We arrived exhausted to Kolkata, but excited to meet the day in this enormous, bustling and friendly city. The Banerji Clinic’s mastermind Avijit – the man who makes sure everything behind the scenes is running ,came to meet us at the hotel, and he was an extraordinary host.
The Banerji clinic has become notorious for saving lives in a very controversial way, particularly of those afflicted with cancer. Their protocols go against everything we are taught as classical homeopaths. There is no individualization to their process. But from what I witnessed they are truly having remarkable results.
Avijit took us to the clinic, walking distance from our hotel. Outside was a moderate line up of people from all walks of life waiting for their name to be called. A market has sprung up in front of the clinic; wallas (vendors) selling coconut water, chai and food and willing to wash and iron your laundry. The reason for all these vendors would soon become much more apparent. Avijit recommended that we come by that evening to see the line-up then. And so we did.
When we arrived that evening there were hundreds of people making themselves at home on the street. People from all over the subcontinent who had trekked for days to get there. They set up camp along the wall outside the clinic. Blankets, pillows, dishes, bags and boxes. They lined up for fear that they would not get in the next day (as I had lined up for concert tickets in my wilder days) but in my estimations many of those people had nowhere else to stay. I felt very grateful that night for the comfort of my hotel room to which we eventually retired.
The next morning we came early, before the clinic opened its doors, and the crowd milling around the building had swelled to over 1000 individuals. Many were eager to talk to us about their remarkable cures, or their hopes for a miracle. There were entire families escorting young children, sons and daughters bringing their elderly parents
The clinic manages to see each and every one of these people every day. Those who come to see physicians other then the Banerjis themselves are not charged for their visit. They need only pay for their medicines. I asked Dr. Pratip Banerji how he felt about the huge line-ups outside, in my mind I was considering how so many people had ventured forth on great journeys because they had heard or seen the incredible cures. I thought of all the people that were receiving free care, and I thought he would be proud. But actually he turned to me sorrowfully and said “I wish we could house them so they wouldn’t have to sleep on the street, they don’t need to sleep there, they will all have their turn.”