Dr. Shirdi Prasad Tekur Left Us On 16 May 2021

By  Leo F. Saldanha

As a Captain in the Indian Army, he served across the country, and was one of three from armed forces selected to be India’s first cosmonaut – till a life threatening training injury put him out of contention (he was paralysed neck down).   

Tekur fought hard to gain control over his body and walked out of that situation, and also the Army, to work with communities across South Asia as a doctor and community health specialist. He also helped form Community Health Cell, now Sochara.

Always ready to reach out and help people, Tekur was involved in relief work in multiple disasters across South Asia. He brought this experience back to train thousands of field workers, doctors and nurses about being prepared for such situations.

As a paediatrician he has taken care of thousands of kids across India.  But most particularly in City Clinic in Jayanagar, Bangalore, a clinic he took over from Dr Pathy (who passed on some years ago).  And kids loved to go to him because they knew their cooperation would be rewarded – with polo mints. 

Families went along with kids and he spent time with them; never gave the feeling that he was busy.  He was there for them.  Such a General Physician he was that every family that went to him sick came out healthier.  And they stayed with him, and wouldn’t hesitate calling him whenever they were in trouble – and he never refused calls; and if missed any, he would call back.  And his prescriptions were so neat, in his beautiful hand they were written.  He was sparing with medication, gave the patient choice, and always worked in the best interest of the patient and the family.  And he charged nothing at all; the poor hit free treatment. I could go on and on with And this and And that.

Over the past year he has saved hundreds from COVID.  As the line of patients grew long in his clinic, Tekur stayed, from morning till the last patient got the care.  Often I would argue with him- when he regularly went home at 4 or 5 pm to have lunch – what he was doing as unacceptable.  He would laugh it off.

Often times he stopped by at Environment Support Group (ESG). And we would step out into the balcony to chat and smoke – one doc who made you feel okay with this occasional indulgence.  And in recent years he gave up smoking.  Sometimes we would have a drink together. 

Everyone who interacted with Tekur built relationships that were long and timeless. Such was the charm of this man.

His wife Vimala and daughter Harshini enjoyed another dimension of Tekur – he was an excellent painter.  And his paintings of his parents and daughter are unbelievably true to form. 

He wrote books, small ones that deeply reflected philosophically on life. And he read a lot – you  would never find Shirdi PrasadTekur without a book.

COVID got him sick. And he went in telling everyone he would be out of the neighbourhood hospital he was admitted to.  He even told his daughter not to travel from Germany as he would be back home. He wanted her to come later, when it was safer to travel. But she came anyway, by when he was in a bigger hospital where his condition deteriorated as the drug resistant bacteria that infected him were unsparing in their assault.

I have lost a very dear friend, a most wonderful counsellor, and a Trustee of ESG for who solidarity meant everything – he never hesitated to say: “How can I help”.  When last year civil society became a target for heavy restrictions from the Centre, Tekur would ask us to work fearlessly. “Focus on work without thinking about results.  They will come good”, he would say. 

Shirdi Prasad Tekur has left a void that cannot be filled ever.

In Tekur I discovered what goodness and selflessness is all about. 

A wonderful person has passed on.

And I still can’t help feeling he will come out of the hospital – and just say: “Enough. Now let’s go and get a drink and a smoke.” 

Yes he had quit. But I would have done anything to celebrate his return to good health, a second life it would have been for Tekur.

Dr. Shirdi Prasad Tekur speaking at ESG’s webinar at 28th Marh 2021

12 thoughts on “Dr. Shirdi Prasad Tekur Left Us On 16 May 2021

  • October 11, 2022 at 12:25 pm
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    Leo, a fantastic tribute to a man who is everything that Rudyard Kipling referred to in his famous poem ‘If’. It was, by chance, that I stumbled upon this tribute, when looking for the New city clinic’s address yesterday to refer to a friend of mine,who mentioned to me about his son, who had chronic cold. Like everyone, we have been going to Dr Prasad Tekur right from the late 80s. All in the family, the young, the old and the tiny tots have been going to him for more than 30 years. My daughter, who is now a mother, has been unable to reconcile to this news, since last evening, when we came to know of his passing away. Just a couple of years back, we had taken our grand daughter to him. What can one say about the Dr – he was not a human being but a divine one, who took on the garb of an ordinary mortal and served and served and touched the lives of thousands he came across. Words can never come close to describing him for such was his presence and the healing touch. Am sure he lives on in each of our minds and we will never ever forget his humourous demeanour and that infectious laugh together with the earthly banter, his omipresent hugs and yes, the mint! Our condolences to all his close ones and prayers for his soul to attain eternal peace.

    Reply
  • September 8, 2021 at 1:44 pm
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    I am deeply saddened to hear about Dr Taikur.Today I just came to know about this .I fall short of proper words as to how good he was as a doctor and as a human being . Any one coming to him would be rest assured that he would be fine whatever illness .His positive approach towards his patient was remarkable.I would travel 15 km to reach out to Dr Taikur .I wouldn’t go ahead without his advice .lastly I prayer for him RIP and my condolences to his family

    Reply
  • May 22, 2021 at 5:43 pm
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    Dr Tekur was our family doctor.
    Visiting his clinic was a pleasure than a tension. Reason – confidence in us that issue will be resolved by his simple and pragmatic approach.
    My wife and I were regularly visiting him. It was a task for me to make him accept consultation fee particularly during last lockdown period when I was in touch him every week on the phone.
    We have lost a good doctor and a great human being.
    Om Shanti.
    Prasad

    Reply
  • May 22, 2021 at 3:34 pm
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    Dr. Tekur was (feel sad and bad to use past tense) our family doctor.
    As many have said, we were happy to visit his clinic fully confident that for whatever issue we were consulting; it will be cured. We had to force him to accept consultation fee. His listening capacity and immediate response in the form of medicines, only if essential, was excellent. We have taken his time during lockdown by disturbing him over phone.
    Rare great human being.
    Om Shanti.
    Prasad & family

    Reply
  • May 20, 2021 at 2:59 pm
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    Om Shanti, we(my family) has known Dr Tekur since 1995, a well spoke person. I was deeply saddened after hearing the news of his demise. I hope God gives his family the strength in this tough time.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2021 at 7:47 pm
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    We became friends in 1978 when we did our internship together. We shared an interest in painting, chess, and philosophy. We often discussed past life regression and rebirth and the after life. We practiced together for awhile at City Clinic after I introduced him to Dr Pathy because he was unfairly evicted from his previous clinic. He was paediatrician to my children. On the morning of the 18th I received a copy of the Deccan Herald a paper I have never subscribed to but the only one that carried his obituary! It was as if he wished to bid me farewell. I looked at it and with a silent prayer said “ fare thee we’ll my dear friend “ .

    Reply
  • May 19, 2021 at 4:26 pm
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    So so sorry uncle am too late to know this … just this morning I had been trying ur number continuously and it said switched off ….
    I will miss u loads as a mentor guide and ofcourse the worlds best doctor to me ….
    Since childhood have only trusted one person blindly for any of my health issue is only u uncle ….. everybody would laugh it out saying “ Nisha will be fine now as she has met uncle “
    Yes uncle that was very true I would be very very fine even if I visited u once .. as my paediatrician and now my children’s
    I can never ever forget u uncle coz i’am hail n hearty only coz of u today …
    will miss your hug and “ MINT POLO “

    Reply
  • May 19, 2021 at 11:53 am
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    This is incredibly sad news. For almost 3 decades, Dr Tekur was our beloved “family doctor”, especially for our two sons growing up several years back. He was kind, understanding, and always enjoyed the company of children. With him, a doctors visit was something to look forward to! While it is saddening to hear this, we will cherish all the fond memories thanks to Dr Tekur. May he rest in peace, thoughts and prayers with you and the family.

    Reply
  • May 18, 2021 at 11:57 pm
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    I am deeply saddened by his passing away . I was visiting his clinic quite regularly when my kids were younger and yes they would be most happy to receive the polo mint .our family always felt that his diagnosis was quite accurate and would feel relieved after visinh him . We will really miss him .

    Reply
    • July 3, 2021 at 4:54 pm
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      Iam very sad bcoz we have lossed a super multi-talented doctor , he is very kind and humble towards patient. Since 90’s my dad used to visit his clinic regularly for first time my dad visited Dr.tekur’s clinic for extreme back neck pain which my dad had suffered lot and even my dad done lot of x-rays ,scans but also nothing got worked and once my dad’s friend(whose father is in army and his daughtet is my dad’s friend though) tekur doctor is army friend to my dad’s friend’s dad when my dad visited tekur’s clinic and even doctor was very humble towards my dad and also he gave a simplest solution to my dad after that the pain just gone away .lot of thanks to our doctor
      From after the incident onwards my dad will always visit his clinic and if we got any health issues we usually visit his clinic however his fee is very very low but we are in electronic city we travel from electronic city to Jayanagar it takes hour and hour but also we wanted to visit and we should visit his clinic and slowly he became our family doctor too . Even my dad always recommend our relatives his friends to visit (polo)tekur’s doctor hospital ,Iam seeing him since my childhood , he never used injection -so I love to visit his clinic from my childhood till now (March month 2021) and also his handwriting was too neat that we have ever seen none of the doctor wrote the prescription like that !
      He always give (polo mint) that we also call him as (polo doctor) yes! polo doctor , we really miss you sir!!
      Even though my mom call him as dad , he never let me out without hugging by love!
      Last time when I visited his clinic , he just hugged and said that don’t get worry all the things will get alright! 😭
      😓 I miss u sir and love u.
      When I get an health issue we (our family) will always go to his clinic and if the clinic closed but also visit his medical shop or after I came by visiting doctor and hears his words , I feel like my health is ok ! As usual I’ll be by charming my family always used to kid me in that way ! I have charmed by listening his powerful and kind words

      He is greatest homeopathy doctor , we are very happy to receive a mint polo from u sir ! And also he never asks our name while writing prescription , he’ll just automatically writes!
      After hearing the incident we cried alot 😭😭need u back sir!
      Really we will miss u , a great man that we have never and ever seen in our life.
      A big salute for your social service.

      Miss u sir !! Hugs .

      Reply
      • July 3, 2021 at 5:01 pm
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        Iam very sad bcoz we have lossed a super multi-talented doctor , he is very kind and humble towards patient. Since 90’s(1995) my dad used to visit his clinic regularly for first time my dad visited Dr.tekur’s clinic for extreme back neck pain which my dad had suffered lot and even my dad done lot of x-rays ,scans but also nothing got worked and once my dad’s friend(whose father is in army and his daughter is my dad’s friend though) tekur doctor is army friend to my dad’s friend’s dad when my dad visited tekur’s clinic and even doctor was very humble towards my dad and also he gave a simplest solution to my dad after that the pain just gone away .lot of thanks to our doctor
        From after the incident onwards my dad will always visit his clinic and if we got any health issues we usually visit his clinic however his fee is very very low but we are in electronic city we travel from electronic city to Jayanagar it takes hour and hour but also we wanted to visit and we should visit his clinic and slowly he became our family doctor too . Even my dad always recommend our relatives his friends to visit (polo)tekur’s doctor hospital ,Iam seeing him since my childhood , he never used injection -so I love to visit his clinic from my childhood till now (March month 2021) and also his handwriting was too neat that we have ever seen none of the doctor wrote the prescription like that !
        He always give (polo mint) that we also call him as (polo doctor) yes! polo doctor , we really miss you sir!!
        Even though my mom call him as dad , he never let me out without hugging by love!
        Last time when I visited his clinic , he just hugged and said that don’t get worry all the things will get alright! 😭
        😓 I miss u sir and love u.
        When I get an health issue we (our family) will always go to his clinic and if the clinic closed but also visit his medical shop or after I came by visiting doctor and hears his words , I feel like my health is ok ! As usual I’ll be by charming my family always used to kid me in that way ! I have charmed by listening his powerful and kind words

        He is greatest homeopathy doctor , we are very happy to receive a mint polo from u sir ! And also he never asks our name while writing prescription , he’ll just automatically writes!
        After hearing the incident we cried alot 😭😭need u back sir!
        Really we will miss u , a great man that we have never and ever seen in our life.
        A big salute for your social service.
        We loved your paintings too, A good artist .

        Miss u sir !! Hugs .

        Reply
  • May 18, 2021 at 5:26 pm
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    He was working at city clinic Ii block jayanagar during 1990s and then moved to third block. One of simplest and humblest. My tears rolled

    Reply

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