The untimely and sad demise of Loknete Rajarambapu Patil on January 17, 1984 snatched a towering, sensible and people’s political leader from Maharashtra. His death not only created a great void but the state also lost a solid mainstay. Bapu was suffering from ordinary cold which later developed into sinusitis and later into a life-threatening septicemia. Bapu’s departure made Jayant Patil aware of lacunas in medical field. He also realized the sufferings and problems faced by the common people. He set up and launched Loknete Rajarambapu Patil memorial health campaign on August 1, 1984. Since then, lakhs of poor and needy people have been availing of medical camps on occasion of Bapu’s birth and death anniversaries for the last 30 years.
This campaign was launched in the taluka but gradually it spread the network of service throughout the district. Many camps were organised with the help of expert doctors and hospitals in Sangli, Kolhapur, Karad, Pune, Mumbai, Miraj, Vijapur and Belgaum. More than 16000 cataract operations have been performed at rural hospitals and civil hospitals in the last 10 years. Similarly, many camps like the ones on tonsillectomy, arthritis treatment, cancer detection and treatment, blood grouping and checking for adolescent, AIDS prevention, anemia and malnutrition eradication, heart ailments, blood pressure, diabetes, counseling, check-ups and treatment are organised from time to time. Free check-up and treatment of epilepsy and mentally retarded patients is done every year at Mission hospital, Miraj. Besides, the students from kindergarten to XIIth standard in all the schools in the district are examined and treated for congenital heart ailments and other heart diseases caused by illness. Out of these students 196 were found afflicted with heart ailments and required urgent treatment. Facing several hurdles, Jayant Patil managed to get these students operated upon at the K.E.L hospital free of cost with the help of Dr Dixit. He secured the help from N.R.H.M for their treatment and that of other needy patients.
To counter the growing incidence of heart diseases, Jayantrao sought affiliation of Belgaum’s K.E.L hospital in all the factories in Maharashtra. Under this scheme, as many as 788 heart surgeries were conducted on the members and employees. They also availed of medical treatment for other disease. Due to the preventive health check-up camps held every year in the town, more than 3000 patients of heart diseases, blood pressure and diabetes have received medical treatment. Awareness about these life threatening diseases also increased and the critical patients got timely medical treatment. They got the best medical treatment from super specialists in taluka at low cost through the medium of superspeciality clinic of sugar factory.
Jayant Patil set up a special medical AID cell for the benefit of the non-members and others. This cell is helping the needy get economic assistance from the government and other trusts for the medical treatment and operations. The factory clinic gives free medical treatment to sugarcane workers, drivers and their families throughout the season. With the help of zilla parishad, camps are held every year for free treatment of anemia, malnutrition eradication and heart diseases, blood pressure, besides diabetes management, health check-ups and treatments are done here. Thousands of needy patients receive free treatment. This year 52, 518 patients availed of the medical facilities. Even the common, illiterate and semi-literate people in Sangli district have now become more aware of the diseases like heart diseases, blood pressure, diabetes, caner and anemia. There is greater awareness about the dreaded diseases here than in any other district of Maharashtra because of the frequent medical camps held in the district. A total of 19712 patients were examined and treated at 76 medical camps this year. This campaign under the guidance of Jayant Patil is enlightening the people on various diseases and providing them preventive healthcare so that they are saved before any disease could strike them in a fatal way. The campaign is not only helping the people save themselves from diseases but also assuring them best medical treatment so that they do not suffer like Loknete Bapu.
Thus ceaseless efforts are being made through this campaign to relieve the sufferings of the common people, irrespective of their economic or social status.