Today Google India honoured Indian ophthalmologist Dr Govindappa Venkataswamy with a doodle on his birth anniversary. Dr Venkataswamy was born on October 1, 1918, was known for his pioneering efforts to eradicate the blindness from the world. Fondly known as Dr V, the ophthalmologist dedicated his life to developing low-cost, high-quality eye care to people around the world. On his 100th birth anniversary, let’s learn some incredible facts about the Indian ophthalmologist, including how he was inspired by McDonald's. Dr Govindappa Venkataswamy Visionary Indian Ophthalmologist and Founder of Aravind Eye Hospitals Honoured With Google Doodle.
Became A Doctor After Personal Tragedies
Dr V was deeply affected by the deaths of three of his cousins due to complications during pregnancy. There were no doctors in his village who could have saved them from their untimely deaths. This personal loss inspired his decision to become a doctor.
Pioneered The Aravind Business Model
Dr V undertook a pioneering move to set up mobile eye camps by joining hands with the government. He later borrowed the same model for setting up Aravind Eye Hospitals in Madurai in 1976, which follows a tiered pricing system. The model has been used as a case study in offering quality medical services to the poor. New Doodle Features Popular Questions Asked During The Last 20 Years.
Made Intraocular Lens Affordable in Developing Countries
The pioneer founded Aurolab with the help from partners from Aravind in 1992 and brought down the price of intraocular lens (an artificial lens used to replace the eye’s original during cataract surgery).
Founded A Nutrition Centre
Vitamin A, a crucial nutrient, is important in protecting against blinding. Knowing that there are people who suffer from vision problems because they don’t have means to meet their nutritional needs, Dr V founded a nutritional rehabilitation centre in Madurai where children with nutritional needs are given treatment.
Sought Inspiration in McDonald's and Coca-Cola
Dr V founded Aravind Eye Hospital when he was a 58-year-old professor who had retired. Two years before his retirement, the doctor visited McDonald’s restaurant for the first time and was impressed with its business model, which later inspired him to set up the eye hospital. “If Coca-Cola can sell billions of sodas and McDonald’s can sell billions of burger, why can’t Aravind sell millions of sight-restoring operations, and, eventually, the belief in human perfection?” he once quipped.
Was Afflicted With Handicap
Dr V, who strove to give the gift of good health to hundreds of thousands, was himself not at the pink of his health. His fingers were crippled permanently at the young age of 30 due to rheumatoid arthritis.
Was a Disciple of Sri Aurobindo
The man of science also had a rich spiritual life. He sought spiritual guidance from Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa, an occultist. It was clear in his approach towards healing people. He once said that he aimed at bringing a higher consciousness by transforming not just the body, but also the mind of the people.
Dr V stood tall in the field of ophthalmology in India and was personally responsible for saving scores from certain blindness. He himself has performed over 100,000 eye surgeries, all of which were successful. Dr V was a perfect combination of rationality, empathy and spirituality, which helped him achieve his vision of providing quality eye care for all. He sums up it up in his quote: “When we grow in spiritual consciousness, we identify ourselves with all that is in the world, and there is no exploitation. It is ourselves we are helping. It is ourselves we are healing.”