105 NOT OUT
Dr. Kauromal M. Chandiramani
Oldest working General Practitioner in the World
Inputs from P. D. Jethwaney, President
Western Bombay Suburban Sindhi Panchayats and Associations Federation
The name of Dr. (Dada) Kauromal Menghraj Chandiramani has been included in the world famous Guinness World Book of Records. He recently received the coveted document that certified him as the oldest working general practitioner in the world. Dr Chandiramani, who will turn a glorious 105 years old on May 9, practised as a GP for 75 years and 198 days from September 22, 1923 to May 9,1999, states the Guinness certificate.
Born to a School Head Master Shri Menghraj Tarachand Chandiramani in1899 in a Village “Sadhuja” Taluka Moro (Sahiti) District Nawabshah Sindh, he grew up seeing misery and poor health all round him, something that instilled in him a desire to become a doctor. In 1923, he passed the LCPS examination and was appointed as a Medical Officer in Bombay Presidency during British Raj. In those days medical profession was a coveted one, rubbing shoulders with the British. He won the admiration of his countrymen and the British alike. However, he was not happy with the way things were with his country and countrymen. The British treated him with respect but held his countrymen in contempt. It was then that Dr. Kauromal decided to treat the Gandhian path. Pro-Gandhian in thought and philosophy, he started dressing up in white khadi, which soon became his trademark. He has come to be known as the all “white khadi clad doctor”. And “the Service of man is worship of God” has been his motto.
After retirement from Government medical services in the year 1957, he took to private practice. So far a long period of 76 years, he was continuously treating the sick, poor and needy patients. Khar residents always saw this frail elderly white haired Doctor making his way to his dispensary in the area. But while one would fail to guess the good Doctor’s age, he has been the Cynosure of all eyes.
Dr. Kauromal knows a few secrets of longevity. He is a strong believer in God, strictly vegetarian, doesn’t smoke or drink. Add to that a daily regime of Jogging, Yoga, Pranayam and deep breathing exercises. He possesses extra-ordinary qualities of head and heart with a sound mind, a steady hand and healthy body. (For his calm and cool temperament, his college mates often addressed him as “kauro, the Saint”). It is not the age that makes him feel proud but it is the active and physically able body that makes his life useful and worth living. In other words he is amazingly a fit centenarian.
There are other interests also that keep him busy, like writing. Member of Sahiti, Sindh, Dr. Chandiramani is also a prolific writer, whose several writings have been published in Sindhi weeklies and newspapers. His writings in Sindhi are thought-provoking and emphasise the virtues of human kind, which could make an invaluable collection, if they are compiled in a book-form. He has also translated two books “Steps towards nobler life” and “Chart your way to success” into Sindhi and published them under titles, “Shandar Zindagi” and “Saphalta – jo – Marg”. The translations have been widely acknowledged and acclaimed.
A firm believer in “Simple living and High thinking”, Dr. Kauromal places deep faith in God “Make God your Guru”, he says. “Let him tell you what to do. It is when you entrust yourself to his care that you cannot go wrong. Known for his charitable and philanthropic nature he has contributed greatly to social upliftment and educational and cultural activities.
One of the remarkable features of Dr. Kauromal’s family is that it comprises of a record number of practicing doctors. His son, Dr. Alim Chandiramani is a renowned surgeon attached to the Hinduja Hospital. His daughter-in-law, Dr. (Mrs.) Devi A. Chandiramani is a well known Obstetrician and a Gynaecologist practicing at her own nursing home “Devi Maternity and Surgical Hospital” at Linking Road, Bandra(W), Mumbai. Dr. Kauromal has four daughters, all well settled. He is also blessed with three grandsons and one granddaughter, who too are all famous specialist doctors practicing in Mumbai and UK.
His is truly a century of extra-ordinary life. A wonderful example of nobleness indeed and of true belief in power of healing of modern medicine! He has not only strived for better health of fellow-beings but has also inspired generations of his family to take up the noble profession to serve mankind. By his emphasis on Vegetarianism, healthy habits and purity of thought, he has set an ideal path for all of us. Our society needs great people like him to help us achieve greatness, we are all capable of. He is truly a Karamyogi Purush! On completion of his great inning with unbeaten century of his noble life, several organisations such as Sahiti Panchayat Bombay, Sita Sindhu Bhavan, The Citizens and Joggers Civic Forum, Sindhi Panchayat Goregaon have honoured him. Our federation also honoured him with its prestigious Award of an “Eminent Elder”. Various other groups and clubs also felicitated him profusely.
For a man who was born in the 19th century and lived through the 20th century, Dr. Kauromal Chandiramani is Millennium’s oldest Doctor. Dr Alim, who was instrumental in getting his father to apply for the Guinness recognition, says this about his father : “While he still has a firm hand and can give an injection, he wasn’t really enthused to apply for the Guinness record. Whenever I ask my father to give an interview or pose for a photograph or even while we were applying for the Guinness record, his first reaction was what is the need for it,” recalls his son.
So, what was the centenarian’s reaction on getting the world’s most authentic certificate? “When I showed him the certificate, he read it and then read it again before exclaiming, ‘So there is no doctor in the world who has worked more than me’.”