Would you be happy if you achieve the second rank in any field of academics? Almost every one of us would be ready to give an arm and a leg to achieve this position. Can you say the same of the person who does not know the definition of the term ‘second rank’? We are referring to Dr. M L Saraf, the man who has never stood second in his life at any stage of his career.
Right from the time he completed his formal education in school, he has always stood first in every competitive examination. There are no geographical boundaries for his achievements as well. If topping the University in India was not enough for him, he went on to achieve the top honors in Liverpool University as well. In addition to achieving the famed M.Ch in orthopedics from Liverpool University, he won the Norman Roberts Prize for his achievements, being the first Indian to do so.
His colleagues refer to him as the ‘Computer of Orthopedics’. Of course, that is not so without reason. He is an absolute master in the subject having acquired tremendous authority in orthopedics, especially pediatric orthopedics. His mastery is such that noted orthopedics always consult him before undertaking any major operation. He has the distinction of attending to some great political luminaries and celebrities such as Dr. Manmohan Singh, Dr. Hamid Karzai, Bill Clinton, Dilip Kumar, and so on.
Dr. M L Saraf has a very long association with the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. He had worked there as an intern and returned to continue his practice as an orthopedic expert as well. This is where he inculcated the spirit of sacrifice. This has played a prominent role in his life. He got the opportunity to understand the true problems of the poor people at close quarters. He made the decision to serve them for the rest of his life.
Serving the poor comes naturally to him. He believes that the rich people could always afford him at any point. They have a lot of alternatives as well. However, the poor do not have any place at all. He knows the travails of the poor people as they travel from the outskirts of Mumbai to KEM Hospital for their orthopedic consultations. Any person who has traveled in the local trains of Mumbai will testify that it can be difficult for an able bodied man to traverse such a long distance. If you have a handicap, you are at a great disadvantage.
This prompted Dr. M L Saraf to reach out to the poor. Instead of making them come to the hospital, he made it a point to travel to their villages and conduct the regular checkups. This would also enable him to look after more patients. He works with a single minded devotion of eradicating polio from the face of the country.
These qualities make him one of the most loved persons in the country. The poor people adore him as the Divine Incarnate.