At 55, Govinda KC has not only become the country's leading orthopaedic surgeon but also a conscience keeper of the profession not just in Nepal, but in other parts of the world that are struck by natural disasters. The amazing thing is that KC doesn't depend on donor funding, but pays his own way when he hears of earthquakes, floods or epidemics in Nepal, Pakistan, India, or even Haiti.
KC is now determined to treat not just the patients but also the sick management of TUTH, Nepal's largest medical training institute. A frugal and humble man, KC is not married and lives in the modest staff quarters of the hospital.
While most celebrity doctors in Nepal devote their attention to expensive private clinics and have done well for themselves, KC is true to his doctor's oath and has dedicated his life to care and treatment of the needy.
"It's actually a selfish decision," KC says light-heartedly, "giving the profession all you have is the most fulfilling thing in life. Money can't buy that level of personal satisfaction."
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Mani Dhakal works in the Khotang District Hospital in Diktel, and was impressed with KC's commitment to his profession. "Last year he travelled on foot from Okhaldhunga to Diktel, trained doctors in our hospital and proceeded to walk on to Bhojpur."
Besides Nepal, KC packs his bags and is on the next plane whenever he hears of disasters in other parts of the world. In 2001, when a devastating earthquake hit India's western state of Gujarat, KC spent three weeks in Bhuj treating the injured. He has also treated survivors of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, where he returned last year to help flood victims. In 2008, he went to Burma to help survivors of Hurricane Nargis and in 2010 he was in Haiti after the earthquake where he performed 232 operations in three weeks.
KC says he saves enough to do these trips on his own, and sometimes accepts help from relief organisations. "Where there is a will there is a way," he says, "all you need is the determination to help."
While it is common for people to look for excuses to justify self-indulgence and ambitions, KC relishes the deep sense of satisfaction he derives from the care he can give. He says he considers it a privilege that he is in a position to be of help to others in distress.
In a country where cynicism, selfishness and corruption are widespread, Govinda KC should be an inspiration not just for other doctors, but also for Nepal's educated and privileged class.