Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi in his condolence message said Dr Shantharam went over and beyond his call of duty to serve those in need, and that his “fierce dedication and commitment towards his patients won him tremendous love and respect.”

Dr Shantharam
news Obituary Tuesday, July 26, 2022 - 16:46

Dr Shantharam, popularly known as ‘Wayanad’s beloved doctor’, passed away at the age of 68 in Thamarassery in Kozhikode district on Saturday, July 23. His service was renowned throughout the region, and he was cherished for being a compassionate doctor who offered affordable services to patients who needed them. Tributes have been pouring in for the beloved doctor from many local residents, as well as Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi. Having set up his practice in Kaithappoyil back in 1979 when it was a remote area, Dr Shantharam is widely admired for continuing to offer reliable and inexpensive medical care to local residents until his final days.

According to reports, Dr Shantharam met with an accident on April 13, and had been receiving treatment for his injuries since then. After his passing on July 23, his body was kept in the Kaithappoyil madrasa for people to pay their last respects. Hundreds of people joined his funeral procession, and a hartal was observed in Puthuppadi panchayat on July 23 in mourning. He is survived by his wife Dr Parimala, and three daughters who are also serving as doctors.

Dr Shantharam began working in the hilly region of Wayanad nearly four decades ago. He studied in Government Brennen College, Thalassery and SN College, Kannur. He then joined for MBBS in Kozhikode Medical College before moving to Kaithappoyil in 1979 . Beginning his career as a doctor in a small clinic, he went on to become the Managing Director of the Karuna Care Centre in Kaithappoyil, as well as the President of Medical Aid Service Society in Puthuppadi.

According to many residents of the region, what made Dr Shantharam stand apart all these years and evoke such fondness that hundreds of people turned up to pay their last respects, was his compassion. Social media users who knew Dr Shantharam say that while treating patients, he would take into consideration their financial, social and cultural background. “Just like his hospital’s name (Karuna), he was filled with compassion. He would direct patients to the best treatment available which they could afford, based on their situation. He knew each of his patients on a personal level”, one well-wisher wrote in a Facebook post. Those who knew him reminisce that his eagerness to get to know his patients and their background better had helped him foster a close bond with the community.

Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi also expressed his condolences to Dr Shantharam’s family. “I am deeply saddened by the demise of Dr Shantharam. He was a doctor, community leader and a philanthropist who went over and beyond his call of duty to serve those in need. His fierce dedication and commitment towards his patients won him tremendous love and respect. Driven by his desire to make a difference, he set up his practice in what was then a remote area. Over the decades, Karuna Care Centre, Kaithapoyil evolved into an institution that was trusted by the community. His personal care and attention, and willingness to provide the best possible care to every patient will be remembered. His legacy will live on and continue to inspire us all. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and well-wishers in this difficult time,” he said in his message.

Muslim Youth League state president Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal also took to social media to express his condolences. “Tribute to beloved doctor Shantaram. He worked as a beloved doctor for the last four decades and was a prominent personality in Puthuppadi in the social, cultural and health circles. He was honoured in a program organised at Puthuppadi last year. Deeply saddened by his demise,” he said in a Facebook post.

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