KOLKATA:We all know it is a doctor’s job to save lives and here is the story of a doctor who is also teaching others how to live life.
In his eight years as a doctor in a small village Okrabari at Dinhata in Coochbehar district — some 750 kilometres away from Kolkata on the border of Bhutan and Bangladesh, this 35-year-old has achieved feats that has raised him to a stature of “daktarbabu”.
Not only has he adopted 38 street children, formalised the marriage of numerous trafficked girls, but has also given away nearly all his savings to provide food to the Covid patients and ration to the poor during lockdown all the while teaching these people how to live life respectably.
“I picked up 38 orphans from the streets and embraced all their responsibilities.
“I was a student in Calcutta Medical College then. I saved money from my tuition, did some small-time business and I had my Rs 15,000 scholarship per month. With this money I provided them with the basic necessities,” Ajay Mandal, who himself comes from humble background, told IANS.
“This year seven of them got more than 90 per cent in the Higher Secondary exam. I told them to prepare for the Joint Entrance Examination. I shall do everything possible to make them successful in life.
“Presently I am giving them a stipend of Rs 4,500 per month,” Mandal added.
“I also come from a very ordinary background and I know the pains of not having money. I have seen many young talents lost only because of money and I shall try to do as much as I can for these kids as possible,” he added.
Mandal, himself comes from a poor family. Resident of a small village named Jamtala near Sundarbans in South 24 Parganas, his father Nakul Chandra Mandal was a sharecropper who earned most of his living by catching fish in the river.
Youngest of the three siblings, Ajay was a good student and had the opportunity to study on scholarship in Narendrapur Ramakrishna mission — one of the premier educational institutions in the state.
In 2007 he ranked 27th in West Bengal joint entrance medical examination but didn’t have the money to continue with his education.
“I couldn’t have continued with my education if not for the Kolkata Police who had come forward to help me,” Mandal said.
Under the community policing scheme — a scheme for social welfare works — the Kolkata police sponsored Mandal’s entire educational expenses. Later on, Mandal completed his MACP from the USA and PGDC and PGDD from the UK.
When asked why he came all the way from Kolkata to Coochbehar, Mandal said, “My posting was in this village. As it was a small village on the border of Bhutan human trafficking and smuggling was rampant.
“There was no regular income and so people resorted to easy money. One day I came to know that three girls from this village were sold to Sonagachi — the biggest red-light district in Kolkata.
“I went to Kolkata and purchased the girls for Rs 12 lakh and got them married. After that I rescued numerous girls and got them married, too.”
Initially people didn’t accept him and took him as a government spy or agent but eventually they started to realise that there is a better way to live. “Presently I have a huge number of people, mainly my students and patients who are ready to work for the betterment of the society. Without their help it would have been impossible for me to reach out to the people,” Mandal said.
Mandal’s wife Madhumita also worked hand-in-hand with her husband. “For the last six months she has been running ‘Madhumita Kitchen’ where free food is delivered to the Covid patients. We have supported 18,700 families in this lockdown and we have spent more than 14 lakh for this purpose. I don’t take any financial help from anybody. The money I earn from treating people is spent on these people,” Mandal said.
“His contribution for the development of the area is huge. He has worked selflessly for the betterment of the people,” a local Trinamool Congress leader said.