There are several people in the country who cannot get proper healthcare facilities or timely diagnosis due to inadequate finances. There are a few doctors in the country who treat them with minimal or no cost. This year, the Government of India has identified and felicitated Yogi Aeron with the prestigious Padma Shri Award for treating patients for disfigured or burnt faces.
The 82-year-old doctor has been treating people free of cost for 27 years now.
According to the New Indian Express, when Yogi Aeron got to know that he is one of 118 Padma Shri recipients, he said he hopes that some help reached to thousands of patients, who are there in his waiting list.
Born in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh in 1937, Aeron got his specialisation in plastic surgery from the United States in 1982 after completing his graduation from King George Medical College in Lucknow.
He is currently residing in Malsi, around 10 kilometers from Mussorrie road in Dehradhun, Uttarakhand. He purchased land in 1983 where he now has four-acre campus, turned into a ‘science park’ and now aims to convert it into a learning space for the children as well as a treatment facility for the underprivileged, the report said.
He starts his day planning his appointments with his assistant. He has more than 10,000 patients in his waiting list for free treatment, the report said adding he has on an average conducted 500 surgeries and has been accorded the status of God.
To conduct free surgeries, Aeron constantly looks out for funding, reaching out to his friends, NGOs and the government.
Aeron’s son Kush, who is also a doctor, was reported as saying, “My father has never been able to manage his finances for his own. He does it for his patients, which makes him happy.”
Aeron has been running a two-week camp twice a year since 2006 during which patients below the poverty line are being treated for disfigured lips, cheeks, nose and other parts of the face. He receives help and support from a team of around 15 US-based doctors in his endeavour.