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Monday February 3, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday February 3, 2014 MYT 7:27:58 AM
by carmen hon
Heart of gold: Dr Mahendran is always eager to help those in need of medical aid.
PETALING JAYA: When it comes to lending a helping hand, Dr N. Mahendran is one who will go “many, many extra miles”.
The good-natured medical practitioner has been pursuing a passion — giving medical aid to victims in disaster-torn countries.
“I love to help people out there who are in need. Nothing can compare to the satisfaction of putting a smile on their faces again,’’ said the 38-year-old doctor.
Inspired by his father’s generous ways of helping the underprivileged, Dr Mahendran embarked on his first humanitarian mission to Gaza in 2010.
“My mother and wife were not happy at first. But they finally gave me their blessings when they realised it was a calling for me,” he said, adding that others in his family also gave him their full backing.
Since his first humanitarian mission, Dr Mahendran has taken big strides. Among others, he has gone to Pakistan and Japan in aid of the disaster and tsunami victims.
When he does not travel, he conducts free medical camps in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
He cites the tsunami-struck Tohoku region of Japan in 2011 as one of his most challenging missions.
“The stench of decaying corpses was overbearing and there were vehicles and debris all over. It was a real mess,’’ he recalled.
Although he had to work under such trying conditions, the Puchong-based doctor said he persevered because the victims were crucially in need of emergency medical assistance.
“Each time I complete a mission, I feel a sense of contentment that I’ve done something good for mankind.
“For me, charity really begins at home,” he said.
And when he does feel despondent, the victims’ sense of gratitude quickly re-motivates him to continue with his service.
“In a way, we are lucky to be in Malaysia, which is free from catastrophes. We are a blessed people and nation,’’ he remarked.
Dr Mahendran encourages youngsters to volunteer for such missions.
“Don’t be discouraged by what some people might say. If you feel that you have what it takes to help, then go for it,” he said, adding that family support was equally important.
He reserves special praise for those who gave him strength to carry on with his work — Kelab Putera 1Malaysia president Datuk Abdul Azeez Rahim, Sungai Buloh Hospital head of emergency department Dr Sabariah Faizah and fellow medical practitioners Dr Vengkateswara Rao and Dr Vengkata Prathap.
Those interested in helping out on humanitarian missions can contact Kelab Putera 1Malaysia at 03-2273 6678 or Dr Mahendran at 017-948 5733.
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