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Delhi: 75-yr old is 'medicine baba' for the poor

Dec 20, 2011 08:45 AM IST India India

New Delhi: A 75-year old in Delhi goes door to door collecting unused medicines. Omkar Nath takes his entire collection to NGOs and hospitals that work for the poor. At 75, Omkar has a booming voice and a strong will.

No wonder that many have named him as the Medicine Baba and eagerly wait for his arrival as they have been doing for the past four years.

A Delhi resident Col Devender Singh said, "When I saw his work, I wanted to associate with him. I have put few cartons in all the nearby societies and within a week all the cartons were full of medicines. As soon as all of them are full I call him and he comes and collects the medicines."

Crippled at the age of ten, he hasn't allowed his handicap to slow him down. On an average he collects medicines worth Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh every month from Delhi alone. His dream is to make a medicine bank.

"It is my aim to set up a medicine bank. There are unused medicines in every household. Why not make use of those medicines that are usually thrown away," Omkar said.

According to the World Health Organisation's world medicine report of 2004, 649 million people in India have no access to medicines, which is the highest, the report says, in the world.

But Omkar Nath in his own small way, makes sure that some of them get a lease of life.

A charitable clinic in Delhi's West Patel Nagar is one of Omkar's regular donation point. 20 children are treated there everyday and Omkar's medicines are of great help.

As long as he lives Omkar Nath says he will continue to be the conduit between those who have have enough and those who don't. For the future he seeks help from the government and volunteers who can support him in making his medical bank a reality.