An “Untouchable” Who Became a Doctor, and Touched the Lives of Many.

K. Raghavadas was born into the world on the earthen floor of a meager straw hut on a small parcel of land in a small south Indian village, the youngest of four children. He had the fortune of being born to an industrious father who, through hard work and luck had been able to secure the purchase of that small parcel of land which contained an orchard and rice fields which sustained the family through many lean years. He had the misfortune of losing his father a few years later and, through no fault of his own, being born into the bottom rung of a caste system whose basic premise is that all men are not created equal.

Growing up in a small village in Kerala, he realized early on that his best chance to escape poverty, the low expectations of his situation, and the notion that he should not accomplish anything in his life was to educate himself. Hoping that it might help his chances, early on in his childhood his eldest brother, who was forced to be the head of the family, changed his low caste name to Ramachandran, a name normally reserved for higher castes. And so a young Ramachandran entered into school, worked hard and excelled, enduring an occasional beating by low caste teachers who did not understand why a backwards caste person could dare have an aspirational name. Continue reading “An “Untouchable” Who Became a Doctor, and Touched the Lives of Many.”