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Google celebrates renowned ophthalmologist Govindappa Venkataswamy

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 1 Oct 2018 5:13 AM GMT

Google celebrates renowned ophthalmologist Govindappa Venkataswamy
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New Delhi: The Google Doodle on Monday celebrates the centenary of renowned Indian ophthalmologist Govindappa Venkataswamy, known as 'Dr V' among his patients, who dedicated his life to eradicate needless blindness.

Born on this day in 1918 in Vadamalapuram, Tamil Nadu, Venkataswamy was permanently crippled by rheumatoid arthritis at the young age of 30. However, despite his own health issues, nothing could stop him from what he wanted to be.

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He attended a school in his village where students had to write on sand which collected from the riverbank as there was no pencil and paper. Later he went on to study Chemistry at the American College in Madurai and earned a degree of M.D. from Stanley Medical College in Madras in 1944.

Right after completing his medical school Venkataswamy went on to join the Indian Army Medical Corps. However, a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis nearly crippled him and his career took a setback.

He was confined to bed for a year. When he returned to academics, Venkataswamy studied for a degree in ophthalmology in 1951.

The Aravind Eye Hospital which has now transformed into a major chain eradicating cataract related blindness, had begun as a 11-bed hospital under the aegis of Venkataswamy in 1976.

Despite his physical constraints, Dr V learnt to perform surgery to remove cataracts and could perform 100 surgeries in a day.

He used to organise eye camps in rural communities, which would serve as a rehab centre for the blind and a training session for ophthalmic assistants, during this period he performed over 1,00,000 successful eye surgeries.

In 1973, Venkataswamy received the Padma Shri award.

Here are some famous quotes by him:

  • "Intelligence and capability are not enough. There must be the joy of doing something beautiful."
  • "When we grow in spiritual consciousness, we identify with all that is in the world there is no exploitation. It is ourselves we're helping, ourselves we're healing."

With IANS Inputs

Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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