Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sant Dyneshwar, Konkan and Walwalkar Hospital through Dr Ravin Thatte

A long ago, a business friend from South Korea had arrived in Mumbai after his visits to other parts of India. I took him to the Elephanta caves - the cave temples to Shiva, on an island ,10 km from Mumbai harbour. This was my visit to this place too. During the chat, he commented ' I have been to different parts of India, every one was enthusiastic in showing me the great monuments of India of different centuries. Why no one is showing me something of this century ?'. His comments made me realize the validity of his remark. We tend to preoccupy ourselves with history leaving the current accomplishment unnoticed.

At jewellery shop in Shivaji Park while keeping Akshta occupied and entertained, my probing eyes reached for a box that stacked some books. What more can I ask for ? I pulled up a nearby wooden stool and started flipping through this hard bound Marathi book that talked about the famous personalities from Konkan. What impressed me about this book was the quality of the paper, print and illustrations. As I started rummaging through the pages, I realized the utility of this book in making Akshta aware of some of the great Maharashtrian personalities.

Upon my return the Singapore, it took me few days to finish this book. The impact of this book initially appeared to just limiting to expose my ignorance of many aspects of Maharashtra. but now it would definitely be a far reaching .The author Dr. Ravin Maidev Thatte - a Doctor, Plastic Surgeon and Ex Professor of LTMG Medical College, Mumbai is a consummate writer who is candid, honest and balanced while expressing his views . In his book 'विश्व हे मोहरे लावावे' , he covered a small journey from Panvel to Chiplun - a distance not more than 300 kms. This journey is about the people who came from this part of coastal Maharashtra and also about a health care institute in a small place called Derwan. This magnificent project conceived, built , nurtured and maintained by dedicated professionals who have passion for delivering modern health care service with a missionary zeal to do it selflessly . They bring with them a spiritual essence of 'Bhakti' that transcends into ' Seva'. As much as I enjoyed the pages of Kokan's illustrious people , I admired the exemplery work of Walwalkar Hospital. I remembered the words of my visitor from South Korea. Dr.Thatte has rightly put the present accomplishment of Konkan along with those of past centuries

A terrain of mere 300 kms, and this place has produced four Bharat Ratna (Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar, Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve , Vinoba Bhave, Dr. P. V. Kane . I was aware of the other personalities like Senapati Bapat, Veer Savarkar, Golwalkar Guruji, Krantiveer Vasudev Balwant phadke , Ranglar Paranjape, Kavi Keshv Sut, Sane Guruji, Shivaji Maharaj, Samartha Ramdas and Lokmanya Tilak. What I didnt know about was the voluminous work of Dr Mahamahopadhya P. V. Kane and the visionary work attempted by Mr.Raghunath Karve on Family planning.

It requires a courage to launch a magazine in 1921 to talk about family planning, woman sexuality and her health. Mr Raghunath Karve embarked on pragmatic progressive approach on woman empowerment thereby extending the pathbreaking work done by his father Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve. But his attempt was far ahead of the time. He was ridiculed, opposed and even dragged to the court for publishing vulgar ,obscene magazine . Its sad that he passed away before his father. Even in 21st century, we still carry the same mindset and approach when it comes to family planning and population control - a single biggest obstacle in the nation building. What if our society then had taken a cognizance of Mr Raghunath Karve's efforts on woman health and family planning ?

The work of Walwalkar hospital and ethical values practised by Walawalkar Family, Dr Netaji and Dr Suvarna Patil, are indeed commendable. These people, give me a ray of hope that there is still ' incorruptibility' in the health care in India.

Knowing Dr. Thatte and reading his work has been a revelation. His sincere approach, choice of appropriate Marathi words sustains interest not just in his book but to know about him as a person. His passion in Sant Dynaneshwar's literary work made me reach for his book on Dyneshwari in English. Dr . Annirudhha's Malpani's blog : The Patient's Doctor gives a link to his book ' The Genius of Dynaneshwar' . I have just gone through part of this book available in Adobe format.

Mungi Udali Aakashi (मुंगी उडाली आकाशि) is a book written by Padmakar Gowalikar addressing and evaluating personality of Mukta - a sister of Sant Dynaneshwar. Manjiri on esnip has uploaded the reading about the life of Sant Dyaneshwar. I am not sure if this reading with same name as 'Mungi Udali Aakashi' is for the same book. But it sure is captivating and riveting to listen to this.

A journey to the literary work of Sant Dynaneshwar has just begun and am sure it will be an exhilarating experience. Thank you Dr Thatte for taking me to the new heights of Sant Dynaneshwar and introducing me to the Walwalkar Hospital.

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Blogger gauri said...

Dear Shri Thatte,

In the spirit of an Eklavya, I search websites and information on Sanskritam. When I read your address to the plastic surgeons I felt truly inspired and pursued the link to this article.

In all humility, thank you.

4:37 PM  

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