Volume 16 - Issue 05
May 2018
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Posted on: May 28, 2018


A Street Tea Shop Owner Finally Finds Succor and Solace

Where would a man, who earns just Rs 4000 a month, go
when he is diagnosed with a tumour which costs Rs 100000 to be operated upon

It was not the question of if, but when. In August it was always like that. The Southern horizon already had dark menacing clouds, trying to swiftly conquer the skies. The Sun on the other hand seemed too feeble to resist. Already some in the 8 am crowd milling on the busy road of the Howrah suburb had their umbrellas out.

Harikrishna’s face twitched. Momentarily turning his gaze away from the whistling kettle, he looked at the ominous black clouds gaining steadily over the blue sky. “Not good, not good”, he muttered under his breath. Last thing Hari wanted was a downpour during the busy business hour. And then it poured.

His smile says it all!  

Another Tormenting Day for Hari

The crowd disappeared from the roads like deer scatter at the sight of a lion. Hari pulled out a black tarpaulin sheet from the roof of his rickety mobile tea stall and covered his head with it and waited.

With his 30 years’ experience of braving the rain, Hari could tell that the rain would last long and that he was going to lose most of the earning of that day.

Sadness welled up in his heart. He had already spent around Rs 8,000 for the medical tests the other day, which was over and above the Rs 500 the doctor asked as consultation fee.

For a man earning Rs 4,000 a month, by selling tea on the roadside from morning 7 till evening 7, the medical expenditure had cleaned up most of his savings and he still did not know why there was pain in his lower abdomen and why he was passing blood in his urine. 

The showers lasted the whole day. Seeing no hope Hari shut shop early and trudged home pushing his tea cart.

The Tumour That Traumatised Hari

Next day Hari first visited the private hospital and they had a bad news in store for him.

Hari had a tumour on his urinary bladder, which required operation, the cost of which would be Rs 100,000, but with no guarantee that he would be cured of the disease. 

Distraught, Hari came back home and flopped on the cot. Just then his neighbour Ramcharan walked into his house and enquired the reason why Hari looked so out of sorts. Hari’s wife revealed to him her husband’s predicament.

SSSIHMS - Hari's Saviour

“You have no need to worry,” Ramcharan declared, “Your treatment will take place completely free of charge”. Hari’s eyes lit up and a new hope took root in Hari’s heart.

“What did you say bhai? Operation completely free of charge, really?” Hari exclaimed.

“Of course”, replied Ramcharan. Ramcharan was a Sevadal, i.e. a volunteer with the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Howrah, and he knew very well about the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS), Prasanthigram, where advanced medical care was provided completely free of charge for all. 

Soon with Ramcharan’s guidance, Hari reached SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram. The surgeons at the Urology department performed the tests and confirmed that there was a tumour and a major operation had to be performed. Hari was ready.

“This hospital looked like a temple. After seeing the beautiful hospital, the completely free treatment provided to all and the loving care of the staff members, I felt so good and relieved. Ramcharan had told me the same thing and now I am able to see it with my own eyes,” Hari said gladly.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram

A major surgery called cystectomy was performed on Hari and he recovered uneventfully in the Urology ward of the hospital. According to Urology surgeon, SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, in Hari’s case the tumour had covered his entire urinary bladder and therefore, the bladder had to be removed.

“We reconstructed the bladder. The patient would be required to take a little rest for some weeks and then he could go back to his work,” the doctor said.  

Hari was all smiles after his discharge.

It is a great blessing by Sai Baba that I visited the hospital. Such loving care! I feel when the nurses and the doctors talk to you here, half of the problem goes away. When I was in the ICU and the ward, everybody passing by me would stop and ask me how I was feeling and reassure me. I just felt like it was home. I believe that Swami Himself is running this hospital. And I would like to request Baba that the way He has taken care of me, He should take care of everybody who visits this hospital,” Hari concluded, as his palms came in gesture of prayer and his face beamed with joy and gratitude.

- SSSIHMS team, Prasanthigram

This article is taken from the SSSIHMS newsletter “Temple of Healing”
Vol 1, Issue 2 (March – April 2018)

Here are other issues
Vol 1 Issue 1  (Jan – Feb 2018)
Vol 1 issue 3 (May – June 2018)

The Department of Urology was started by Bhagawan Baba at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram in 1992. The legendary urologist, who was often hailed as the ‘Father of urology in India’, Dr H S Bhatt established and spearheaded the department for more than 15 years.

Till date, the department has seen close to one million patients and performed nearly 71000 surgeries. These are patients not just from Andhra Pradesh or the Southern states of India but from all over India and even from neighbouring countries.

- Radio Sai Team

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