Which is the noblest profession in the world? Different people might have different ideas, but a majority of people will agree that the medical profession is certainly the noblest one of all. Do you need any proof of this fact? If you do so, you need not look beyond Dr. M L Saraf. Who is M L Saraf? We shall look at this doctor’s achievements and his contribution towards treating the underprivileged people in Mumbai over a series of articles.
Born in Kolkata (it was Calcutta during those times) M L Saraf had an exemplary academic record. It can surprise you that this man has never stood second in any examination he appeared. When you see the name of M L Saraf of the candidate list, you can start your count from the second rank. The first rank is a foregone conclusion. This prompted his colleagues to refer to him as a human computer.
After finishing his intermediate examinations, M L Saraf enrolled at the G S Seth Medical College for completing his medicine degree. During that time, he had the opportunity to work at the KEM Hospital in Mumbai as an intern. This one year experience changed his outlook towards life. He saw that people from all over Mumbai and its nearby places come to KEM Hospital for treatment. People conversant with the geography of Mumbai and its local trains will understand the hardships these people have to endure.
M L Saraf made up his mind to do his Masters in Paediatric Orthopaedics. He went to the United Kingdom to complete his Masters at Liverpool. There are no prizes for guessing who topped the University at the end of his course. He won the Robert Norman Prize for his thesis on the subject. No other Indian had won this prize since its inception 60 years ago. That was an achievement by itself. Naturally, he got tremendous offers to settle down in Liverpool and lead a luxurious life. Many people had done so before him and since then as well. M L Saraf returned to India to fulfil his ambition of treating the poor.
The first thing he did on coming back to Mumbai was to enrol at KEM Hospital to offer his services. He started treating the poor people from the villages. He had a great interest in psychology. In fact, a paediatric professional should be an expert in psychology, especially child psychology. Using these skills, he gathered that for every person that visits KEM Hospital for treatment, there are ten more who could not afford the trip. This made him decide to venture out to the villages and help the villagers.
He had to take the permission of the hospital authorities to do so. They gave it to him considering the nobility of the deed. M L Saraf started visiting the villages in and around Mumbai. This endeavour had a dual effect. The crowds to the hospital reduced thereby allowing them to attend to other patients. The villages benefited because of his presence.