Village Doctor

 
    • The villages of Koyra upazila (sub district) under the southern district of Khulna look like any other rural area in Bangladesh. But being surrounded by the Sundarbans forest and many rivers and creeks, people have a very different lifestyle here.

      Bangladesh is one of the health workforce crisis countries in the world. In the face of an acute shortage of trained professionals, ensuring healthcare for a population of 150 million remains a major challenge for the nation. For people living in the remote areas like Koyra, neighborhood medical facilities provided by the village doctors are very important.

      Dr. Hiranmoy Sarkar, aged 65, known to the locals as ‘Hira Doctor’, is one of the most admired village doctors in Koyra region. His family have been serving the people of Mothbari and Maheshwaripur villages with medical treatments for three generations. Dr. Hiranmoy is a devoted follower of the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism.

      Hira Doctor begins his day very early in the morning. After necessary preparations he sets out for his patients on foot with two bags full of medical supplies and an umbrella in his hand. In this pursuit he walks about 10 to 15 kilometers every day. Except in cases of emergency, he usually returns home in the afternoon.

      There is no hospital in the region. Therefore people depend on the village doctors in case of any sort of health crisis. Among the several local doctors in the region, Dr. Hiranmoy is the most popular among the villagers for his modesty and dedication to the profession of healthcare.

      His family consists of 5 members including his wife and 3 children. Besides medical practice, he is a great patron of religious activities.

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A happy mother with her children and other family members, all taken care of by the good hands of Dr. Hiranmoy Sarkar, in Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. March 6, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.

Another day begins in the life of Dr. Hiranmoy, in Koyra, Khulna. Popularly known as Hira Doctor, he is one of the most admired local doctors in the region surrounded by the Sundarbans forest. Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. February 18, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.

Dr. Hiranmoy collects medicines from a pharmacy before going to visit his patients at the villages in Koyra upazila (sub district). Popularly known as Hira Doctor, he is one of the most admired local doctors in the region surrounded by the Sundarbans forest. Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. February 20, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.

Dr. Hiranmoy takes medication with the help from his wife before sleep, at home in Mothbari village, Koyra. Popularly known as Hira Doctor, he is one of the most admired local doctors in the region surrounded by the Sundarbans forest. Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. March 7, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.

Dr. Hiranmoy sings ‘Kirtan’, Hindu religious songs of devotion, with a group at the village of Mothbari, Koyra. Popularly known as Hira Doctor, he is one of the most admired local doctors in the region surrounded by the Sundarbans forest. Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. February 18, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.

Dr. Hiranmoy binds a book at home, in Mothbari village, Koyra. Popularly known as Hira Doctor, he is one of the most admired local doctors in the region surrounded by the Sundarbans forest. Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. February 16, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.

A landscape of Mothbari, the native village of Dr. Hiranmoy Sarkar, at a stormy night. Popularly known as Hira Doctor, he is one of the most admired local doctors in the region surrounded by the Sundarbans forest. Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. March 7, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.

18 year old Ms Khodeja, a patient of Dr. Hiranmoy has complicacies in feeding her newborn baby. Popularly known as Hira Doctor, he is one of the most admired local doctors in the region surrounded by the Sundarbans forest. Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. March 3, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.

A portrait of 65 year old Dr. Hiranmoy Sarkar, in Koyra, Khulna. Popularly known as Hira Doctor, he is one of the most admired local doctors in the region surrounded by the Sundarbans forest. Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. February 17, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.

Dr. Hiranmoy with his wife Kabita Sarkar who is talking to their son living away from home. Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. March 7, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.

Dr. Hiranmoy hurries towards a boat to cross a river on the way to an emergency call which he receives quite often. Popularly known as Hira Doctor, he is one of the most admired local doctors in the region surrounded by the Sundarbans forest. Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. February 20, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.

65 year old Dr. Hiranmoy Sarkar, on his way to visit patients in the villages of Koyra upazila (sub district), Khulna. Popularly known as Hira Doctor, he is one of the most admired local doctors in the region surrounded by the Sundarbans forest. Koyra, Khulna, Bangladesh. February 17, 2012. One of a set of images from the photo story Village Doctor, by Shaikh Mohir Uddin.