Back to the ‘pind’

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| Balmindar Kaur | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 23 March 2016 | Asia Samachar | 

Living in distant countries, one sometimes wishes that we could help those areas where our forefathers migrated from. A few of us (cousins and relatives) took this opportunity and proceeded to our ancestral village of Bhullar (about 10 km from Muktsar, Punjab in India). We held a free medical and eye camp from 26 Jan to 3 Feb 2016.

It was organised and sponsored by Dr. Gurdit Singh Bhullar (a family practitioner in Calgary, Canada) and Dr. Gurpal Singh Bhuller (a retired orthopedic surgeon in Vienna, US). They are both uncles of mine. We were joined by my sister from Dubai and the two of us (my Mum and me) from Malaysia. We also had local volunteers who assisted the doctors, made living arrangements, provided transport, and handled patient registration and crowd control.

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The medical camp was divided into general medical problems handled by Dr. Gurdit,  orthopaedic problems handled by Dr. Gurpal and ladies issues handled by Dr. Sukhminder Kaur.

Over 1,500 patients,  averaging about 200 per day, were given free medicines, injections and consultations throughout the course of the medical camp. Some of the medicines were brought from US, while others were purchased or donated locally.

“It is so wonderful to be able to help those who really need care and have so little resources,” said Dr. Gurpal.

We had one day dedicated as a ‘ladies-only’ day to encourage the women in the village to seek medical treatment. The turnout was encouraging with 128 patients receiving medical treatment.

“It is disheartening to note that women in the village still lack medical care as they are very apprehensive in seeking treatment,” said Dr. Sukhminder. She also noted that several of them were subdued and brought up the issue of abuse.

Apart from the medical camp, an eye camp was also held on 31 Jan 2016 in collaboration with the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Ludhiana who provided a team of 12 doctors and nurses. Over 640 people from Bhullar and the neighbouring villages came to get their eyes examined. Medications were provided, 283 patients received spectacles, and 12 of them who needed surgery were taken to CMC Ludhiana the following day for their eye operation.

“These are such simple operations and they change lives so dramatically,” said Dr. Gurdit.

The people in the village were not really aware of simple health issues that they are facing and lack access to basic medical care due to poverty. They were profoundly grateful towards the doctors and the assistants for the advice, medications and injections. One of the most common conditions we noted was anemia and neglected high blood pressure.

The people in the village were not really aware of simple health issues that they are facing and lack access to basic medical care due to poverty. They were profoundly grateful towards the doctors and the assistants for the advice, medications and injections. One of the most common conditions we noted was anemia and neglected high blood pressure.

Dr Gurpal was born in Ipoh, Malaysia, while Dr Gurdit was born in Punjab. They now reside in the US and Canada respectively. Balmindar works with a foreign bank in Malaysia.

 

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