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Dr. A.V. Baliga

Dr. A. V. Baliga was a multifaceted personality - a bright student, a sympathetic examiner and a brilliant surgeon. He was a patriot, an academician, an educationist, a social reformer, a journalist and lot more. He excelled in every field he touched upon and strode his chosen field, Surgery, like a colossus.




Childhood & Schooling


Dr. A. V. Baliga was born on April 26, 1904 in Kallianpur. His early education was in the Hindu Higher Elementary School in Kallianpur. He was the brightest student in his class. Since there was no high school in Kallianpur, he joined Christian High School in Udupi. In 1920, Mahatma Gandhi gave a call to students to leave educational institutions run by the British Raj. This movement appealed to most students in schools and colleges and Dr. Baliga soon left school with a number of bright students, him being their leader. Subsequently, he was not readmitted. He joined the National School in Udupi, which was affiliated to the Gujarat Vidyapeeth, a nationalist institute.


Higher Education


Dr. Baliga passed his matriculation from National School in Udupi. But since the British did not recognize that matriculation, he could not join the M.B.B.S Course. He was forced to join the L.C.P.S course at the National Medical College, Bombay. Dr. Baliga also had to finance his education by means of private tuitions. He finished his L.C.P.S course by standing first in the examinations.


As a Surgeon


He caught the attention of Dr. G. V. Deshmukh of K.E.M Hospital and was appointed as a House Surgeon under him. He also worked as a House Physician, Anesthetics and a Casualty Officer. However, Dr. Baliga was meant for greater things. He proceeded to the United Kingdom for his fellowship. He went on to complete the London Matriculation, L.R.C.P, M.R.C.S and finally F.R.C.S. He returned to India in 1933 and was appointed as Assistant Honorary Surgeon at the K.E.M. Hospital and also started his private practice. He got married to Kamal in December 1933. From then on till 1964 he rapidly rose in stature as a Surgeon both in India and Internationally.

Dr. Baliga’s forte was his diagnosis of difficult cases. He paid great attention to minute details in every operative procedure and was very methodical in post-operative care. He was in such demand that it was a wonder how he found time and energy to treat his patients despite his multifarious activities. He had great sympathy for the economically challenged patients.


As a Philanthropist


Dr. Baliga was largely instrumental in establishing the Kumta College of Arts and Sciences (now renamed as Dr. Baliga college). He also helped in establishing the M.G.M. College in Udupi, Kasturba Medical College in Manipal and Orthopedic Children’s Hospital in Haji Ali, Mumbai. He was a founder member of the Association of Surgeons of India and took active part in discussions at the Annual Conference of the Association.


As a Patriot


Dr. Baliga was a great Patriot. He left school inspired by Gandhiji’s Non Co-operation movement. During the Quit India Movement quite a few leaders had gone underground. Prominent among them were Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan, Mr. Achyuth Patwardhan and Mrs. Aruna Asif Ali. He sheltered them at great personal risk. Exposure would have meant jail and the end of his professional career. That, however, did not deter him from doing his duty for the freedom of the country.


As an International Figure


After independence, he was involved in the Goa Liberation movement. He was also the Chief Architect of India’s political relations with the former Soviet Union. After the 1962 debacle, he also went on an unofficial diplomatic mission to China.
Being a true democrat, he always dreamt of a free, frank and fearless press. This dream became a reality with the publishing of the PATRIOT - a daily, and LINK - a magazine through which he could express independent social and political views.


His Contributions


  1. Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, Udupi
  2. Dr. A. V. Baliga College of Arts and Science, Kumta, North Kanara
  3. Dr. A. V. Baliga Surgical Block, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal
  4. Orthopedic Children's Hospital, Haji Ali, Mumbai
  5. Medical Library, Nair Hospital, Mumbai
  6. Medical Library at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital and Medical College, Sion, Mumbai
  7. Computers and Equipment to Dental and Plastic Surgery Department, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital and Medical College, Sion, Mumbai
  8. Dr. A. V. Baliga Stereotaxis Centre, Dept of Neurosurgery, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
  9. Innumerable free scholarships to deserving students in Medical and Engineering courses across the country
  10. Indian Medical Association Hall, IMA Bhavan, Udupi


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