his native place. Somehow, he joined the center but displayed a casual approach in disposing off his duties towards his rural community. Being exposed to an urban milieu and hitched to a city girl who wasn’t ready to settle in rural area, he was feeling “awkward” and very uncomfortable while treating people there.

Eventually, Nazir expressed his ‘inability’ to work at the said PHC. Failing to motivate his steadfast officer, Nazir exploited his newly developed contacts with pharma companies and other influential people, and got himself transferred from the health head-office.

However, Nazir’s immediate officer wrote back to his head-office demanding a substitute doctor for the neglected hamlet. Ironically, no one was ready to serve the Nazir’s hamlet.

Some days later, Nazir was wading through the newspaper pages when he came across the news report about the doctors disinterested in working in rural areas likely to be terminated and their posts getting re-advertised.

Nazir was not at all moved by the news. His roots had already disowned him. City glam and gimmick had seduced and swallowed his soul and senses. He had forsaken his real world—his parents, his people, his area. He gave a damning smile, opened up his laptop and googled ‘Jobs for doctors in the Gulf’.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK

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