Google Doodle is celebrating Dr. Govindappa Venkataswami’s 100th Birth anniversary on October 1. Google does not leave any stone unturned to dedicate its doodle to mark the Birth or death anniversary of the famous personalities. On October 1, Google’s doodle paid tribute to Dr. Govindappa Venkataswami, who was a visionary Indian ophthalmologist.
Dr. Govindappa Venkataswami dedicated his entire life to eliminating needless blindness. Venkataswami was the founder and former chairman of Aravind Eye Hospitals, which is the largest provider of eye care in the world. Dr. Govindappa Venkataswami is popularly known for developing an innovative high quality, high volume, low-cost service delivery model that has restored sight to millions of people.
Since its beginning, Aravind Eye Care System has seen more than 55 million patients and performed over 6.8 million surgeries. Over 50 percent of the organization’s patients pay either nothing or highly subsidized rates. Revenues from patients who choose to pay to subsidize care for the rest. Aravind regularly runs a surplus primarily through earned revenue from patient services and does not solicit donations for its core activities. Its scale and self-sustainability prompted a 1993 Harvard Business Case Study on the Aravind model that is still in use.
Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy was permanently crippled by rheumatoid arthritis when he was 30. Dr. Venkataswamy nonetheless trained as an ophthalmologist, and he himself performed more than 1 lakh successful eye surgeries. As a government servant, he reportedly helped develop and pioneer the concept of eye camps. He was conferred a Padma Shri from the Government of India in the year 1973.
In 1976, When he was 58 years old retired from government service and founded Aravind in Madurai, Tamil Nadu along with his four siblings and their spouses. The hospital started as an 11-bed clinic that operated out of a rented house. Today, the Aravind Eye Care System includes a network of 7 tertiary care eye hospitals, 6 secondary eye care centers, and 70 primary eye care centers in South India.
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