Google honours Indian ophthalmologist Dr Govindappa Venkataswamy with a doodle

NEW DELHI: Google on Monday honoured eminent ophthalmologist and founder of Aravind Eye Hospitals Govindappa Venkataswamy with a doodle in his birth centenary year.

The doodle, visible in India, Australia, and New Zealand, features a mirrored landscape blurred on one side and clear on the other with a caricature of Dr. Venkataswamy in the middle. Dr. Venkataswamy or Dr. V is known for introducing low-cost cataract surgery and the eminent 'Aravind Model' of free cataract treatment to the poor.

Born on October 1, 1918, in Vadamalapuram village in what is today Virudunagar district of Tamil Nadu, Dr. Venkataswamy decided to study obstetrics reportedly after seeing three of his cousins die due to pregnancy-related complications. He graduated from Stanley Medical College in Chennai and joined the Indian Army as a physician in 1945. But Dr. Venkataswamy had to retire in the early thirties after he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis that permanently twisted his fingers out of shape. This also meant he could not continue as an obstetrician.

Dr. Venkataswamy was accorded the Padma Shri in 1973 and BC Roy Award in 2001 for his low-cost lenses that costs as little as $2 and is being exported to over 120 countries.

Dr. Venkataswamy passed away on July 7, 2006, and his family continues to run Aravind with the same vision of the patriarch.

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