Bengaluru: Actor turned politician, M H Ambarish may have turned his back on Mandya these polls, but adding colour to the contest is “Five rupee doc," Dr K Shankare Gowda, an independent candidate and a dermatologist, who has earned the nickname because he charges his patients a mere Rs 5 .
Having done his MBBS from the Manipal Medical College in the early eighties, Dr Gowda opened his clinic in Mandya and soon became the darling of the people through his selfless service and accessibility. The Rs 5 that he charged his patients then still remains his fee whether the patient is a millionaire or a poor farmer.
He also runs a free clinic in Shivalli, his native village, between 8 am and 11 pm as he believes not everyone can afford to pay the bus fare to go to Mandya for treatment. As for the Mandya clinic, it opens at around 3 pm and goes on till 10 or 11 pm depending upon the flow of patients. On Sundays, however, he spends the whole day in the fields in his village and doesn't see patients.
"Had he wanted to he could have made lakhs , but he believes in providing treatment cheap. He wants to become MLA to get more funds from the government and improve the district. Getting elected to the assembly may not be a problem as his patients are spread all over the district," says his wife.
The doctor has been elected to the Mandya zilla panchayat in the past and even served as its vice- president for a period of 20 months. Although he had hoped for a ticket from the Janata Dal (secular) these elections, when he did not get it, he went ahead and filed his nomination papers as an independent....