Internet search giant Google on Monday, October 1, 2018, honoured Dr Govinda Venkataswamy, a visionary Indian ophthalmologist, on his 100th birth anniversary with a doodle.
Born on October 1, 1918, in Vadamalapuram of Tamil Nadu, he was known as Dr V to his colleagues and patients.
At an early age of 30, Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy was permanently crippled by rheumatoid arthritis. However, despite his own health issues, nothing could stop him from what he wanted to do.
He is known for developing a high quality, high volume, low-cost service delivery model that has restored sight to millions of people.
Do you know, growing up in Tamil Nadu’s Vadamalapuram, Dr. V write on sand collected from the riverbank due to lack of pencils and paper? Here are five facts you need to know about Dr V.
1. He went on to study Chemistry at the American College in Madurai. In 1944, he earned his M.D. degree from Stanley Medical College. After passing out of medical school, Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy joined the Indian Army Medical Corps for a career in obstetrics – a branch of medicine related to pregnancy and child birth.
2. However, he was crippled by rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 30, following which he had to leave the Indian Army Medical Corps. He then returned to medical school and earned a degree in ophthalmology.
3. He is best known for developing a high quality, high volume, low-cost service delivery model that has restored sight to millions of people.
4. Aravind Eye Hospital, which Dr V started as ‘an 11-bed facility’ in late 1970s, has nearly 4,000 beds today performing over 200,000 eye surgeries each year,with 70% of patients paying little or nothing. Since inception, Aravind Eye Care System has seen over 55 million patients and performed over 6.8 million surgeries.
5. In 1973, Dr V was conferred the Padmashree award by the Government of India for his outstanding service to the nation.
In a blog post, Google said, “Dr. V could perform 100 surgeries in a day. Addressing the problem of blindness in a holistic fashion, he set up eye camps in rural communities, a rehab center for blind people, and a training program for ophthalmic assistants, personally performing over 100,000 successful eye surgeries.”
In 1973, Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy was conferred the Padmashree award for his outstanding service to the nation.
Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy set up the Aravind Eye Hospital in late 1970s. The hospital was financed by doctors mortgaging their homes and donating own furniture, notes the post by Google. It adds, “Today Aravind Eye Hospital has nearly 4,000 beds performing over 200,000 eye surgeries each year, with 70% of patients paying little or nothing.”
The doodle appears half blurred and half clear with the caricature of Dr Venkataswamy at the center, representing the vision of the ophthalmologist to help save people’s eyesight. It is an appreciation of the beauty of his endeavours and his role in helping people see the world better.
Dr Govindappa Venkataswamy never married. He died on July 7, 2006 at the age of 87.
Source- Websites, Internet
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