The streets of Sidhapudur near Gandhipuram in Coimbatore overflowed with people on Sunday morning, as thousands descended to pay their respects to the much-beloved “20-rupees doctor”. Even as Coimbatore has grown as a centre of super-specialty medical services, for thousands of poor people in the city, Dr V Balasubramaniam was their saviour.
Running a clinic in Sidhapudur, Dr Balasubramaniam, who passed away from a cardiac arrest on Friday, earned the moniker of “20-rupees doctor” because that was the maximum fee he charged from any of his patients. Hailing from Bodinayakanur in Theni district, Dr Balasubramaniam, set up clinics for the poor wherever his employment with the ESIC took him – in Theni, Chennimalai in Erode, and Coimbatore. He first started off charging his patients just Rs 2 for a consultation, slowly increasing it over the years by small amounts. Even until two years ago, he only asked his patients for a …
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