North Chennai’s famous ‘₹5 doctor’ S. Jayachandran is no more. He passed away on Wednesday morning after a brief illness. Ever since news of his death spread, people from Royapuram and Kasimedu have been flocking to his house-cum-clinic on Venkatachalam Street in Old Washermenpet to pay their respects.
The 71-year-old doctor, an alumnus of Madras Medical College, used to treat people often for free during his 43-year-long career.
His fee was ₹5 at the most and he used to give medicines to patients, often buying them from his own pocket. Posters have come up in the locality and patients like Vinoth, who was saved by the doctor when he was just 7, have stayed put at his home.
“I was brought here to him in an unconscious state. But in the evening I walked back. I brought my daughter as a 6-day-old infant when she vomited blood and he saved her too,” said Mr. Vinoth.
The doctor, an alumnus of Madras Medical College, ran his clinic for 43 years in north Chennai. He is survived by his wife, also a doctor, and a daughter and two sons. The last rites would be performed on Thursday.
Long-time friend Ernest Paul said Jayachandran had pride in being a resident of north Chennai and always wanted to project the area in a positive manner. “He was active in several associations and was always encouraging youngsters,” he said.
M.D. Dayalan, another long-time well-wisher, said that the doctor would send elderly patients back home by rickshaws if they came walking to his clinic. “He would even give them money to buy footwear if they were diabetic or had any foot injury,” he recalled.