A noted orthopaedic surgeon who had a busy career spanning over 30 years would always wish to look forward to a peaceful post-retirement life. But here is Dr Krishna Mohan Pathi who has been serving the poor even at eighty-one. Belonging to Odisha’s Ganjam district, Dr Krishna Mohan Pathi has set an example of humanity as he treats the poor absolutely for free. Pathi has been awarded the highest civilian award, the Padma Shri for his for his landmark work in tribal districts of the State.
Dr Pathi was born on August 1, 1939, in Sukunda village near Berhampur. He A well-known orthopaedic surgeon Dr Pathi is a well-known name in Odisha’s tribal areas. He was born in Sukunda village in Berhampur. He completed his MBBS at SCB Medical College and Cuttack Hospital before going to England to do his MS. In 1972, he went to England as a Common Wealth Medical Fellow and worked at Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, Liverpool and Birmingham.
After living a peaceful life abroad, he came to his roots in Odisha and decided to serve the tribal people who had no means of good health or facilities. Therefore, he set up a charitable organisation titled Bharadwaj Gurukul Ashram and has been helping them out since the past 3 decades now and doesn’t aim to stop anytime.
Awards and accolades are not new to this man. Way back in 1988, his name entered the Limca Book of Records for performing a rare surgery. Dr Pathi operated upon one Pramodini Kumari Panda of Purushottampur village and helped her eat food using her mouth for the first time since birth.
“This girl was barely 20-years-old when I performed this rare surgery on her. She was operated for opening the temporomandibular joint. She had a rare problem that made it unable to eat like any normal human being. She did not have a joint between the mandible and the maxilla, a joint for opening and closing the mouth. I operated on her and she was able to eat after 10 days of the surgery,” recounts Dr Pathi.
He is widely known for his interventions in assisting economically weaker people with sickle cell disease. Even after conducting a surgery, he even provides the poor with free medicine and injections.
He has been decorated with many awards all through his life as a doctor. Prof. MG Kini Memorial Oration Award 1998 from the Association of Surgeons of India.
Dr. RG Ginde Memorial Operation Award 2000 from Association of International College of Surgeons
Presidential Citation Award at Dhaka in Bangladesh from South Asia Pacific Federation Congress in 1999
Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy National Award as eminent medical teacher of the country from President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in August 2004
Dr S Rangachari Endowment Research Award 2002 for original work on sickle Cell disease
“Padma Shri award is special for me. I am very happy to get the prestigious award this year,” he said.
(The writer is the founder of Powerful Teachers, an organisation working for senior citizens)