Omkarnath spends his days searching New Delhi for drugs. A call to the phone number printed boldly on his saffron-colored tunic reveals his alternate identity: “Hello, I am Medicine Baba.”
The chatty, 79-year-old retired blood-bank technician has been collecting unused prescription drugs from the affluent for the past eight years, and distributing whatever hasn’t expired to patients who need medicines they cannot afford.
He goes door to door walking 7 km everyday. So many people in India do not have access to medicines as they are either too expensive or are not available.
Omkarnath began his mission after seeing some construction workers get badly injured in New Delhi. He says he followed the men to government hospitals where they were not given treatment and told to find the drugs they needed elsewhere.
Omkarnath depends on cash donations to cover his costs and modest living expenses, which come to about Rs 32,000 a month.
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