SURAT: Over the years, Dr Bhacca Dispensary has become a sort of landmark in Shahpore, the historic Parsi community residential area in Surat. Generations of Bhaccas, for whom serving the society always came ahead of making money, have been curing and caring for people from this very clinic.
At present the dispensary is manned by a 55-year-old disabled neurosurgeon Dr Sarosh Bhacca, who represents the fourth generation of the family that has dedicated itself to serving the needy.
Despite his disability he is doing his duty as a doctor even during the global pandemic. He charges just Rs 20 as consultation a fee, which is waived off for many of those who can’t afford to pay it.
Dr Bhacca suffered a major accident while he was studying neurosurgery at Bombay Hospital Institute of Medical Science (BHIMS) in 1997. The accident caused permanent disability and Dr Bhacca was forced to live with the ‘old folks’ posture’. His body remains bent at waist at almost 80 degrees whether he is standing or walking.
“As a doctor it is my duty to serve the people. I took over this clinic after my parents passed away. I want to carry forward my family’s legacy of the last four generations, that of curing people,” Bhacca told TOI. He practices as a general practitioner and most of his patients come from families whose many generations have been trusting Bhaccas for medical emergencies.
Bhacca’s great grandfather Phirojshaw was a licensed medical practitioner while his grandfather Sarosh was a doctor at KEM Hospital, Mumbai. Bhacca’s father Sam and mother Mehroo too were doctors and devoted their lives towards serving the society. They carried on with their practice till their last breath. Both of them passed away in 2003-04.
Bhacca did MBBS and post-graduation in surgery from Government Medical College (GMC), Surat. He went on to study neurosurgery from BHIMS and joined Medical College, Vadodara as a faculty member. “After my parents passed away, I did not want to close my clinic which has been operational for decades. I wanted to carry on the good work of my parents,” he said.
Describing his family’s dedication for treating people Bhacca said, “My grandfather once went to treat a patient who was kept in an isolation camp outside the city during plague outbreak. In those days isolation camps were set up far away from the city and suspected patients were simply abandoned there.
“Later, my grandfather was arrested for visiting the isolation camp. When he was released by the court, locals took out a procession in his honour and people pulled the buggy in which he was sitting,” Bhacca said going down the memory lane.
“My father once said that ‘treating people was earlier a service, now it is a profession and it will become industry in future.’ His words have come true today. But I will continue to treat it as service and carry forward my family’s legacy,” Dr Bhacca said.