Chennai: Dr. V. Thiruvengadam of Vyasarpadi in Chennai, popularly called the ‘5-rupees doctor’, died of cardiac arrest on Saturday night. The 70-year old doctor was admitted to the Southern Railway Hospital on Wednesday after he complained of chest pain. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Well known in the Northern Chennai, Dr. Thiruvengadam served the poor in Vyasarpadi and Erukkencheri areas for a nominal fee of Rs. 5. Initially, when he started his medical service in 1973, he only charged Rs. 2 per patient.
It is also known that the doctor has never taken a day off and that his clinic was shut in March due to COVID-19 restrictions, the first time in decades.
The doctor rose to further fame after Tamil movie ‘Mersal’ based the lead actor Vijay’s character on him—a doctor who offers treatment for Rs. 5.
His daughter T Preeti, a doctor herself, ensured that the clinic will not shut down. “My younger brother and I are both doctors and we will take his legacy forward,” she said to the media. “We just need some time to deal with the loss,” she added.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Paneer Selvam condoled the death of Dr. Thiruvengadam in their respective statements.