A team of 35 US-based doctors, including a physician of Indian origin, was on a health mission to India, during which they visited Punjab for a week to help the needy and destitute.
Guru Ramdas Kusht Ashram, home of leprosy patients in Amritsar, was the stopover for US-based doctors headed by Dr. Sudeep Kukreja.
They had come here as volunteers from California under the banner of 'Arpan Global Charities' (AGC), and they have been visiting various hospitals and villages in developing countries for the past 12 years. n Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts, they held free medical camps, distributed medicines and performed operations and checked over 1,000 patients.
"The dream is that, the whole world should have health access, should be disease free; that's the dream, that's anybody's dream but that is not possible. The disease gonna be there, so our aim s to save the population who are in need the most, who don't' have access to the healthcare," said Dr. Sudeep Kukreja, Neonatologist from Children's Hospital of Orange County, alifornia
"This is the first time I am doing mission here and I had this desire, my wish that I want to go and save my own people where I came from, I was born here and I have spent few years here, then my dad moved. My ancestors, they are all from this land and I have my in roots this land, so this is the time to give back," he added.
The doctors were touched by the sufferings of the people, but were appreciative of the doctor-patient relationship that is quite strong in India, unlike the US.
After their weeklong stay in Punjab, they felt that global efforts are required to eliminate diseases like asthma and tuberculosis in the state.
The doctors are engaged with the charitable trust formed in 2005 and are providing medical care and health education to the deprived people around the world.
"The team here wants to do it again and they will bring back our information to our colleagues to show that what we have done. Can we help everybody, no, may be we can help a few people. As an example their children or men have hypertension, they don't take any medication, so may be we can educate them to take their medication properly, may be its actually help that way," said David Hick, Pediatric Pulmonologist and a team member.
Dr. Stephanie Foe, another team member, said: "Its instead of dropping in and slandering with drugs or medicines and then going away and leaving people helpless, somehow we are educating, that's been my goal to try and teach people how to live and work with in their community and to try to use the resources that they have."
"They have vegetable all around them; eat the vegetables. The vegetables have potassium, that's needed, calcium is there, use what resources you have, you have many - many health healers, we need to tap those," she added.
Treating the patients made the doctors happy and they took the opportunity to dance along to a song sung by a leprosy patient.
Though the doctors did not understand Punjabi, they understood the feelings and sufferings of their patients.
The health mission of the U.S. doctors was made successful through the support of local people, philanthropists and NGO's, who provided them by free accommodation, food and other facilities.