Facebook to the rescue of pilgrims

“The pilgrims were mostly senior citizens. Thankfully, they did not have major injuries or fracture”

June 22, 2013 03:31 am | Updated November 17, 2021 11:02 am IST - CHENNAI:

Doctors these days must arm themselves not only with stethoscopes but also Facebook accounts. Sometimes, Facebook, with its finger on the pulse of society, seems like a stronger tool.

Krishnan Balaji, who has just completed his MD in Community Medicine at All India Institute of Medical Sciences was online past midnight on Thursday surfing Facebook when he saw a message on the wall of a friend, Mariano Anto Bruno Mascarenhas. It was a request for help from Tamil-speaking doctors in Delhi to treat Tamil pilgrims from Uttarakhand.

“I replied. By then, the appeal had also been seen by a few others from the State in AIIMS. I told them that I would go in person and then call for help if was needed,” Dr. Balaji explained.

On Friday morning, at Tamil Nadu House, he found a steady stream of pilgrims. “Most of them were senior citizens but thankfully, there were few major injuries or fractures. Many suffered from diarrhoea, because of the water and food they had consumed over the last few days,” Dr. Balaji said. They were glad to speak in Tamil and apparently complained of not being able to communicate at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

Dr. Balaji wrote out prescriptions for them. Once a team from Tamil Nadu arrived, he helped them source equipment. “I had asked my friends to come after noon, but by then, the team had come in from TN and there were enough doctors. So, our role was limited. But it was exciting. It was nice to know that idle browsing on Facebook serves a larger humanitarian purpose,” Dr. Balaji said. ‘Like’ worthy, indeed.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.