Dr. Abhijit Sonawane and his wife Dr. Manisha Sonawane are working together to bring medicine to the most deprived group of individuals in Pune, India. Under their organization, Soham Trust, these doctors for beggars treat individuals that do not have financial means for medical treatments.
“We provide all the basic health care and investigations on [the] road itself to the elder beggars, who are abandoned by their families and who are begging just to survive in this world,” says Dr. Abhijit.
Every morning, Dr. Abhijit heads out to various locations such as temples, mosques and churches where a majority of homeless seniors assemble to seek donations. He carries with him two bags full of medicine, conducts check-ups, and provides free medicine to those that are in need. “To attain this objective, we daily visit Mandir, Mosque and Church during 10:00-4: 00 pm and interact with beggars, carry out medical check-ups and provide all other related medical services,” he says.
Dr. Abhijit not only assists with medical and emotional support but also provides counselling to the homeless senior citizens so they can start their own businesses. “We create a relationship with them as their family member. Once we build the rapport with them, we start counselling and convince them to leave this begging trade,” Dr. Abhijit says and adds, “We are proud to say that since April 2017, we have supported 49 elderly citizens to leave the begging trade.” A total of 1100 homeless individuals registered with Dr. Abhijit are receiving medical support. “But, provision of health care is not our objective, our mission is to reach up to their heart.... by using this path.”
In addition, he says their goal is to make these individuals self-sufficient. A total of 160 cataract operations have been conducted by Dr. Abhijit and his wife. When medical care cannot be provided on the road, Dr. Abhijit relocates them to a public or private hospital.
Dr. Manisha Sonawane plays a crucial role in the operation of the organization. While Dr. Abhijit dedicates his daily routine to the service of those that are not financially independent, his wife operates a clinic where a majority of their financial support comes from. “People ask us, how we survive. The answer is, we have one small clinic which is run by my wife,” he says.
Dr. Abhijit and Dr. Manisha need your help to provide better medical care to their extended family of 1100 beggars. Funds are required for the following expenses:
- Cost of medicines disbursed for free every day to the beggars
- Financial support to beggars to start working on their own once rehabilitated.
- Cost of surgeries for cataract patients
- Cost of shifting the really old beggars to paid old age homes.
- Cost of other medical diagnostics and surgeries which cannot be performed on the streets.
Your support will ensure that Dr. Abhijit and Dr. Manisha continue to provide free medical care to the beggars.