This section is devoted for the information regarding great personalities and their contribution towardsGowdaSaraswat Brahmin community.
Dr. V. Nagoji Rao was an eminent physician and surgeon who loved the GSB Community intensely and rendered yeoman service for its advancement and progress. He was one of the architects of the Saraswath Association (Kerala) in Trivandrum and contributed to a large extent for its proper functioning and for conducting its various programmes. He served with great distinction and devotion as a Medical person and was very philanthropic and generous in his outlook and action.
Dr. Nagoji Rao was born to Shri N. Vasudeva Rao and Smt. Rugmini Bai on 29.11.1890 at Tellicherry. He had his schooling in Tellicherry, did his Inter-mediate at Brennon College. He was married to Yamuna Rao, daugher of Shri Srinivas Kamath of Tellicherry. He was appointed as Asst. Surgeon at Alleppey soon after his taking MBCM degree under great financial stress from the Madras Medical College. He came to Trivandrum in 1935 and was appointed as Principal Medical Officer of the State Forces and Palace Medical Officer to H.H. The Mahaaraja of Travancore until his death in 1944.
While his fame as a doctor spread wherever he served, he became deservedly popular among the people for his kindness, humanity and consideration for the feelings of others. A believer in true religion but not orthodox, he held progressive social views. For the Saraswath Community of which he was an honoured member, his contribution was vital at a time when they were a sort of ‘depressed class’ in the country in every field of activity. Saraswaths were ashamed to speak even their mother tongue Konkani until Dr. Nagoji Rao boldly encouraged them to do so as a matter of self respect. He wanted Konkanies to be proud of the glorious history and cultural background of their ancestors who came from Goa.
While he was specially interested in the uplift of the Saraswath Community, his humanity and consideration for the poor knew no bounds of caste, creed or religion. As a physician he was available to all, rich and poor at any time of the day or night even at the sacrifice of his own health, not charging any fees for visits where he knew the patient is from poor family.
It should also be mentioned that Dr. Nagoji Rao’s intersts were not confined to his Community or to the State he served. He was an ardent nationalist and always wore Khadi as a symbol of support and sympathy for the movement for India’s independence led by Mahatma Gandhi.
In the last years of his life he neglected his own health to serve the Armed Forces personnel and especially the Travancore Royal family for whom he had great respect and whom he served loyally till the last. When he died in July 1944 of a heart aattach, His Highness the Maharaja expressed his great sense of loss not only to the royal family but to the people of the State in general.
Dr. K.N. Pai was a guiding spirit of the Gowda Saraswtha Brahmin Community, not only in the medical profession, but also in all its social, cultural and religious activities in Trivandrum. He was the Patron of the charitable body, viz. The Saraswath Association (Kerala), with a view to unite the members of the Community and working for its educational, economic, social and cultural advancement. Dr. K.N.Pai had a cherished desire of setting up a Community Hall and a temple of GSBs in Trivandrum. And it is only due to his interest and initiative, purchase of a plot at Kanjirampara was materialized and thereafter later on, a GSB Hall started functioning in 2004. Dr. Pai lead a team of doctors in January 1972 to start a Health Programme which provided free consultation facilities to the members of the Community. The Sudheendra Medical Mission Hospital at Cochin is a standing monument to his professional dedication and spirit of service to the Community.
Dr. K.N. Pai was born on 1st June 1916 to Shri N. Krishna Pai and Smt. Lakshmi Ammal at Quilon. After completing his B.A. degree in Chemistry from Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam in 1937, he was selected by the erstwhile Government of Travancore to undergo the MBBS course in 1942. He started his career as an intern in the Health Department and was posted subsequently as an Asst. Surgeon in Nagercovil General Hospital. He was selected in 1952 as a teacher trainee in the department of medicine of Trivandrum Medical College and was sent to U.K. for membership and training in Edinborough.
Dr. Pai was awarded the membership of the Royal College of Physicians and the D.T.M. and resumed his duties in the Trivandrum Medical College in 1954 as an Asst. Professor, soon to scale the heights of Associate Professor, Professor and Director of the Department. Dr. Pai’s research and patient care activities included a wide spectrum of areas such as clinical trial of ayurvedic drugs, diabetes mellitus, oral cancer, pancreatic calculi, epidemiology and thyroid disroders.
Dr. Pai had great commitment to society with a tremendous social relevance to his own life, very early in his career he became a founder member of the North Parur Rotary Club and established a surgical theatre and an X-ray unit with public help in those early days.
A doyen among the eminent physicians of the day, Dr. K.N.Pai had the richest qualities of head and heart. His whole life was dedicaed to serving humanity beyond the barriers of rich and poor, caste, creed and community. His contribution to establishing various health care Centres in the State is invaluable. He has been instrumental in the commissioning of Societies for ‘haemophiliacs’ in various places of Kerala and it is only a few hours before his passing away, he participated in the proceedings of a Seminar on haemophilia in Cochin, in spite of his old age and indifferent health.
Dr. Pai was awarded ‘Padma Sree’ by the President of India in 1976. He was awarded ‘Saraswatha Ratna” title at the All India Saraswath Cultural Organisation (AISCO) Conference held at Cochin in 1974. He held a variety of coveted academic positions like Dean of the faculty of medicine, Member of the Undergraduate and postgraduate Studies and Senate Member of the Academic Council of the University of Kerala, Member of the Institute body, governing body and Academic Council of the AIIMS, New Delhi, Member of the Expert group of endocrinology of the KMR, Chairman of the high power Committee in the reorganization of the health care institutions of Kerala (popularly known as the Pai Committee), Member of the ISCUS, Member, Medical Centre and Director of the Kerala University Health Centre, besides several others.
With his healing touch and soothing advice, apart from the superb and most efficient treatment. Dr. Pai wiped away the pain and the suffering of countless patients from all walks of life. Many owe their extended lease of life to his munificence. Dr. K.N. Pai who was a colossus in the medical profession, serving the Community at large for more than half a century, passed away on 20th Novermber 1993.