Compassion comes in many forms. For the poor and underprivileged in Delhi, it comes in the form of free medicines collected by octogenarian Omkar Nath Sharma.
Lovingly called ‘Medicine Baba’, this 85-year-old walks around the city every day, asking for unused medicines from those who can afford them, and then distributes these to the underprivileged.
The retired lab technician’s initiative might seem peculiar, but he gathers medicines worth Rs 5-6 lakh every month. Omkar, who is 45 per cent physically impaired, has been invested in this cause for the past 15 years.
After collecting the medicines, he stores them in a rented room near his house. He then apportions them to those who require them. Some approach him directly, and the remaining medicines are supplied to dispensaries, ashrams and hospitals like AIIMS, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, and Deen Dayal Upadhyay.
“How can a poor man who lives and sleeps on the footpath afford costly medicines?” asks Omkar, who wishes to set up a medicine bank in every district of every state.
“I feel motivated when someone says the medicine that I gave has helped them cure themselves or their loved ones,” he says.