Doctors trying to heal history's wounds
Pakistani doctors are doing their bit for a healthy relationship between neighbours. Appreciating Pakistani doctors who joined 300 Indian physicians in running a mega medical camp on Sunday in this native village of the chief minister and gave free-of-cost treatment there to the poor, governor Shivraj Patil said the initiative could have a healing affect on the India-Pakistan relations that have been cold at best and hostile at worst.
"Your gesture will promote cooperation and people-to-people contact between our countries," Patil told the visiting doctors. The three leading doctors from Pakistan checked scores of patients at the camp. Doctors of both countries should have more opportunities to work together for the advancement of knowledge and equipment, said the governor, asking for similar exchange visits of traders, teachers and scientists.
Organisations such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) could support initiatives that benefited people on both sides of the border, said Patil, offering Punjab even the services of doctors from Maharashtra. "I will send you doctors from Maharashtra and Karnataka," he told the CM at the camp. "I will even send you my daughter-in-law, who is also a doctor, to serve free-of-cost at the Punjab government medical camps."
In his address, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said the medical camp organised on the lines of sangat darshan (public-contact programme) will bring people quality health examination under one roof without having to spend any money. He called upon all doctors in the state to devote at least one day to treating poor patients free-of-cost at medical camps. He honoured the doctors from Pakistan and thanked them for participating in the medical camp.
He talked about his government's commitment to the mission of eradicating cancer. "Massive infrastructure is being developed to bring relief to patients," he said. "The state government is on with the improving medical colleges to be able to fight cancer." Harsimrat Kaur Badal, member of parliament from Bathinda, applauded the 300 doctors and 500 paramedical workers who had run the camp.
Cabinet ministers Chunni Lal Bhagat and Madan Mohan Mittal; chief parliamentary secretaries Mohinder Kaur Josh and Navjot Kaur Sidhu; and senior officials and leaders of the area were present.