Wednesday, December 19

Google doodle celebrates 100th birth anniversary of Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy

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Internet search giant Google on Monday pays tribute to Dr. Govinda Venkataswamy, an ophthalmologist, on his 100th birth anniversary with a doodle.

Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy, known to friends and patients as Dr. V, is the founder of the renowned Aravind Eye Hospital. Started as a small entity with 11 beds, the hospital has changed the way ailments related to eyes are treated in the country.

A blog post on Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy by Google says, “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.”

Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy was born on October 1, 1918, in Tamil Nadu’s Vadamalapuram. 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 serving the nation.

Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy attended a school in his village. He then went on to study Chemistry at American College in Madurai. He then earned a degree of M.D. from Stanley Medical College in Madras in 1944.

After passing out of medical school, Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy joined the Indian Army Medical Corps for a career in obstetrics.

However, he returned to medical school and earned a degree in ophthalmology in 1951. He learned the procedures of surgery to remove the cataract, one of the main causes of blindness.

In 1973, Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy has conferred the Padmashree award for his outstanding service to the nation.

“Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy set up the Aravind Eye Hospital in the late 1970s. The hospital was financed by doctors mortgaging their homes and donating own furniture,” the Google post further stated. “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.”

Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy died on July 7, 2006, at the age of 87.