Odisha village honours B’luru doctor with memorial

Remote Odisha village honours B’luru doctor with memorial

George said Tekur has helped identify traditional medicine used by the tribals

The memorial coming up in Odisha. Credit: special arrangement

A Bengaluru-based doctor, who succumbed to Covid in May, is being honoured with a memorial in a remote village in Odisha.

Thread (Team for Human Resource & Action for Development), an organisation working with tribals in Odisha, is dedicating its corona prevention centre and eco food court at Siddharth Village Resort in Koraput district to Shirdi Prasad Tekur, in memory of his service to tribals and women in Odisha.

John George, who founded Thread in 1984, said: “We haven’t got over his passing away. Over the 30 years that he has been associated with us, Dr Shirdi Tekur has been working with tribal women in areas like community health, herbal medicine and various other activities.”

“Dr Tekur was always giving, never taking. The cost of the project is Rs 5 lakh, but does not include the work involved in making creative use of waste material and the free labour provided by staff members to show their gratitude to Dr Tekur,” George said. 

George said Tekur has helped identify traditional medicine used by the tribals and taught them the scientific and hygienic way of producing and administering them.

Tekur’s last visit to Thread was in March when he discussed with George a herb called bhui neem, a traditional treatment for malaria being used by tribals in Odisha, which is now being tested at Bengaluru’s Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions.

“He was involved in community health and plunged himself in disaster relief work during cyclones in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and during the Latur earthquake,” said Tekur’s brother Pramod in Bengaluru.

Despite his involvement in community service, he always had time for his patients at his clinic in Jayanagar.

“It was virtually a free clinic. It was not a mere doctor-patient relationship, he took on the patients’ problems as his own,” Pramod said, adding that Tekur was multifaceted with a spiritual bent, giving regular talks at the Meditation and Study Circle and Ananda Foundation in Basavanagudi. He was also a trustee at the Environment Support Group and a good painter.

Despite the raging pandemic, he continued to visit his clinic till the end in the face of great personal risk, before the virus took its toll.

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