One of the oldest binding documents in the history of humanity, the Hippocratic Oath mentions, “I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm. If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”
However standing in the 21st century with ever-changing values and ethics that modern society abides by, the most sacred oath in the medical profession seems to have been long forgotten with many seeing it as a rite of passage, some don’t even remember taking it, and some simply think it is irrelevant.
That is not the case for Dr. Noori Pari, a native of Vijayawada, who chose Kadapa, where she studied medicine to serve the needy. Known as the “Rs.10 doctor”, Dr. Noori has carved a name for herself by offering medical check-ups to the poor for a consultation fee of ₹10. She has become a household name for thousands of families by making medical care accessible to people who aren’t able to afford the expensive consultation fees at corporate hospitals.
When she was little, Noori’s parents wanted her to get traditional education and admitted her to Urdu medium school, she studied up to Class IV in Challapalli of Krishna district and then moved to Vijayawada for pursuing high school in the Urdu medium. Upon getting a medical seat under the minority quota, she joined the MBBS course at the Fatima Institute of Medical Sciences (FIMS), Kadapa.
Noori says, when she was a little girl, she saw in movies people expressing their gratitude to doctors with folded hands after they recovered from health ailments and this left a lasting impression on her mind. Her strong zeal to serve the society has its roots of inspiration in her own family, as both her grandfather, a noted communist leader from Vijayawada – Noor Mohammed — who served the poor all his life and never bothered to even own a house of his own and her father Md Maqbool, who too followed in the footsteps of his father to serve the society, though he started real estate business to support the family.
Her social welfare activities started while at college when she and her classmates reached out to the local orphanage and old age homes. Once she started her medical practice, she saw that a lot of her patients were children hailing from lower-income and socio-economic groups bringing their sick siblings to her clinic in Kadapa city. “They can hardly afford ₹250 or ₹350 as a consultation fee, and I thought I should reach out. It was then that I decided to charge a flat consultation fee of ₹10 from every patient,” Dr. Parveen told The Hindu.
Growing her healthcare initiative into a larger platform to serve her patients and have an amplifying effect she started a hospital at Masapeta in Kadapa town. Contemplating doing her Post Graduate while running her hospital, Dr. Noori doesn’t plan on stopping at this. She says her next aim is to establish a multi-specialty hospital to serve the poor and the needy. Apart from treating people at her hospital, Dr. Noori, through Noor Charitable Trust set up in her grandfather’s name, distributes food and essential commodities to 100 poor people, HIV patients, and transgenders every day.
After all her charitable work in the field of medicine, Dr. Noori however struggles to make ends met in the financial aspect of her private life. However, she does not mind asking for money from her father to meet her needs and says she has no qualms about depending on her spouse after marriage. Dr. Noori reiterates with an ironclad determination that her only aim is to serve the poor and needy in society. In a society where government healthcare facilities have a long waitlist and are deteriorating in quality and private establishments charge exorbitant fees, kind-hearted and benevolent doctors like Dr.Noori are the need of time.