23 Jan 2023  |   02:09pm IST

Doctor with a heart

Service to the sick is service to God, says Dr Prakash Kurade as he works to keep the people of Cuncolim in good health
Doctor with a heart

Vijaykumar Desai

CUNCOLIM: Many believe that medicine is no longer a vocation but a lucrative business venture. Where Dr Prakash Kurade is concerned, however, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The octogenarian, who hails from Sanvorcotto, Cuncolim, works unceasingly 12-14 hours each day if only to bring ‘prakash’ (light) to his patients’ lives. He believes work is worship and treating the sick, a passion.

A former government medico, Dr Kurade operates a little dispensary in the Cuncolim market and is known for not sending back a single patient who seeks advice or treatment from him. And even at the grand old age of 80, he is more than willing to go on home visits should the need arise.

“Service to the sick is service to God,” Dr Kurade says. “If anyone knocks at my door even at midnight due to a health emergency, I will go to treat the patient.”

He is not keen on earning for his services and accepts whatever fee his patients are willing to give. In fact, there have been times when people have been unable to pay him but have been sent home with a smile on their faces and a spring in their step, carrying medicines given by Dr Kurade free of cost.

This doctor has been serving the community for the past 50 years but shows no signs of calling it a day. He attends his dispensary every morning and evening, and well into the night too, attending to more than 100 patients each day. With Cuncolim having just about six doctors to treat a considerably large population, Dr Kurade’s dispensary is considered by many to be a godsend.

Even the Covid-19 pandemic could not stop this doctor from reaching out to those in distress at the risk of endangering his own health. It is for this reason that he is known by the people of Cuncolim as ‘dhanvantari’, or a physician with a good heart. 

Apart from the field of medicine, Dr Kurade is immersed in many social activities, too. He was once the chairperson of the Cuncolim Educational Society and the Hind Educational Society. In fact, his outstanding services to society and the medical field led him to be honoured with the Cuncolim Bhushan Award by the Cuncolim Chieftains Trust.

Dr Kurade has undoubtedly kept the bar for young doctors quite high as he continues to serve the people in his signature selfless style.