Pune: Over 100 poor people suffering from ailments like diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure and paralysis, whose livelihood dependedon a temple here in Maharashtra, had to stop taking their medicines after the temple closed due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.
However, a doctor in the area with the help some locals and pharmacists ensured that these poor people, who include bards, folk artists and small-time shopkeepers, who earned by selling worship items at the temple’s base, get their monthly doses of medicines on time.
There are several households in Pune’s Jejuri town whose livelihood is dependent on the famous Khandoba temple located in the area, Dr Nitin Kenjale told PTI.
“Members from these families work as bards, folk artists and run shops selling puja items at the temple base.
But due to the lockdown, temples and religious institutions are closed. Since the economy around the temple in Jejuri is also affected, these people are bearing its brunt,” he said.
Kenjale said several of these people come to his clinic for consultation, he said.
“While talking to some of these people, who are suffering from diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure and paralysis, I came to know that they stopped taking their medicines for want of money,” Kenjale said.
Kenjale, his wife and a couple of other locals then surveyed several households and came to know that at least105 people living there had stopped taking their medicines due to the financial crunch.
“Since people with such ailments are more prone to the coronavirus infection, it was a matter of concern. Initially, we provided medicines to a handful of persons, but as the number of those requiring regular medicines rose, we formed a Jejuri Health Service Group with the help of some like-minded people,” Kenjale said.
The group then contacted some local pharmacists, who agreed to provide medicines required by these 105 people at the base price, said one of the group members Prakash Khade.
“All these needy people are now getting their medicines on time,” Khade said.
The average monthly cost of these medicines per person is around Rs 500, he said.
The group is committed to provide medicines to all these people until the temple opens for devotees and the economy around comes back on track, he added.