-He was once a 37-year old farmer in Wales until he felt 'compelled' to become a medical doctor, even though he had no interest in medicine at that time.

-He ended up in Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) where he opened a free medical clinic for the poor, working
at the side of the road.

-His extraordinary "Pavement Clinic" operated six days a week for the next FOURTEEN YEARS.

-He was once thrown in Alipore jail for his efforts.

-He is still working in Kolkata as you read this - and he's now 87 years old.

-He is an inspiration to many young people, and a living example of pure philanthropy.

-A documentary film about his life and work was released in Switzerland on 26 October 2016. Preview here
More information here



In order to grasp the life and work of Dr. Jack Preger, you should first imagine a medical clinic in a developed country, treating several hundred patients a day.

Visualise the essentials: a building, a medical team, nurses, an examination room, a treatment room, equipment, medicines, and medical records.

Now, transport these basics to the side of the road in India, but with no building to operate in. Instead, an open-air clinic, working on the pavement with traffic passing by, in a huge, chaotic city of over 4 million people.

Try now to see several hundred impoverished patients, standing in line, waiting for the free medical treatment being offered here by a British doctor.

Picture the work involved in setting this up every morning, operating it all day, 6 days a week in searing heat and monsoon rains, then dismantling and storing it away every evening.

Add to this, threats from local street mafias, constant hounding by local authorities, and being thrown in Alipore Jail as a reward for your wish to relieve human suffering...

The original Middleton Row pavement clinic (pictured above) treated several
hundred patients a day. It stretched from here forwards round the corner
where the pharmacy and welfare sections were located.

Backwards from here was the treatment department where wounds, burns and ulcers were taken care of. Jack's consultation centre (pictured below) was under
the central tarpaulin. The photograph dates to circa 1986.

This picture shows Jack's consultation 'centre' The medical records 'department'

adjoined this, with patients' files stored in metal boxes. Medical examinations
of a personal nature were conducted behind sheets of cloth.

I've met many people who've faced opposition in their efforts
to help others,
but no one who's been as systematically
harassed as Jack Preger. Fortunately he's really tough –
truly a soldier for the good"

-Ashok Mahadevan. Editor of
Reader's Digest, India



Stop Press

Jack awarded "Philanthropist of the Year" at the 2017 Asian Awards

See here

The "Pavement Doctor of Calcutta" is still working for the poor - at the age of 87 - in  city where those at the bottom of the social scale live in  misery.  See 'Times of India' September 2012 report here

Also the UK 'Daily Mail'
May 2015 here


...Now imagine any doctor, anywhere, attempting to work under these conditions - even for 14 days!

Jack Preger, the little-known physician from Manchester, England, sat at this clinic on the pavement offering free medical treatment to the homeless and the hopeless from  1979-1993, when the authorities finally granted registration to his organisation, now called Calcutta Rescue*

That’s a fraction of Jack’s extraordinary story, and whilst most doctors retire to a comfortable life at around age 65, Jack continues his selfless work in Kolkata. He eschews material wealth, and lives in simple accommodation, dedicating himself to the continuation of his work. Jack is a humble self-effacing man who seeks no publicity. Few people have even heard of him. That’s a pity, for his example is an inspiration to many, particularly to young people disillusioned by materialism.

A brief outline of his story, plus details and images of his work in Kolkata are covered on the following pages.

A deeper perspective of his life and personal philosophies are covered in a free online E-book of 17 chapters, which can be accessed here.

*Note: Calcutta Rescue was honoured in the 2009 India NGO awards for " creative resourcing, financial management, governance and impact in the community"

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 Site last updated
05 August 2017

Photography on this web site is original, taken by the author over a number of years. Images are copyright and may not be reproduced without permission. Contact can be made on Page 7.

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