The Good Doctor: Regi M. George

The best of Loyolites is also the least known to us.

Meet Regi M. George (1975 ISC).

By now, his work has been celebrated in India’s mainstream media: in Reader’s Digest (2001), in Outlook (2006), in Open (2009), and in Mint (2010). This week, India Today portrayed him as an “Action Hero”, one of the 50 applauded for being “citizens who can and do” usher in change.

The Loyolite doctor and his wife have been serving adivasi villages in Tamil Nadu for the past 17 years. Let us hope that the school and the alumni movement, at least now, will wake up and see them.

Any fool (and school) will merely invite the couple, hand over an award, bask in reflected glory, and move on. It will be much more meaningful if we — students, old boys, teachers, parents — use this as an entry point to learn and think about taking science to tribal villages, routes to social change, career choices, values, etc. By doing so, all of us will benefit, and the school will be closer to realising its own mission of educating society.

Learn about the work done by Regi and Lalitha…

The Druids of a Lost TribeOutlook magazine

Doctors on CallOpen magazine

Providing Low-cost HealthcareMint newspaper

Website of the Tribal Health Initiative – run by Regi and Lalitha

Hat tip: Joy Elamon (1978)

17 Comments

  • Never knew “Sittilingi’s Good Doctor” was a Loyolite. I’d read the 2001 Reader’s Digest article multiple times, filled with admiration for their work and the pride that they were Keralites. Thanks, Ashok.

  • Had read the Open article but never thought he was a Loyolite. Your exhortation in the last para is valid in the times of operation green hunt that we live in. If there were more people like Dr. Regi helping adivasis, it would not have been the writ of maoists, but the rule of the indian government which would have been in effect in central india. Ashok, I hope your blog will carry on. And someday I hope it takes the shape of the book you have in mind.

  • Thank you, Asif and Jiby. Usually, when we read about such a person, it doesn’t strike us that he could be a Loyolite. We don’t expect Loyolites to be in such places.

  • “We don’t expect Loyolites to be in such places” is absolutely correct…A Loyolite shud be found in the US or Europe or at the most in a metro city in India!

  • Hi Ashok,

    His name appeared in the latest edition of Outlook in a note by Vijay Nambisan(last page article of the page ‘Sittlingi Diaries’.

    It mentions that Reji is a Buddhist.Sittlingi is a hamlet in Dharmapuri district in Tamil Nadu.Currently Reji and his wife Lalitha have gone on a holiday to Ladakh. It seems they were not allowed to visit Mansarovar by MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) when he saw Reji’s name. I dont know what kind of duffers we have in our government service!!!

  • And we know what happened when the government proposed 1 year compulsory rural service for medical college students.

    Doctors cannot be taught about these values. Hope many doctors at least get inspired by people like Reji to donate at least a year of their service to tribals in rural reas

  • Karthik, thanks for alerting us to the Outlook article. Are you saying that values cannot be taught (they have to be learnt), or that MBBS students are too old to learn/taught values?

  • Thanks, Karthik. Genetics might have a role (I do not know), but since people sometimes take a ‘social turn’ on being inspired by another’s work, I’m betting that nurture too has a role, not just nature. Joy Elamon (1978) alerted me a few months ago. He was junior to Regi in school and college.

  • Inspiring couple….they put in action what others profess of in vacuous statements and platitudes. Thanks for the article and high-lighting the real good deeds of one who happens to be a Loyolite.

  • Wow, been a long time since I read anything about any of my classmates. As I was sitting next to Reji, the teachers used to ask whether we were brothers, ha ha.

    Would love to know where the other guys are.

  • Dear Ashok,
    It would have been good if some of the students are taken to Regi’s place every year.
    Could be like a SALT camp we used to have earlier. (I met Fr. Anikkuzhy in one of such camps for the first time and so he would be the best person to organize such a camp). Or LOBA/Jesuit Alumni could take it up. Just a suggestion!

  • I agree, Joy. The school should explore such an option. What is SALT? An off-campus training programme for select students, during vacation?

  • Dear Ashok,
    Sorry for such a delayed reply. SALT is social awareness and leadership training. This camp used to be arranged annually by Jesuits. Students from various schools would be there. It used to be something like NSS camps we have in colleges. This provided some of us from schools like Loyola to get exposed to the realities in life. this was followed by a regular notice board LAMPS(in front of the library).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *