Mission India: Dr. Nik Gohokar cares for patients 8,000 miles away

AT A MEDICAL CAMP IN CENTRAL INDIA, he helped launch a program to screen for malnutrition, high blood pressure and diabetes. At a school for the deaf, he started an innovative education program that helps kids hear with their minds. And at the remote village of Vihirgaon, he spearheaded an alcohol cessation program.

This is how one dedicated doctor, BNHC’s Dr. Nik Gohokar, spent a month “visiting his family” in India recently. But during this trip, family didn’t always come first – his work and commitment as a physician did.

That’s why Dr. Nik traveled from village to village in India from late November through December 2023, resuming medical programs he had begun during his last visit, and starting several others that help improve the health of thousands of Indian people. (story continues after photos)

Dr. Nik Gohokar talks to his team and volunteers at the launch of an alcohol cessation program in the Vihirgaon Village.
At a medical camp in Pandharkawada Village, District Chandapur, Dr. Nik administered steroidal injections for pain.
Villagers in Vihirgaon, India, listen as Dr. Nik Gohokar announces his alcohol cessation program.
The children at the school in Punwat, India, practice their newfound breathing and stress-elimination techniques.
Dr. Nik and workers at a clinic in Shengaon, District Chandrapur, celebrated the launch of a program to screen for several disorders.
Dr. Nik Gohokar gathers in December with children at a school in Punwat, District of Yavatmal, India, where he launched a stress-elimination program.
Dr. Nik met with staff a school for the deaf and dumb at Saoner, District Nagpur, to discuss the success of the “”Art of Living” stress-elimination program.
Dr. Nik addressed the students at a school in Punwat, District yavatmal call girls , in December about the new ‘Art of LIving’ breathing program.

At each site, he worked with local medical teams he has created for each of the projects, often continuing the extraordinary, far-reaching work he began months earlier, remotely, from his health center in Brockton. “I am truly blessed and grateful to be part of these projects,” he said.

In a first for him, he introduced the “Art of Living” courses to school children in Punwat, District of Yavatmal, as well as a school for the deaf and dumb in Nagpur. The AOL programs focus on stress-elimination and self-development through the Sudarshan Kriya (SKY) breathing technique, as well as meditation and yoga. “This year we are planning to introduce the AOL courses to 1,200 more students from three other schools,” he said.

Dr. Nik sponsored the program for all 50 students at the Deaf Dumb School of Saoner in Nagpur District, which helps children tap into their intuition through breathing, yoga and various mental exercises.

“After completing the course, 12 students at the school are now reading and identifying colors blindfolded,” said Dr. Nik. “This can help the students to integrate better in society.”

While much of his time was spent developing the AOL programs, Dr. Nik also found the time to launch an alcohol cessation program at Vihirgaon District in Chandrapur; begin a breathing exercise program for school children in Punwat; and start a screening and monitoring program for blood pressure, diabetes and malnutrition in Shengaon.

“With this initiative, we screened about 1,000 people in one village, and found 125 who did not know they have high blood pressure or diabetes,” he said, adding that they’ve been started on medications. “With these clinics, we are hoping that we would be cutting down on the incidence of heart failure, heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure and sudden deaths.”

The program, in all, is reaching about 5,000 people in three villages, he said. Once the program expands to clinics in two more villages, they could reach 9,000.

While in India, Dr. Nik finds other health professionals and trains assistants to keep the programs running smoothly until his next annual visit. He also monitors all programs and contributes even when back in Brockton, caring for his adult patients at BNHC.

“If there is a patient who needs medical advice, I can talk with them over the phone as well,” he said. “I can still help.”

Even when the patient is 8,000 miles away.