Hyderabad: A post is being shared on social media claiming that a doctor, 'Shankar Gawda', did not have enough money to start his own clinic. He, therefore, sits outside a restaurant and treats the poor for only Rs. 5.
The post further claims that around 100 people visit him every day. The Facebook post had 73K likes and over 3.8K shares.
The claim is true.
NewsMeter performed a Google reverse image search which directed us to various websites that had published news about the doctor.
We found a Hindi blog called Super Human Being that had published an article on 7 June 2016 that said Dr. Shankar Gowda, a graduate of Calcutta Medical College, lives in Mandaya, a small place in Karnataka, and charges patients only Rs. 5.
He does not have his own clinic and sits outside a sweet shop. People line up to see the skin disease specialist, the blog said.
A similar picture was also published on the website Kalam Fan Club and was titled "The Doctor Who Treats People for 5 Rupees Only" (sic).
According to the report, "Dr. Gowda does not only charge few rupees for the treatment but also treat with much delicacy and expertise. His magical hands have cured many people who couldn't get cured at big hospitals. Still, after being much a famous physician, Dr. Gowda doesn't own a mobile phone. Neither he has a computer nor access to Internet, yet Dr. Gowda has the advanced knowledge of the diseases. His clinic doesn't have a landline phone, assistants nor a compounder. The modest doctor manages everything by himself (sic)."
We also found a report by Deccan Chronicle updated on 19 March 2019 titled "AAP sets eye on State, plans to field 'Rs 5 doctor' from Mandya".
The report said that euphoric over the Delhi Assembly poll triumph, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had set its eye on Karnataka and was looking for able candidates who enjoyed a good social image and clean record. "Probably, the AAP's first candidate would be the famous 'Rs 5 doctor', Dr S.C. Shankare Gowda, who is likely to be fielded from the Mandya parliamentary constituency," it said.
Senior journalist and AAP member Vasanth Kumar of Mandya had said Dr. Gowda was loved by the people of the district for his remarkable service to society. "There is a public pressure on Dr. Gowda to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Mandya, we are trying to persuade him to be the AAP candidate," he had added.
The doctor's remarkable story was also published on the website Carehitters on 5 October 2020. According to the report, Dr. K Shankar Gowda is a practicing dermatologist who has earned the nickname because he charges his patients a mere Rs. 5. Having done his MBBS from Manipal Medical College in the early 80s, Dr. Gowda opened his clinic in Mandya and soon became the darling of the people through his selfless service. He charges his patients Rs. 5 whether the patient is a millionaire or a poor farmer.
It is evident that the claim in the viral post is true. Dr. Shankar Gowda's story has been reported by various news outlets and websites.