Jungle Doctors

Regi George and Lalitha at their clinic

Regi George from Chengannur and Lalitha from Tripunithura met while studying at Government T. D. Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala. While he specialized in anaesthesia, she became a gynaecologist. The Christian boy and Hindu girl married in 1987 against their parents’ wish. Though they hailed from wealthy families, they decided to do something for the poor through their medical profession. While Regi had been inspired as a youth by the stories of Albert Schweitzer and Mahatma Gandhi, Lalitha wanted to be the first doctor in a place where there was none.

While serving in Kasturbai Hospital in Gandhigram of Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu, in 1987, they met villagers coming from far away villages for treatment even for preventable diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia. After visiting many hospitals in the country, the couple realized that hospitals don’t give priority to prevention. They decided to go to the Sittilingi Valley in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu in 1992. They realized that the two lakh tribals living there had a high infant mortality rate of 147 per 1000 babies and the highest maternal mortality in India. Cut off from the rest of the world, these Malaivasis (hill folks) had to travel 50 km to Karur to visit a hospital. Regi and Lalitha decided to serve these tribals.

Cover of the February 2022 issue of The Teenager Today

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F. M. Britto serves marginalized people in a remote village in Chhattisgarh with education and development programmes. He is the author of six books including 99 Changemakers and Keys To Success And Happiness published by Better Yourself Books.

F. M. Britto

F. M. Britto serves marginalized people in a remote village in Chhattisgarh with education and development programmes. He is the author of six books including 99 Changemakers and Keys To Success And Happiness published by Better Yourself Books.