Bhopal: Differently-abled Bhopal gas tragedy victim Dr Mohammed Ali Quaiser completed his MBBS degree despite many challenges. Today he works to help other victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
The scars of the Bhopal gas tragedy hit Mohammed Ali Quaiser hard. Quaiser has already had six operations for his bilateral polio. The 17-year-old Quaiser, who in 1984 lived with his family just 2 kilometres away from the Union Carbide Factory, recalls the ordeal.
He said that rescue workers gave him preference because of his physically-challenged state. Other members of his family, whom he help reached late, suffered irreparable damage. When his mother died, he knew he had to become a doctor.
"I saw the tragedy and the gas victims very closely and was turned by their feelings and what they suffered. That day I decided to become a doctor and treat them for all their long term and short term ailments," Dr Quaiser said.
Although Quaiser failed at the first two attempts in the Pre-Medical Test, he did not give up. With no reservation in medical colleges for those who were differently abled, he competed in the open category. After completing his MBBS, he worked in government hospitals. But his calling lay elsewhere. He now works for the Sambhavna trust that runs the Sambhavna clinic in the heart of gas-affected localities in Bhopal.
"It makes a lot of difference if you think in terms of money. But if you want to serve humanity, money does not matter. That is why I chose to quit my government job and work amongst the gas victims," he said.
Crutches, lung ailments, the memories - it has not been easy. But Dr Mohammed Ali Quaiser plays table tennis when he is not treating his patients, and not many can beat him at his game as he prefers to do everything for himself on his own.
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