Behind the Scene
Helping the Poor and the Sick
Md. Sohrab Hossain
If you were in Galachipa upazila town of the district and asked someone, “Do you know Dr. Khaleq?” the obvious answer would be, 'Of course. Who doesn't know him?' However, not too many people outside Galachipa know the story of Dr. Khaleq who has retained an indomitable spirit even in his seventies and manifests the vigour of a youth in all his activities. He dreams of an enlightened Bangladesh, free from the curse of illiteracy, communalism and poverty of all kinds.
Dr. AKM Abdul Khaleq is the third of the seven children of late Karamat Ali Howlader and Joigun Nesa of Naluabagi village under Galachipa. After passing his Matriculation in 1954 from Patuakhali Government Jubilee high school, he got himself admitted into Brojo Mohon college (BM college) in Barisal.
After completing higher secondary education he went into Midfort in Dhaka in LMF course (Licence of Medicine Faculty) in 1960. He decided to start his career as a government employee and joined as Thana Medical officer at Rayanda in Bagherhat district. He worked at the post for 8 years. He completed the MBBS degree in 1968 from Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital in Dhaka. Then his father advised him to serve the local poor people who could not afford medical treatment due to their extreme poverty. He resigned from his job on his father's advice and started private practice as a general physician. He set up his chamber on the thana road in the upazila town where he is now giving treatment to his people. When he started working here, there was no doctor with MBBS degree in the area.
He thus engaged himself in the noble profession of medical treatment with the aim of serving his own people, specially the poor and the helpless. He treated them free of cost. About 5o poor and distressed people on an average are given free treatment daily. He freely distributes all sample medicines received from different medicine companies among the poor patients. Believe it or not, he also gives them diet and cash money in emergency cases. He is loved and respected and is treated as a real friend of the poor people of his area. His door is open round the clock to all classes of people. He is blessed by all for his noble initiative. He takes only Tk 100 as doctor's fee from solvent patients though the amount is negligible nowadays.
He organises eye camps with the help of Patuakhali BNSB eye hospital every year at his locality where free treatment is given to the poor people.
Dr. Khaleq has founded a trust named 'Nazrul Islam Foundation'. Every year educational scholarship is given by the Trust to poor and meritorious students of the locality to ensure their better education. Within a short time, Dr. Khaleq, got profoundly attached to the local people and won their sincerest love and respect.
For his outstanding contribution in the field of medical treatment and social activities he has gradually attained tremendous popularity among the poor people of the whole area. In course of time Dr. Khaleq felt that his village was not advanced enough in education. He took initiative to set up a High School named 'Naluabagi High Shool' at his village for which he donated 7.5 acres land.
As a social worker also Dr. Khaleq has made his mark. Even at the age of 70, he works as the Secretary of the school. He is also a life member of NATAB of Galachipa unit, life member of Galachipa upazila welfare foundation, an executive member of Galachipa officers Club, and General member of the National Blind Association. He was named 'Life term honorable person', 2005, by NATAB.
'My endeavour was to reach the poor helpless people and I've always tried to provide better health service. I feel proud mostly of being a doctor,' he said to the Daily Star.
“It isn't easy for a single person to do so many things. I have been able to do these things because of the cordial cooperation of Galachipa people,” he added. “At present we are passing through troubled times. But I am hopeful about the youths of the new generation. I believe that they will be able to bring about a change in the present state of affairs and free the country from illiteracy, poverty, exploitation and militancy.”
(R) thedailystar.net 2006