A Doctor With Human Approach
“Son of Soil” is the perfect phrase for introducing the simple, unpretentious, down-to-earth, sociable and hard-working Dr Vallabhbhai Kathiria, who has devoted his life to the cause of empowerment of farmers and villagers, and development of agriculture and rural sector. Whether in the field of social service or medicine, he is establishing new milestones for Indians. Moreover, for his contribution in the fields of social service and medicine, he was honoured with national award Rashtriya Utkrustata Samman 2009—recently by Akhil Bharat Vikas Parishad. “Dr Kathiria is not an individual but is an institution himself,” the Parishad states proudly. He has won the hearts of Rajkot people by solving their problems selflessly, who returned him to Parliament consecutively for four times as Member of the Lok Sabha in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004.
He is also renowned as a reformer and the most populist young leader of Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Direct participation in construction of more than 10,000 check-dams harvesting structures in Gujarat, numerous seminars, workshops, janyatras, kisan gathering for sanitisation regarding water harvesting and distribution of five lakh tree saplings of more than five feet height for gardens, streets and mass forestry are some major activities undertaken by him. He said: “If we have to do something in the field of development, we have to take first step forward in availability of water to everyone as there is a very critical situation faced by the public at the present time. As necessity is the mother of invention, farmers and villagers took initiatives to solve this problem themselves as they were made aware of the situation.” Another award, which was conferred on Dr Kathiria, is Dada Navrojaji Industrial Peace and Development Award.
The first-ever Modern Agro Mela for six days was organised under the visionary guidance and astute leadership of Dr Kathiria, in which more than 600 stalls were there and 10 lakh farmers participated in this fair. “I believe agriculture revolution leads to development and influences GDP directly. In this fair, overall dealing of tissue culture, seeds, soiling, watering, fertilizers, harvesting, marketing, importing regarding various important factors on this issues was imparted to the farmers and villagers for development of agriculture,” divulges a benign Dr Kathiria.
He made possible more than 18 medical miracles as a cancer surgeon. Informing about his rarest achievement he said: “I operated an 18-year-old girl named Laxmi for eight hours, who had a bladder tumor. She was denied for operation at Ahmedabad and Mumbai but I picked up the gauntlet and operated her. Thereafter, not only did she live for 20 years, but she also married and gave birth to a child successfully.”
Dr Kathiria is an ideal for youth of the country—he has achieved the rare feat of donating his own blood for 112 times. “I donated blood first time when I was 18 years old, inspired by my guru and regular donor Dr Mavlankar. Blood donation does not affect body in any way, rather it gives someone a new life. It is more important, as there is no alternative to human blood till now. Service to mankind is the service to God is my prime mission and motto of life,” avers Dr Kathiria.
By Sonia Chawla