Arunima Chitale Pophali
Imagine, “Being a helpless parent of a kid who was paralysed and no treatment had given any hope even after a huge amount of money was spent for treatment. Then a saintly man arrived who treated the kid just by massaging the boy with his fingers without even charging a single penny and showed results. Kid’s mother witnessed the magic of massage from this God sent man as the kid started to move his limbs. Only after 6 hours of this massage treatment this kid came to consciousness and the mother had tears of joy.” This is not a piece of fiction but a true heartwarming story of Mr.Kanchan Narang, now a reputed Charted Accountant in Mumbai and the ‘Saintly Man’ was Dr. Madhavrao Paralkar.
Dr. Madhavrao Paralkar was a Sangh Pracharak and an epitome of Humanity. He treated number of patients and even provided logistic and other support to their relatives and caretakers as well. Rugna Sewa Sadana. (Nana Palkar Smriti samiti), which was established by Dr. Paralkar himself, is a boon for poor patients in a city like Mumbai.
Dr. Paralkar was a Swayamsevak from a very young age and a bright student too. In 1947, he completed his degree as Doctor of Ayurveda and after practicing his profession for a while became a full time Sangh Pracharak. He used to commute on a bicycle to Virar and Chembur from Bandra. He had a way with words and a charming personality which made him popular among masses specially youths. He remained as a national Organizing Secretary in Vidyarthi Parishad for number of years. Due to his dedication towards patients, erstwhile Sarsanghchalak Shri Golvalkar Guruji handed him the responsibility of establishing Rugna Sewa Sadana. , which would provide lodging and boarding to poor patients and their relatives.
Treatments of diseases like cancer and T.B. (Tuberculosis) are expensive and long. Patients get their free meals in hospital but it becomes difficult for caretakers to manage their food and shelter especially in a city like Mumbai. Nana Palkar Smriti Samiti (Rugna Sewa Sadana )is a ten floor building situated conveniently about half-a-kilometer from Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital and is virtually a home for poor patients. The facility of free boarding and food at an affordable cost of Rs. 10 per meal for one month provides relief to patients and their caretakers on the front of lodging and boarding. Dr. Paralkar had worked diligently to build this Sewa Sadan. He approached and took help from classes and masses. He motivated many Swayamsewaks and their family to contribute a small donation of Rs. 500 and at the same time also got donation from Birla foundation in the form of Lithotripsy machine costing Rs. 75 lakhs. He also convinced Dr. Ajit Phadke a big name in Mumbai medical world for free laser surgery and accommodation for patients in his hospital. Gokhale Dialysis Centre, another brainchild of Dr. Paralkar has 14 machines which provide free dialysis to poor patients in various shifts.
Due to unrelenting devotion of Dr. Paralkar, all famous and big Doctors of Mumbai including Dr. Goyal who was Dean of Mumbai Hospital were always ready to help this simple dhoti kurta clad Aurvedic Doctor. According to close associate of Dr. Paralkar and Sewa Sadan Trustee Mr. Vivek Chhatre, Dr. Paralkar is considered among the elites of medical fraternity of Mumbai.
He spent every minute of his life to serve the humanity which is evident in the establishments of Rugna Sewa Sadan and Gokhale Dialysis Centre. His never-say-die spirit can be understood from the fact that he was teaching Yoga and various massage techniques to fellow prisoners at the time of Emergency. He treated many people with his magical massage without charging anything at all. After touching so many lives and completion of seven floors of NPSS (Nana Palkar Smriti Samiti), he passed away at the age of 81 on 22nd February 2008.