The Doctor Foundation aims to provide care, support, comfort and solace to all needy persons, considering physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of the person and their family, irrespective of caste, creed or social status, without stigma and discrimination.
The Doctor Foundation focuses on providing affordable medical services and home care for the aged.
TDF aims to work with the most vulnerable amongst the population, senior citizens,
those marginalized because of poverty, disability, prejudice, discrimination – or simply the
absence of someone to care for them. These are the people who slip through
the gaps in the organised healthcare sector.
TDF will help them by providing general examinations and routine healthcare at its centre located in the heart of Pune. The polyclinic provides affordable consultations with various specialities. Home visits will include supervision of their medication, general hygiene and nutrition, free transport to hospitals and institutions in the city, as well as concessional consultations with super-specialists.
Trained caregivers are an important part of healthcare for the aged, so the Foundation will partner with nursing schools and bureaus to build a directory of trained nurses, ANMs, physiotherapists and personal assistants to whom patients can be referred. In the few months since TDF has begun its work, it has established a presence amongst the low-income communities of Bhawani Path in central Pune, particularly women. The Doctor Foundation hopes to extend its work to other parts of Pune and beyond, in order to make a significant and positive impact on the lives of the marginalised.
“Since I qualified as a doctor in 1975, I have always worked for the poor and needy. I have worked with a number of NGOs, and the one closest to my heart dealt with cancer. Seeing the suffering of cancer, and frequent deaths, made me realise the futility of materialism in today’s world.
In the 10 years I spent with Pathfinder International, a Bill Gates funded HIV project, I worked amongst commercial sex workers and MSMs, many affected by HIV, who suffer not just poverty, but also social stigma and discrimination, abuse and violence. I saw the “under-belly” of life, the lives that lurk in the shadows, ostracized by society. I have also served women in jail. They were grateful, not so much for the medical care I provided, as the fact that I touched them, examined them, listened to them, and treated them as normal human beings.
In recent times, as I age myself, and as I watched my mother struggle to find the strength to live by herself after having been the centre of a family, I have become increasingly conscious of the double burden of deteriorating health and loneliness that the aged bear.
The Doctor Foundation is an initiative inspired by my father, an upright and disciplined military doctor who was committed to the highest standards of medical care and commitment to public service. I hope to continue his legacy through the Foundation, and to bring together under it a group of ethical and committed professionals, motivated by compassion, kindness and diligence.”
- Dr Khurshid Bhalla