Assam’s Dr. Imam Ali is a living God for his patients; he is the embodiment of what an ideal physician and someone whose service could create a disease-free society.
Dr. Imam Ali, of Southern Assam’s Karimganj district has been treating poor patients at his rented house free. He not only pays rent for his clinic but also for extra rooms to accomodate patients and their attendants, many of whom are poor and from remote areas and have nowhere to go.
"I never thought I would become a doctor. I dreamed of going outside Assam to pursue higher education; I got admission to the Banaras Hindu University.
"My elder brother Yunus Ali did not allow me to go outside Assa. He told me that if I stayed in Assam and studied medicine, he would bear all the expenses of my education. I accepted his proposal and agreed to study medicine on a condition that I would serve only poor patients,” Dr Ali told Awaz-The Voice, Assam.
Dr Imran Ali in his clinic
Born in western Assam’s Barpeta district, Dr Imam Ali enrolled in Dibrugarh Medical College in 1972 for an MBBS course. He spent his years as a doctor in providing free medical services to thousands of poor people in rural areas.
He has also tried to prevail upon the well-off people in rural Assam to help the poor patients living in their neighbourhood and succeeded.
"I have spent most of my medical career serving in rural areas of Assam. Therefore, the poor and needy people in rural areas frequently come to me for treatment. People who are financially weak and cannot afford quality treatment also come to me. I felt sad to see their faces and want to help them. I treat all my patients as my family. I have never served any patient as a doctor," Dr Ali said.
Dr Ali, father of two grown-up children who are also doctors, has been providing accommodation to patients even in his own rented house and bearing all the medical expenses of the poor.
His wife Dr. Najma Begum supports him in this work.
"My elder brother Yunus Ali said that we are all poor people. Therefore, we should all help other poor people around us. If we do not help people despite having resources, it is useless to be born as human beings." he says.
Dr Imran Ali with his staff
"Whenever a financially poor person comes to me for treatment, I remember my elder brother's words and try to serve every patient to the best of my ability. I am always mindful of the patient's financial situation. abnd therefore never advise them to take expensive medicines. If a patient needs expensive medicines, I buy them and send the same to him.
"My wife Dr. Najma Begum has been fully supporting me in this work.
Dr. Imam Ali says he is inspired by Padma Shri Dr. Rabi Kannan, Medical Director, of Cachar Cancer Hospital, and Giridhari Kor, a doctor at Shillong Medical College. They have been helping the financially vulnerable people through medical services.
"I joined Vetarbang State Pharmacy in 1983 in my 35-year medical career. I served there for four years and was posted to Ratabari Public Health Centre.
I joined Ramkrishna Nagar Public Health Centre. I became the Additional Chief of Patharkandi Public Health Centre. I retired from my government job in 2016 after providing medical services as a medical and health officer. But one thing that gives me immense satisfaction is that I am still able to help the poor through free medical services.”
Dr. Iman Ali was honored by the Assam Sahitya Sabha and various other organizations. Dr. Ali believes that the blessings of patients are far more valuable for a doctor than formal awards and money.
"Medical service is a great service. Not everyone is fortunate enough to provide this service. God has blessed me to serve humanity through my profession. I am grateful to the Almighty,” Dr Ali said