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Govinda Venkataswamy: Google Doodle Marks 100th Birth Anniversary of Padma Shri Ophthalmologist

Ophthalmologist Dr Govinda Venkataswamy, the founder of Aravind Eye Hospital, was conferred the Padma Shri award in 1973 for his service to the nation. He died on July 7, 2006 at the age of 87.

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Updated:October 1, 2018, 12:07 PM IST
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Govinda Venkataswamy: Google Doodle Marks 100th Birth Anniversary of Padma Shri Ophthalmologist
Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy was born on October 1, 1989 in Tamil Nadu's Vadamalapuram
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New Delhi: Google on Monday paid tribute to ophthalmologist Dr Govinda Venkataswamy, affectionately known as 'Dr. V', on his 100th birth anniversary with a special doodle. Venkataswamy is the founder of renowned Aravind Eye Hospital, which he started in 1976 as a small entity of 11 beds.

A blog post on Dr. 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."

The renowned ophthalmologist was conferred the Padmashree award in 1973 for his service to the nation.

Chairman of Aravind Eye Care System (AEC), RD Ravindran, believes that the values left behind by Venkataswamy is an important reason for the continued growth of the hospital. A leading national daily quoted him as saying, "Dr. V inculcated a very strong set of cultural beliefs in us. These include making eye care accessible and affordable; keeping quality in check; having a staff-centric atmosphere; frugality; self-reliance and sharing best practise." He was further quoted as saying that Aravind would not have gained ground without training over 5,000 ophthalmologists and sharing knowledge with other countries.

The hospital today has branches Madurai, Theni, Tirunelveli, Coimbatore, Coimbatore City Centre, Pondicherry, Dindigul, Tirupur, Salem, Tuticorin, Udumalpet and Chennai. The medical centre is known for its high quality and affordable services. The official data of the eye centre boasts of treating 4.7 million outpatients in 2017 and performing over 463,124 surgeries and laser procedures in the same year.

The Padmashree recipient was born on October 1, 1989 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, he continued to serve the country. He died on July 7, 2006 at the age of 87.
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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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