Dr. Bellipadi Satish Rai passes away

Mysuru: City’s renowned doctor, writer, art patron and a pro-society thinker Dr. Bellipadi Satish Rai, popularly known as the Common Man’s Doctor, passed away at a private hospital in Bengaluru yesterday afternoon. He was 73.

He leaves behind his wife Asha Rai, son Dasharath Rai, daughter-in-law, grandchild, brothers B. Rajashekar Rai and B. Ramanath Rai (Forest Minister), sister Chennaveni, brother-in-law Dr. Mohan Das Shetty and a host of relatives, friends and well-wishers.

The body of Dr. Satish Rai was brought to Mysuru last night and was kept at his residence in Siddarthanagar here for public viewing till 12.30 pm today. Last rites were held at the foot of Chamundi Hill at about 1 pm.

Dr. B. Satish Rai:  A common man’s doctor

Dr. Bellipadi Satish Rai who was running Sri Manjunatha Clinic on T. Narasipur Main Road (Male Mahadeshwara Road) in Siddarthanagar (near Mysore Milk Dairy) in city and used to treat patients afflicted with Chikungunya and Dengue among other ailments free of cost, thus setting an example for others to follow.

Also known as the people-friendly doctor, Dr. Rai used to distribute free medicines to very poor patients.  The patients who are cured from the doctor’s treatment, in turn used to tell others and thus, by word of mouth, people used to flock Dr. Rai’s clinic.

He had a policy of ‘Treatment first, Bill later’ and he used to charge fees for patients who are economically sound and use it for the treatment of poor patients. He used to treat children below one year of age, Police personnel, specially-abled, HIV and Cancer-affected patients free of cost at his clinic which he was running since about 48 years. Dr. Rai was preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his clinic in a grand manner.

Multi-faceted, model Doctor

Dr. Satish Rai was born to a very rich family, who owned thousands of acres of land at Perne village in Puttur Taluk, Dakshina Kannada district. However, following the Land Reforms Act, his father Narayana Rai lost all the properties in 1962 and the family was in dire straits.

He lost his father in 1968 while he was doing his final year MBBS in Mysore Medical College (MMC) and was forced to earn his own money to complete the degree. Dr. Rai then started Sri Manjunatha Clinic in Siddarthanagar to begin his private practice and continued his practice in the same clinic since then.

Along with practicing Medicine, he was also the Home Guard Commandant for 25 years.

A littérateur and a poet, he has produced 21 works including ‘Vishwaroopi’, ‘Nooraru Padyagalu’, ‘Vishwakirana’, ‘Gitamruta Vahini’, ‘‘Gadibidi Ramayana’, ‘Kaliyugada Kurukshetra’, ‘Bellipadi Tulu Padyagalu’ and ‘Neethi Shathaka’ among other works.

Through his Bellipadi Yaksha Samskruthika Trust, Dr. Rai, who himself was a Yakshagana artiste, promoted and nurtured this traditional art and by involving himself with other doctors and the Forest Department, he used to spread awareness on health and environment. Though he is the elder brother of Forest Minister B. Ramanath Rai, this common man’s doctor has not curried any favour from him and continued to serve the society.

Following the spread of dengue and chikungunya recently, Dr. Rai used to create awareness on the prevention of the spread of the diseases by writing columns in Mysooru Mithra, the sister concern of Star of Mysore.

Dr. Rai was a recipient of several awards including Best Publication in Kannada for Gitamruta Vahini (1995), President’s Medal for Social Service (1999), Dr. B.C. Roy Award (2008) and District Kannada Rajyotsava Award (2017) among others. The then City Police Commissioner Kempaiah had honoured Dr. Satish Rai with the title ‘Police Doctor’ considering Dr. Rai’s services to the Police Department. He was also appointed as a Senate Member of Mysore University by the Governor-Chancellor.

This apart, Dr. Rai also served as the President of Arogya Yajna, Private Doctors’ Association, Ramakrishna Society, Member of Karnataka Barahagarara Sangha, Hon. Member of Ohio University in the US, Member of Tulu Sahitya Academy, Member of International Integration Association, Member of Indian Medical Association and Academic Council Member of Mysore University.

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