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Shri Yogendra Durlabhji (Secretary)
Empathy is the word that immediately comes to mind as I think of my father. Empathy is aptly defined as someone else’s pain in your heart. My father felt the pain of many in his.

He was deeply affected by the plight of the pavement dwellers he drove past on his way to work – he would cover them with blankets during clandestine outings at night.

That shared pain for those who dwelt on pavements, and lived on the periphery of life was evident at the hospital we know as Santokba. Santokba is the story of his vision which impacted a million lives. It is the story of the love and the dedication of a family that, for almost 45 years now, has made Rajasthan a healthier place to live in. It is the story of nurses, of technicians and doctors, of carpenters and electricians, of patients, attendants and residents. It is not about martyrdom or about sacrifice but about care, compassion and concern.

Khelubhai, or Khailshanker ji, conceptualised SDMH in the 60’s in the course of his daily walkathons with Dr Tarachand ji Gangwal. Smt Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister, inaugurated the hospital in 1971. My brother, Rashmi, translated my father’s dream into cement and glass, I V drips and syringes, residents and rooms.

The family has carried on manfully – despite constraints, and disregarding handicaps. It has overcome challenges and hurdles, and it has done so with panache. It is a loving legacy that Pappa handed over to caring hands.

For him, the hospital was the summum bonnum of his very existence. He lived for the hospital, and the hospital lived in him. It filled his hours and days. Lovingly, he felt for the patients admitted there, and for their attendants. He was sensitive to their every need, sympathetic to their every requirement, responsive to their every problem.

We strive to carry the torch forward in this same spirit of joy and understanding. As we so fondly remember Pappa, we rededicate ourselves to creating the Santobka he always visualised.

Santokba was the true happiness that he may have missed out on at work. It was his life, quite literally. So is it ours.

Yogi Durlabhji
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