This ‘lady doctor’ has no medical degree. She has been arrested several times before. Yet, people flock to her clinic, affectionately calling her ‘akka’ as she charges less and heals them!
‘Doctor’ Rajalakshmi was arrested by Theni police a few days ago for attempting to sell off a newborn. The arrest has not eroded Rajalakshmi’s popularity among the locals, who have christened her the Kairasikara (lucky) doctor. For the last 20 years, Rajalakshmi has been running ‘Aishwarya Clinic’ at MGR Nagar. She has been arrested three times in the past for her alleged involvement in illegal abortions.
“We cannot go to a hospital without having `300 in hand. But, Rajalakshmi akka’s clinic is different. On many occasions, she provided us treatment during emergencies and collected the fee only after months. Which other doctor would do that?” asks Rajalakshmi’s neighbour, Mariammal. For another patron, a municipality staff, “Rajalakshmi is a Kairasikara doctor. Whatever treatment she gave us worked. And, the consulting fee is only `50.”
With only one bed for in-patients and a maid to assist her, Rajalakshmi is also said to have performed caesarian sections. Says Mariammal, “we have seen women giving birth to babies in the clinic and walking out in half an hour.” A nurse by profession, the 48-year-old reportedly worked under Dr Kathirkamu, a government doctor, before starting the clinic. Her popularity did not see a dip even after police arrested her in 2010, for running the clinic without the necessary educational qualifications. “Twenty women went to the Collectorate to insist that she be released,” says Mariammal.
Inspector Gopu, the investigating officer, says, “Rajalakshmi is now out on bail. She has also used the name of one Dr Prabhakaran, who has been named in the FIR.”
While police deny that there are charges of illegal abortion against her, locals claim otherwise. “She did perform illegal abortions. We believe the baby rescued a few days ago belonged to a college girl,” says a local.