Sathupalli (Khammam): He is a doctor by profession, his calling is politics, he is passionate about serving humanity and he is an ardent animal lover.
Meet Dr. Matta Dayanand, a senior leader of Telangana Rashtra Samithi, from Sathupalli. He treats patients, most of them free of cost, serves the public through distribution of essentials and bringing about awareness, and feeds wild animals, especially simians. The lockdown imposed following the spread of coronavirus pandemic rekindled the animal lover in him.
He has been feeding monkeys for the past three months at Cherukupalli forests and Neeladri and Yerragunta temples. The lockdown left these monkeys helpless, faced as they were with severe shortage of food since the temples, where they used to get some food from visiting devotees, are closed, he said.
The good doctor started feeding them since they were starving. “Elders say feeding someone is a divine task. I feel feeding the innocent animals is even more divine and there is a contentment in that,” Dr. Dayanand told Telangana Today.
He said he makes it a point to spend time visiting these places to feed cooked rice, puffed rice, fruits and biscuits to monkeys every alternate day. He has become so familiar to the simians that they run to him as soon as they spot him.
“The monkeys rush towards my car as soon as they hear the vehicle’s horn. As I call them, they gather around me to receive the feed. There are some that receive food only from me,” he explained with a smile on his face.
Dr. Dayanand also planted fruit yielding plants at Neeladri forest area. “It will be a permanent solution to ensure food for monkeys as the State government is also developing monkey food courts,” he pointed out.
It is not merely this feed-the-monkeys acticity he is involved in. He is also engaged in various social service activities for the past 175 days since the country-wide lockdown was announced.
Essential commodities given to about 11, 000 poor families
Dr Dayanand has been creating awareness among the public about the Covid-19 safety measures in the villages in Sathupalli, Penuballi, Vemsoor, Tallada, Kallur and Annapureddypalle mandals in the district. He got as many as 50,000 pamphlets printed for the purpose.
According to Dr. Dayanand, he has, so far, distributed homeopathy medicines to about 80 000 persons to boost their immunity. He distributed essential commodities to about 11,000 poor families in Sathupalli Assembly constituency limits.
Likewise he has distributed face masks to 26,000 individuals and hand sanitisers to nearly 3,000 families. The members of Matta Yuva Sena (MYS) have been engaged in the task. For the past 15 days, he has embarked on a sanitisation mission.
As part of his effort to contain the spread of the virus, the TRS leader has been personally sanitising temples, churches and masjids, besides auto-rickshaw stands and bus stands by spraying sodium hypochlorite liquid. “Sanitisation is an important factor to contain covid-19 spread and hence I took up the task”, he said.
Free consultation for the poor and students
Importantly, Dr. Dayanand, who has been serving the public as a doctor for the past 20 years and runs Asha Chest and Emergency Hospital at Sathupalli, has issued health cards to nearly 13,000 poor persons who visit his hospital for treatment.
Those with the health cards can avail free consultation services for them and their family members. Students studying in schools and colleges are also being offered free consultation service at the hospital.
On how he manages to find time for all these activities, being a practicing doctor and a politician, Dr Dayanand says: “My passion to serve the people is the driving force that helps me take out some time for welfare activities and I thank my friends, well wishers and MYS members for supporting me in my activities.”
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