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Google marks Indian ophthalmologist Dr Govindappa Venkataswamy's 100th birthday with a sketch doodle
Internet search engine and technology giant, Google, marks Indian ophthalmologist Dr Govindappa Venkataswamy's 100th birthday with a sketch doodle on its home page today.

In the doodle, the first two letters are shown faint while the last three are clear with a bluish background. The second 'O' of the logo has been replaced by dark face of Dr Venkataswamy.

Google, in its blog writes, "Happy 100th Birthday Dr. V!" The blog continues with a short bio-note on Venkataswamy as: "Born on this day in 1918, Govindappa Venkataswamy was raised in Vadamalapuram, a rural village in Southern India. He began his education at a school with no paper or pencils—spreading sand from the riverbank on the ground, students would write with their hands. From such humble beginnings he went on to earn a B.A. in chemistry from American College in Madurai, an M.D. from Stanley Medical College in Madras in 1944."

Later he studied for a degree in ophthalmology in 1951. "Despite his health issues, he learned how to perform surgery to remove cataracts—the leading cause of blindness. Dr. V could perform 100 surgeries in a day.

Blog states that addressing the problem of blindness in a holistic fashion, he set up eye camps in rural communities, a rehab center for blind people, and a training program for ophthalmic assistants, personally performing over 100,000 successful eye surgeries. In 1973 he received the Padmashree award from the Government of India for outstanding service to the nation," adds the blog.

According to the blog, he often urged his fellow professionals thus, "Attachment to your village, your hospital, your state or country—that must go. You must live in your soul and face the universal consciousness. To see all as one. To have this vision and work with strength and wisdom all over the world...to give sight for all."

After retirement in 1976, he established the GOVEL Trust in order to fund the first Aravind Eye Hospital with meager 11-bed facility was financed by doctors mortgaging their homes and donating their own furniture. But today  Aravind Eye Hospital has nearly 4,000 beds performing over 200,000 eye surgeries each year, with 70% of patients paying little or nothing, it informs.

The blog ends with a quote of Dr V: "Intelligence and capability are not enough. There must also be the joy of doing something beautiful."

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