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Arun Kumar Das: A Beam of Hope
|by Amarendra Kishore|
Kalupada is just 60 kilometers from Orissa state capital Bhubaneswar. As one-steps down from a train, there is innumerable taxi-wallahs shouting to attract passengers for Alpaca. Wide roads make your journey quite comfortable. This is not a Hindu pilgrim center, nor is this in news for hunger deaths, which is true of some other places in Orissa. Kalupada does not even have a 'child bazaar'. But the place is the last hope of persons who have suffered multiple fractures and suggested amputation as the last resort by the registered orthopedics. And the man who has turned out to be the messiah is the 38-year-old Arun Kumar Das.
Arun is not a registered medical practitioner, nor he is a vagabond. He is not providing door-to-door service, nor he is charging exorbitantly for curing their ailment. He stays in his Kalupada ashram and treats whosoever approaches him. He is too busy throughout the year to move anywhere. After he finishes his diagnosis, he tells his patients to pray to God that everything should go well. To him, medicine can cure ailment, but prayers can change one's fortune. That is why he has displayed images of various Gods and Goddess on the walls of his clinic, exhorting time and again to the mercy of the Almighty.
He has become an expert in bone treatment. Everyday he treats around hundred to hundred twenty-five patients. He takes special care in treating problems of thigh and hip joints. He does not have any operation theatre nor does he have groups of specialists. He never suggests anybody to insert steel rods as he feels that it makes one permanently disabled. Little bamboo sticks, bandages and black herbal liquid solutions are few things that Arun treats patients with. Arun calls his method of treatment naturopathy.
First of all, he sets the broken bones at the right place by gentle patting. He never does it forcefully. Then he puts the black herbal solution on a five-meter long bandage. He says, "The solution is the mixture of ten types of herbs, the knowledge of which has come to me by the blessings of my teacher." He wraps the bandage around the broken limb. Though every fourth-day the bandage needs to be changed, it depends on the seriousness of the damage as to how many times that needs to be changed. However, he tries to make it as minimum as possible. For the patients, who come from far-flung areas, he usually gives the solution in powdered form so that they can apply on the limbs at home by making solution. For every bandage about 100 grams of powder is used. The powder is boiled with 'arandi (caster) oil and cow milk for a long time. The solution thus made is allowed to cool before being applied on the broken limbs.
Bone treatment is Arun's ancestral profession. This has been going on since eight generations. He does not need a TV or newspaper advertisement to popularize his curing system. But this is purely a service to humanity rather than a money-spinning venture. He still remembers his father's words even after 25 years, "If a single person leaves your hutment without a smile on his face, your entire efforts goes into the drain." Arun is very secretive about his herbal medicines. He knows, if they fall into the wrong hands, then God forbid, this will be grossly misused. Particularly, if the foreigners know these, poor people will be deprived of its benefit.
So, the herbs are collected form the jungle only by his trusted men. But even they are not allowed the knowledge of preparing the mixture, as this is considered the key to the cure. Herbal solution while helps in joining the bones, sometimes it weakens them. They need to be given hot fomentation, which is an extremely specialized method. This Arun has learnt from his grandfather. First of all, he applies caster oil on the affected areas. Then a thick oil-soaked cloth is wrapped around, followed by covering it with herbal solution. Then iron rods are heated to the maximum and gently rolled over the oiled-clothes. The exercise goes on for 20-25 minutes. The hot fomentation not only helps in healthier bones, it can cure problems like spondylitis as well. In an era of globalization and issues like patent and copyrights, Arun's treatment may be considered archaic and unscientific, but this does not perturb him.
Though the researchers from Germany and Spain with bags full of dollar lured him, this honest therapist never agreed to sell his formula to them. To him, service to the needy and their affection is the actual wealth.
|More by : Amarendra Kishore|
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