Amid the ongoing farmers protest against the Central agri laws at Delhi borders, American cardiologist Dr. Swaiman Singh has decided to put his return to New Jersey on hold and has been camping at Tikri border for the past 3 months providing free medical checkup and medicine to protestors.
The doctor runs the only super speciality hospital in Tikri that holds medical camps and distributes medicines for free.
Swaiman Singh told ANI, “We give service to everyone, not just farmers. Locals, policemen, and CRPF men also come here to get treatment. On average 4,000 to 6,000 people get treated at our camp in 24 hours. The camp works till night. This is the only super speciality hospital in Tikri”.
He said, “I used to set up medical camps here every year, We treat people over a period of time and they become our family members. One such patient had a stroke during the dharna and he called me. I came here to help him”.
“Then I thought of staying here for five days and after having set up a camp with doctors on my payroll. I have decided to postpone my return to the US and will continue my work there,” he said.
“But when I saw the hardship of these people with hardly any doctors and no medication I changed my mind. I understood I was their ray of hope. Now it has been 3 months since I’m here,” he added.
On asked if it was a hard decision to leave a well-paying job in the US and work at Tikri he said, “Money was not the issue to me, I am from a well-to-do family by God’s grace. People were dying on the roads. There comes a time in life where we have to think about others rather than ourselves. As a doctor I have signed up to serve, This is my duty. ”
“All of our services are free of cost. If we include telemedicine services, 1,000 doctors work here with me. They are the ones putting in so much effort. I mostly guide them and does supervision. 2 weeks before we did a free complete blood checkup, ” he added.
“Government has prevented safai karamcharis to work here, there is a shortage of toilets. Internet and electricity were also cut by the government. Gutters are overflowing,” he further said.
He warned that there is a huge chance of malaria and dengue spreading in the area if gutters continue to remain unclean. “Why are the gutters not cleaned? They are also tax-paying citizens. The government should help them,” he said.
“Apart from doing medical service we have expanded to having a library and providing shelter for close to 10,000 people. We do cleaning drives, plant trees, and run a Departmental store that supplies’ daily essentials’ for free,” he added.
Farmers are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance, and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 at Delhi’s borders. However, the implementation of the three laws was in January put on hold by the Supreme Court.