Doctors in Mangalore have formed an organisation, “Belaku”, to work towards helping people in ill health, especially those who are not privileged and live in places far way from hospitals.

“Belaku” was formed in 2008 and its aim is to encourage citizen awareness, and networking for access, sharing and dissemination of information to society. It also helps to collaborate and create partnerships between non-governmental organisations and other associations and institutions to conduct health camps. It supports scientific research for people's betterment.

B. Suresh Kumar Shetty, Chairman of “Belaku”, said: “Most of the 25 members of the NGO are from Kasturba Medical College (KMC). There are members from Srinivas College, A.J. Hospital, and dental colleges in and around Mangalore.”

Preetham Salian, orthopaedician and Vice-Chairman of “Belaku”, said the aim of the organisation was to conduct free health camps. The organisation had been conducting health camps since four years. About four to five doctors conducted camps with help from local people.

The camps were held mostly in rural areas and in general medicine, orthopaedics, paediatrics and ENT.

The doctors distributed free medicines, multivitamins and calcium for short periods. In case of people with serious health problems, they would be asked to visit a hospital for further treatment. The doctors also provided medical advice regarding nutrition and local infective diseases. Camps had also been organised in schools.

The next camp would be held at Mulky by March-end, he said.

Recently, the organisation distributed 120 wheelchairs in Mangalore. It had organised first aid for emergency trauma and critical care sessions for professionals in urban areas. Dr. Shetty said: “People do something only when it is laid down by law. But why can't each person take some responsibility?”