Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dr.Sharadkumar Dixit- Man of Compassion and courage

Birth: 13 December 1930
Father's Name: Sitaram Dixit
Mother's Name: Maltibai Dixit
Death: 14 November 2011

He was born in a simple and unassuming family in pandharpur, Maharashtra. His father Sitaram Dixit was in the British Postal Services and won a Victoria Cross for carrying salary sacks to safety. finally retired as a postmaster. They were 3 brothers and 3 sisters. He was a naughty and bright child. He used to play hocky, pulled off pranks and, always asked tricky questions in the class and then enjoyed the embarrassment of teacher.

He wanted to become a singer even he was cleared Sangeet Visharad at the age of 13. After he realised there would not much scope for singers, he then decided to give IAS exams. But his father wanted him to become a doctor. Unfortunately his sister snehal also wanted to become a doctor. The family could not affort the medical education cost of two children so young Dixit decided to do B.Sc in Nizam's college, Hyderabad and for which he had a scholership. Shenal finally did'nt opt for medicine, so Dixit joined medical college next year and said, " I wanted to do medicine because doctors were respected and well-dressed and they also made good money."

After medical graduation in 1956, he had a six month stint in the Railways, passed the army Medical Corps exam and also found himself among 50 Indian doctors who qualified for internships offered by the American Medical Association in hospitals across the United States. At that point he confesses he was in a dilemma whether to join the army or see the world and reveals that he was not allowed to travel abroad during his commission in the army and so deliberately flunked his medical tests.In 1958, He went to Wisconsin, U.S.A. The intership at Lutheran Hospital Fetched him a $250 stipend out of which he sent $200 to his parents every month. He was actually a ophthalmologist but he did a four year surgery course in Grace Hospital near Detroit, and then specialized in plastic surgery. He said 'It is very creative, you can see the result right away.'

In 1961 he got married to Wilda Peterson, an American of Norwegian origin
whom he met as a student in Wisconsin. But she left him four years later. They had two children Shari and Sharad Jr..He easily got job in Detroit Clinic but he always keep on returing to India. When he was came to an India in 1968, he was looking for place to settle down, then his friends told him to go back since there was no scope for a plastic surgeon in India. They suggested him to live in America and conduct surgery camps in India. In the same year he participated his first plastic surgery camp, organised by Lions Club of Worli, Mumbai. He participated in the mumbai camps for 10 years doing 30 surgeries every day for three weeks without payment.

He met his 25 years junior Tapti Bose during a nose surgery in mumbai in 1975. Later they get married in 1979. After a year their daughter Supriya was born , she was struggling with cancer. He could'nt give her much family life. She asked him for divorce in 1989 and got heart attack in
next year.

He did around 30 years free surgery camps all over India. He save numerous young women by giving them eligible face and a new life. And they came back to the camp not for follow up, but simply to thank him for making their marriage possible. Unfortunately he died on 14th Nov 2011 in Flushing , New York. He was nominated six times for the Nobel Peace Price doing over 300,000 free surgeries in India.

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