Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ayurvedic chemist

This ayurvedic practitioner worked at the oldest hospital in Lucknow, a hospital which worked on donations and never charged a single person for treatment.  I saw this quite a lot in India, particularly with Ayurvedic medicine not western...

While in Bikaner I was welcomed with a cup of chai and some street food by an other ayurvedic practitioner who was sat cross legged folder instruction pamphlets for his ointment. The clinic was a tiny open faced room in one of the many bazaars if Bikaner. The walls where covered with before and after pictures and letters of thanks from the many burn victims he had treated, for free. He explained to me why he believed medicine and medical treatment should never be charged for and it was a compelling argument, but a very simple one, he based what he did on compassion and service to others. It was unconditional yet it was practical as if to prove this point a patient turned up to have his dressing changed. As a westerner and essentially a germaphobe, it was compelling yet unnerving to watch a dirty bandage come off and see the wound beneath and watch it get dressed. The man being treated was clearly in pain but was still scolded for not keeping the previous dressing clean.
But it was free, and it worked. There was no monetary value assigned to someones well-being. This shot is featured in my book Mazdoor which can be purchased here

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