If you are a resident of Delhi, then there’s a possibility that you might have stumbled upon an octogenarian man cladding a saffron kurta and holding a black bag. His appearance makes one think of him as a priest. But, on second look, one can see these bold words imprinted on his kurta: “09250243298: Mobile Medicine Bank. Thanks for your kind coordination Omkar Nath; Help for Medicine Bank; Raahat Hi Raahat”,
This man is 80-yr-old Omkar Nath Sharma alias “Medicine Baba” (Medicine Monk), a philanthropist who voluntarily collects unused medicines from people by going door to door and distributes those free of cost to the needy.
Sharma, a retired blood bank technician from Noida’s Kailash Hospital, kickstarted this new inning of his life in 2008, after an under-construction Delhi Metro bridge collapsed in Laxmi Nagar, taking the lives of two and injuring several construction workers and passers by. He watched the injured people carefully and found that they don’t have enough money to buy medicines. This is what motivated Sharma to begin his initiative of going to households asking for the unused and unexpired medicines and began his supply chain.
Medicine Baba, who stays in a rented house in Palma, believes that his sole purpose in life is to help others. Affording healthcare facilities even in a government hospital has become a costly affair for many. They can barely afford to pay for the costly medicines. Medicine Baba is their messiah. He collects approximately thousand medicines by the end of the day. Typhoid, Jaundice, Malaria, Hepatitis — he has medicinal products for almost every common disease found in India. NGOs distribute these medicines under doctor’s supervision.
No Government help yet
Today Medicine Baba delivers medicine worth Rs 10 lakh to the needy. So many medicines have started to pour in that he doesn’t have a place to sleep at his house. For almost a year Sharma and his associate are trying to seek a small corner in a government dispensary, so they can keep the drugs and offer them for free 24/7, as all the government dispensaries close by 4.30 pm. “We contacted the Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain in April last year; he had promised us to find a place. Almost eight months have passed, and despite our repeated attempts to contact, he has refused to show up and help us in getting a place, ” said Sacheen Gandhi, Gen. Secretary, Medicinebaba Trust.
Sharma was crippled at the age of 12. In such conditions, he walks around five to six kilometres every day to collect medicines. People financially help him too. Over the years, a lot of media coverage has drawn Sharma help from different parts of the country. He is a true inspiration to many.
Anyone can help him financially or send him medicines. You can reach out to him on his mobile number at 09250243298, and his website is medicinebaba