Dr. Liladhar Manek Gada
Area of Intervention
Significant contributions were made in the fields of cardiology and epilepsy, notably through pioneering efforts in diagnosing rheumatic and congenital heart diseases in children under 16 at remote locations
Dr. Liladhar Manek has made significant contributions in the fields of cardiology and epilepsy intervention.
In his pioneering work, he conducted the initial diagnoses of rheumatic and congenital heart diseases in children under the age of 16, often in remote locations. Children requiring cardiac surgery were then transported to Bombay for treatment.
Dr. Manek also achieved a remarkable milestone by establishing the first-ever Eye Hospital in Bidada, Kutch, in 1981.
His journey into medical social service began in 1973 with the organization of eye camps in rural areas of Kutch. Over time, he expanded these initiatives to encompass various medical disciplines, including General Surgery, Orthopaedics, ENT, and Gynaecology, among others. The entire cost of transportation, lodging, surgery, and medication was covered by his Trust.
Epileptic patients also benefited from his efforts, with diagnostic services, EEG examinations, and access to medication provided at epilepsy camps, benefitting approximately 700 to 800 patients.
Recognizing a medical void in western Kutch, he established a rural hospital in the village of Bhojay, serving around 400 villages. Dr. Manek resided in Bhojay, dedicating himself to improving healthcare access.
His focus extended to addressing reproductive health issues among women, training around 250 rural midwives and engaging them in health and hygiene awareness campaigns in villages. Gynaecology camps held in Bhojay (six times a year) successfully addressed gynaecological problems through surgical interventions, benefiting more than 4800 women. Dr. Manek also founded a state-of-the-art Eye Hospital in Bhojay, where cataract surgeries were performed at a cost of only $15.
In times of crisis, Dr. Manek played a leading role in relief and rehabilitation efforts, notably after the massive 2001 earthquake in Kutch. He introduced the concept of Owner-Driven Reconstruction (ODR), involving beneficiaries in rebuilding their homes through cooperative labor and self-help, with support from his trust. This principle was later adopted universally for disaster relief efforts in various regions, including Indonesia, Kashmir, and Uttarakhand.
Dr. Manek’s commitment to humanitarian causes extended to the establishment of a residential training school for mentally challenged rural children. More recently, his efforts have focused on the welfare of nomadic tribes and other marginalized communities, addressing issues related to human rights, education, and livelihood. Despite being 82 years old, Dr. Liladhar Manek continues to work tirelessly, often dedicating over twelve hours a day to these noble causes.
In a recent development, the Bhojay Trust, under Dr. Manek’s leadership, has initiated a Dialysis Center, the first free center catering to rural patients.