In Rural, For Rural

The phrase ‘vaidyo narayano harih’ suggests that doctors embody the divine. The human body is a remarkable creation, and doctors are blessed with the ability to comprehend its complexities. However, the sanctity of this privilege is frequently compromised by practices that contradict the fundamental principles of medical care, such as prioritizing treatment over healing, prioritizing greed over compassion, and prioritizing money over love.

This is where the Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research comes in. This upcoming medical college, established by the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence by Prashanthi Balamandira Trust, provides values-based medical education completely free of cost. It aims to inspire youth to serve society and contribute towards universal health, with love and compassion as guiding tenets.

Located in Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli, Karnataka, India, the medical college is guided by the vision ‘In Rural – For Rural’. The aim is to nurture medical doctors with noble values who will dedicate themselves to serving the underserved, particularly in rural India, with a sense of gratitude and readiness to sacrifice.

The Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research is guided by the norms of the National Medical Commission (NMC), the apex steering body for medical education in India. It comprises one academic block and two teaching hospitals, which will provide quality medical care to all, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, and financial status, completely free of cost. The college is set to commence in the academic year of 2023, offering MBBS and DNB courses in various specialties.

On nation building through service

The academic block, Sri Sathya Sai Rajeswari Memorial Block, is a magnificent four-storey edifice covering 250,000 sq. ft. of total built-up area. It boasts three museums, four galleries with a seating capacity of 120 members, one skill, and one research laboratory, eight departmental laboratories, along with a huge library stretching to 11,000 sq. ft. This block is dedicated to the selfless service of Dr. C Rajeswari, an acclaimed obstetrician and gynecologist who was blessed by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to commence His medical mission in 1970.

The teaching block, Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital, is a multi-disciplinary hospital established at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli, Karnataka, India, in 2018. It provides quality healthcare services for all, without any barriers, completely free of cost. The hospital offers a rich learning environment for medical students across specialties without the biases and barriers of socio-economic status and finance.

The Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research provides a beacon of hope for the future of healthcare in India. By providing values-based medical education completely free of cost, it aims to inspire youth to serve society with love and compassion, fulfilling the true spirit of ‘Vaidyo narayano harih’. It offers a new paradigm in healthcare education, one that is based on noble values, dedication, and sacrifice. It will create a new breed of doctors who are driven by compassion, empathy, and a sense of duty towards society. This values-based education will help break the commercialization of healthcare and medical brain drain in the country. It is a step towards a brighter future where healthcare is accessible to all, regardless of their social and economic conditions.

The Prime Minister of India inaugurates the world's first free medical college for rural students

On March 25th, a historic event took place with the inauguration of the world’s first free medical college, Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research. The inauguration was attended by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, the honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, and other distinguished guests. The event began with a procession of Vedam and ‘Sai Symphony’ Orchestra students, leading the guests into the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham hall.

During the event, Sri C Srinivas gave the introductory remarks and shared how his mother, Smt Rajeswari played a significant role in setting up the general hospital in Puttaparthi with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s blessings. He expressed his gratitude to Shri Narendra Modi, which was reiterated with a standing ovation.

The benedictory message of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, delivered during the inauguration of the Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in Muddenahalli, expressed gratitude to the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi Ji, for dedicating the institution to the nation. Sri Madhusudan Sai emphasized the importance of the Sanskrit phrase “sarve bhavantu sukhinaḥ sarve santu nirāmayāḥ, sarve bhadrāṇi paśyantu, mā kaścid duḥkha māpnuyāt” which means “may all be happy, may all be healthy, may all see auspiciousness, may none suffer.” This phrase is indicative of the vision of an immortal India and the spirit of service to humanity.

Muddenahalli is located in the region of Panchgani and was named as tapobhūmi by Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The tyāgajīvīs residing in this place have taken a vow of lifelong celibacy and dedicated their lives to the service of humanity, thereby making this land a tyāgabhūmi. Today, this land has transformed into a siddha-sankalpabhūmi, wherein any selfless sankalpa is taken and finds fulfillment.

A single motive — to serve the nation

The Institute of Medical Sciences and Research was established as a result of the desire to extend opportunities, absolutely free of cost, to children from villages who have the capability, strength, dedication, and motivation to serve society. Sri Madhusudan Sai recalled how a little girl from the village of Muddenahalli, named Preeti, who aspired to become a doctor, inspired him to establish such an institution. Preeti, who studied in a government school with Kannada as the medium of instruction and did not know English, is now serving in their organization as a doctor.

Sri Madhusudan Sai expressed his conviction that the students who will become medical professionals following the footsteps of Rajeswari Maa, in her memory, will serve the nation. The hospital and the Institute were established with this motive. Sri Madhusudan Sai extended his gratitude to all the brothers and sisters who have come from various countries and have sacrificed their everything to build and run these institutions.

He specifically mentioned the following people and organizations: Jagad Guru of Sringeri Sharada Peetham, Mahasannidhanam Sri Bharathi Tirtha Swami Ji, and Divya Sannidhanam Vidhushekara Bharathi Ji Swami of the same peetham, as well as Sri Nirmalanandanath Swami Ji of Sri Adichunchangiri Mahasamsthana Mutt. He also mentioned Sri B Narayan Rao, who is one of the eldest tyāgajīvī, and major patrons such as Sri Sitaram Jindal, Sri A Balasubramaniam, Dr. Mahabaleshwar, Sri Aravinda de Silva, Sri Sunil Gavaskar, Prof Rakesh Upadhyay, Sri J A Chowdary Garu, and Sri B C Prabhakar Garu.

Additionally, Sri Madhusudan Sai thanked the CSR Partners who supported the Institute, namely Aditya Birla Group, Zee Entertainment, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, FANUC India, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Western Digital, Dell, Informatica, Sabre Travels, ICICI Foundation, State Bank of India, ASM Technologies, Bengaluru International Airport Ltd, VRL Logistics Ltd, and Amazon Web services. He then listed the individuals involved in the project, including architects, civil contractors, consultants, a trustee, project head, and a young team of project engineers. He expressed gratitude to the devotees and supporters from around the world and aligned the project with the Prime Minister’s vision of development, trust, and effort. Sadguru made a resolution to dedicate the 400-bedded hospital to the Nation on Baba’s 100th Birth Anniversary in November 2025, which will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister. He thanked the Chief Minister and Dr. Sudhakar for their support and congratulated everyone involved in the project.

On nation building through service

In his speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Sri Basavaraj Bommai, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, dignitaries on the dais, ladies, and gentlemen. He greeted everyone present and congratulated them for their renewed resolution to take part in the great mission of service to humanity. He visited the cemetery of Sir M Visvesvaraya and his museum in Chikkaballapur and paid tribute to this great architect of modern India. The Prime Minister commended the Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research for its new beginning and congratulated the people of Chikkaballapur. He also emphasized the importance of collective efforts to achieve the goal of a developed India by 2047. The Prime Minister praised the Karnataka state for its spiritual institutions and the role they play in empowering the underprivileged. He appreciated the motto of Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence – ‘yogah karmasu kausalam’, meaning perfection in action is yoga. The Prime Minister also highlighted the significant improvement in healthcare services in the last nine years, especially in the field of medical education. He mentioned that the number of medical colleges in India has increased from less than 380 in 2014 to over 650 today. He also stated that 40 medical colleges have been established in aspirational districts that were backward in their socio-economic progress. The Prime Minister said that 150 Nursing colleges will be established as per this year’s budget of the Central Government. He spoke about the challenge faced by the youth from rural, poor, and backward communities to become doctors and engineers due to the lack of education in the regional language of Kannada. However, he emphasized that the government has given an option to undertake studies in medicine in any of the regional languages of India, including Kannada. The Prime Minister also talked about the priority given to healthcare services of the poor and middle-class and the opening of ‘Jan Aushadi Centres’ that offer medicines for a very low cost. He noted that about 10,000 Jan Aushadhi centres had been opened and that the government was committed to providing healthcare services to all sections of society.

The Prime Minister also addressed the audience, reminiscing about the days when the poor were too afraid to visit hospitals. He praised the BJP government’s Ayushman Bharat Scheme for providing access to good hospitals and free treatment up to 5 lakhs for the poor, which has benefited lakhs of people in Karnataka. The government has also reduced the cost of heart surgeries, knee replacement, and dialysis, providing free dialysis services to save the poor thousands of crores. The government has prioritized the healthcare needs of women and children by building toilets, providing free gas connections, water facilities, distributing free sanitary pads, and transferring money to bank accounts for wholesome nutrition. The government is also taking steps to prevent breast cancer by conducting screenings in villages. The Prime Minister congratulated Mr. Bommai and his team for establishing more than 9,000 health and wellness centres in Karnataka and committed to ensuring healthy lives for future generations. He also appreciated the government’s efforts to empower ANM and Asha Workers with modern technological gadgets to carry out their tasks easily. The government is also particular about the economic empowerment of women, with initiatives to empower women self-help groups in villages and encourage women’s participation in dairy cooperatives. The Prime Minister concluded by emphasizing the collective effort needed to advance the country towards a developed India. He thanked the Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute for their humanitarian service and expressed his renewed close relationship with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and quite a long-time relationship with Mr Sreenivas.

The programme ended with the Sai Symphony Orchestra students playing the National Anthem of India.