Five-day centenary programme to honour Dwarkanath Kotnis

November 28th, 2010 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Sindhudurg (Maharashtra), Nov 28 (IANS) Celebrating the centenary of Dwarkanath Kotnis, the noted Indian doctor who rendered yeoman services in China in the 1930s, several commemorative programmes have been organized in the southern Konkan region starting Sunday.

Two social organisations - Soham Pratisthan and Samvedna Arts - have joined hands to highlight the life and works of the legendary Maharashtrian medico through song and discourse - “Sangit Katha Dwarkanathachi” - which kicks off in Vengurla Sunday.

The discourses and songs have been composed by a medico, Mangesh Kotnis, a distant relation of the legendary doctor, who was born in the adjacent Solapur district Oct 10, 1910 and died in China at the young age of 32 on Dec 9, 1942.

According to an official of the two cultural groups, Vengurla was chosen as the venue to launch the commemorative events since Kotnis’ ancestral home still exists in the small, picturesque seaside town.

Over the next few days, the programme will also be conducted in Kankavali, Kudal, Malvan and culminate in Sawantwadi next Thursday, a week before Kotnis’ 68th death anniversary.

Mumbai-educated Kotnis was part of a five-member medical team sent to China in September 1938 to assist during the second Sino-Japanese war by top Indian leaders Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose at the request of the then Chinese leader Zhu De.

All the team members, barring Kotnis returned home safely. He succumbed to epilepsy following a rough and tough life for nearly five years.

The centenary commemoration events are being sponsored by the Saraswat Bank. Its chairman Eknath Thakur evinced a keen interest in the programmes as he hails from Sindhudurg district.

Meanwhile, an old proposal to convert the Kotnis home in Vengurla into a national monument continues to hang with no decision taken in the matter by the concerned authorities.

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