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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Month after he became a doctor, Maharashtra sugarcane harvester’s son dies of Covid-19 complications

From Anandnagar village in Pathri taluka of Parbhani district, Dr Pawar was the youngest in the family whose main source of income was farming.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
Updated: May 27, 2021 10:42:09 am
Dr Rahul Pawar

Rahul Pawar had posted a picture of himself on his Facebook on April 26, which he captioned ‘Final year passed now its officially Dr Rahul Asha Vishwanath Pawar’. The picture garnered congratulatory messages from friends and well-wishers. Barely a month since, his friends are now posting condolences on his timeline after the 25-year-old doctor died of complications related to Covid-19, in Aurangabad on Wednesday. Dr Pawar, a son of a cane harvester, was the first doctor in his family.

From Anandnagar village in Pathri taluka of Parbhani district, Dr Pawar was the youngest in the family whose main source of income was farming. To supplement their income, the parents and the elder brother would join the bands of migratory cane harvesters, who travel across the length and breadth of the state during the crushing season. Dr Amarnath Gutte, a batch mate, said his family took to migratory cane harvesting as it allowed them access to lump sums of money. Academically brilliant, Dr Pawar got admission in the five-year MBBS course in Maharashtra Institute of Medical Science and Research (MIMSR), Latur.

“That money helped him finish his education,” he said. Sachin, Rahul’s elder brother, left his studies after passing Class X to help him become a doctor. Rahul’s early education was government residential schools throughout.

Soon after he finished his final examination in April, the young doctor travelled back to his village. He was admitted to a hospital at Majalgaon in Beed district on April 26 after he started showing symptoms. Subsequently, his condition worsened and he was moved to MGM Medical College and Hospital in Aurangabad early in May. “By May 6, our internships had started but Rahul was admitted. His brothers would talk to us daily, to understand his condition,” Dr Gutte said, adding that the doctor did not have any co-morbidities and his condition started taking a turn for the worse.

By then, the family had exhausted all their means of financing his treatment when his friends decided to crowd-source it. On May 20, his friends launched a drive on social media to raise funds that saw many pitching in. This move attracted the attention of the authorities with the minister for medical education also announcing his willingness to sponsor his treatment. “All this happened once we took to social media. By then, the hospital had already decided to waive further cost of his treatment,” he said.

While the family was hopeful of Rahul making a recovery, Dr Gutte and his other friends realised the serious condition he was in when he was put on mechanical ventilator. “The last time he spoke to us on May 15 through video call, he expressed his desire to join internship soon,” said Dr Gutte. Other than Covid-19, the young doctor was also affected by mucormycosis. On Wednesday evening, he breathed his last.

His friends said Rahul’s story was the story of hope and hard work overcoming all odds. “He was to be the first doctor in his family and his death comes at a time when he was just about to earn and fulfil the dreams of his parents. For us, we have lost a friend and, for others, it’s the end of a dream that gave hope to many,” Dr Gutte said.

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