sarve santu nirāmayāḥ
“Vaidyo Narayana Harih” proclaims the Indian culture, which simply means, doctor is God. It is not without a reason that after one’s own mother, father and teacher, this prized privilege of being a God to humanity is given only to a physician who works selflessly and tirelessly to relieve the sick and the suffering. This was more so in ancient India and most of the earliest civilisations, where the physician was available to the sick at all times, be it day or night, to serve them without any charges whatsoever. This act of total selflessness which expected nothing in return from the sick, be a Prince or a pauper, made people adore physicians as gods. The Indian prayer, ‘sarve santu nirāmayāḥ’, let all be healthy, was made in all its earnestness as we Indians knew that even if some one was to fall sick, he or she would be provided with all the medical care needed by the physician and no one would be deprived of it simply because of financial barriers. The idea of ‘vasudhaiva kuṭumbakam’ - the whole world is one family, prospered and perpetuated itself through such a free healthcare system that charged no one, but was instead supported by all, for the welfare of all. This idea was lost over a period, with monetisation and commoditisation of essential services like health and education, until Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, breathed a new life into this dying ideology by liberating healthcare services from the financial clutches of modern medicine. The result was the establishment of several hospitals that provide free of cost services to all.
Another link in the chain of such free healthcare initiatives, is Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital in Muddenahalli, Chikkaballapur in the rural heartland of Karnataka, which is set up by the selfless support of several people from around the world. The name Sarla Memorial is significant as it’s a tribute to Smt Sarla Indulal Shah, in a gesture of gratitude for her lifelong services to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s mission.
This small venture today is all set to grow into a 500-bedded state-of-the-art multi-super-speciality hospital, as well as a teaching and training institute in the near future. In a world consumed by commerce,
this one-of-its-kind medical facility would untie the strangulating knots that bind healthcare services with financial obligations and change the way healthcare is taught and learnt, given and received.
Sri Madhusudan Sai