(Dr M C Modi) Indian ophthalmologist

Murugappa Channaveerappa Modi (Kannadaಮುರುಗಪ್ಪ ಚೆನ್ನ ವೀರಪ್ಪ ಮೋದಿ
       (October 4, 1916 – November 11, 2005) (Dr M C Modi) was an Indian ophthalmologist.
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He visited 46,120 villages and 12,118,630 patients, and performed a total of 610,564 operations to February 1993."

Murugappa Channaveerappa Modi - Wikipedia, the free ...


Murugappa Channaveerappa Modi (Kannada: ಮುರುಗಪ್ಪ ಚೆನ್ನ ವೀರಪ್ಪ ಮೋದಿ; October 4, 1916 – November 11, 2005) (Dr M C Modi) was an ...
Early life and education - ‎Career - ‎Awards - ‎Quote

Dr M.C. Modi examining a patient
What Mother Teresa is to Calcutta's dying destitutes, Dr Murugappa Chennaveerappa Modi, 72. is to the poor blind villagers of Karnataka. For 45 years. Modi, the internationally recognised eye surgeon, has been waging a one-man war against blindness.
In 1986, his name appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records for performing 833 eye operations in a day, the highest in the world. The operations were conducted in Tirupati in 1968 over 14 continuous hours. Modi. Kannukota anna (the brother who gives vision) to the local people, has performed as many as 5.79 lakh eye operations so far. And his labour has always been free.

For Modi, his mission is spiritual. "I see myself as a poojary. The patient is my god, every village is my place of pilgrimage, the operating table is my shrine and my instruments are the accessories of worship," says the sprightly surgeon who lives a spartan existence.
Born of humble parentage - a Kannadiga from Bijapur district - Modi threw away a lucrative career in private practice after attending Gandhiji's historic prayer meeting at Bombay on August 8, 1942 where the Quit India resolution was passed. That meeting changed his life. And Modi, the gifted ophthalmologist, dedicated his life to the sightless."I felt affected when I saw blind people begging. They just did not have money to go to doctors." Modi recalled.

And those who had the money had often sold their jewellery or livestock to put it together for the treatment. This tragic fact of rural India spurred Modi to pioneer the concept of mass eye camps.

In an assembly line fashion, Modi operates 40 patients an hour, attending to four patients at a time. Ambidextrous, he performs delicate eye surgeries with his left hand. He does cataract operations, squint corrections and cornea transplants. Earlier, Modi used to perform 600 to 700 operations a day in his camps. But now in Karnataka, he operates on 200 to 300 patients every day.

His phenomenal contributions for the sightless have not gone unappreciated. Recognition has come to him through the Padma Shree and Padma Bhushan. Hellen Keller, the blind and deaf-mute American author, who attended one of his camps in 1954 asked Modi: "Have you insured your hands?" In his mass eye camps, apart from the 5.79 lakh operations, he has examined 50 lakh patients and given free food to over 100 lakh persons.
During 45 years of free service, Modi has conducted 5.79 lakh operations and examined 50 lakh patients. 
Initially Modi had a hard time communicating his mission to the people. "Villagers used to ask me if I was that good, why was I operating for tree? Modi reminisced.
But a few elderly blind villagers who felt they had nothing to lose allowed themselves to be persuaded. Modi wrought his miracle on them, and the villagers, their sight restored, became his "ambassadors". 
In the early days, his life was like a missionary's - tough and unpredictable. Carrying his doctor's bag, he travelled by bus, bicycle and bullock-cart to do operations in barns and godowns. But as his fame spread, donations began to pour in. Today Modi has the biggest mobile eye hospital in the world which can handle 200 patients a day. The doctor's charitable trust is run on donations from the public.

Modi has so far visited 45,000 villages. He organises three camps a month - two days are kept for operations in each camp. "I am always on the move,'' he says. A stickler for hygiene, he has a success rate of 99.5 per cent - the odd case of failure is because of the patient's ignorance. For instance, one villager gave his son's urine instead of his own for the pre-operative tests. Later complications arose as he was a diabetic. A man of few needs, Modi finds little time for his family.
His wife Leela and son Amarnath who live in Dharwar see him sometimes only twice a year and that too because an eye camp is being held in that area. In fact, Modi has no idea how his wife and son manage. And Amarnath's school fees are actually paid by the doctor's friends. "I serve the poor. God takes care of all the other arrangements," says Modi modestly.

After 45 years of service, the doctor is not tired. He has never postponed or cancelled his eye camps. "How can I rest when I know that every minute I work I can save a poor villager," says the crusading missionary who is now busy on a new project for the rehabilitation of the disabled to make them self-reliant.

Asked if he had any unfulfilled ambitions, Modi said: "My only desire is that I should be useful till my last breath." No idle boast that, considering his unimpeachable track record of work amongst the sightless.
==========================================The Times of India


The Times of India