Chennai’s ‘Two Rupee Doctor’ chosen as Person of the Year
A well-known corporate hospital in Gurugram was recently in the news for charging Rs 18 lakh for the treatment of a 7-year-old, diagnosed with dengue. The treatment which lasted for a mere 15 days failed to save the life of the child.
Only a couple of months earlier, Mersal, a Tamil film starring actor Vijay, stirred up a debate on the exorbitant fees charged by corporate hospitals. The hero played the role of a good-hearted ‘five rupee doctor’.
When the movie was still talk of the town, The Weekend Leader featured Dr Thiruvengadam Veeraraghavan, known among the community he served in North Chennai as the ‘two-rupee doctor’.
Since the 1970’s Dr Thiruvengadam has been practising in Vyasarpadi, a predominantly working class area, treating patients free of charge, and collecting small amounts from those who can afford to pay.
Dr Thiruvengadam has been chosen as The Weekend Leader – VIT Person of the Year (2017) by a three-member jury comprising Ms Vanitha Mohan (Managing Trustee, Siruthuli & Managing Director, Pricol), Mr Vidyaakar (Founder, Udavum Karangal), and Dr N Jayasankaran (Advisor, VIT Business School, Vellore). The Award consists of a cash prize of Rs 25,000, a trophy and citation.
Dr Thiruvengadam was one of the five nominees of The Weekend Leader’s editorial team for the award. The other four nominees were Dr Rajalakshmi S. J. (Bengaluru), Nawneet Ranjan (Mumbai), Pradeep John (Chennai) and Prashant Lingam (Hyderabad).
Since its inception in 2010, The Weekend Leader has been engaged in highlighting the works of people like Dr Thiruvengadam, who serve the community in the fields of environment, education, health, disability, women empowerment, development and poverty eradication.
Every year one such person featured in the magazine is chosen as the Person of the Year. VIT University joined hands with The Weekend Leader in 2011 to celebrate our heroes and ever since The Weekend Leader – VIT Person of the Year Award has grown in stature and prestige.
Following is the list of people who have won the award in the previous years
2010: Tanishk Shyamya (Ranchi, Jharkhand) - TWL Bureau