A Man Who Left His Everything To Change Lives For Better: Inspiring Prof. Satya Mahapatra!


Once in a blue moon, a wonderful idea strikes your mind. An idea, which has the
potential to change so many lives. Nevertheless, to convert that one idea into a full-fledged execution, it takes a lot of courage and hard work for one has to leave everything behind and bring that idea to life. And, such do-ers are but few.

Prof. Satya Mahapatra had everything- a perfect family, settled job, and a balanced life.
But one day, he left everything behind to serve the society. When there was no proper medical facility in the state of Odisha, this man did something that deserves an unstoppable round of applause.

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A professor in Bhopal Medical College, Satya’s life changes when he was offered a job
from the United States in 1995. But he did not have any idea of what was coming after.

When one of his close relatives in Odisha developed a stroke, which left him paralyzed,
Satya was asked to go and help him.

A stroke patient requires intensive care for a very long time and I could not do that alone. I felt very bad when I was informed that there is no proper medical facility available in Odisha.

-says Satya.

He then went to his senior seeking suggestion and that incident changed his life forever.

His senior said-

How would America develop with one Satya Mahapatra? You should not go there when your own people are suffering.

This evoked Satya’s conscience and he decided to serve his countrymen with all of his knowledge and experience. And after reaching Odisha, Satya observed the lack of facilities for disabled people.

I was witnessing that as a professional for the past 35 years. It angered me because we
were unable to provide the facilities at the right time.

-says Satya.

He decided to establish a facility for every kind of disability, create suitable ecosystem where the person regains the functional skills and become independent.

Satya was working hard to execute his plan. However, he was unaware of the hurdles in his journey.

Everybody around me thought that I have gone insane and am under certain influence
of some planetary imbalance. The respect I commanded in the medical college was replaced by laughter and mockery. People would say that I will beg on the name of deaf and mute people.

-he recalls.

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Satya discussed his plan with a very few people but was unable to pool in sufficient
money. He just had Rs 3000 for a project that required Rs 3 crore. The banks rejected
to support the idea of disability rehabilitation and the government denied to give
enough money for the infrastructure.

Finally, in 1995 their clinical work began when a god Samaritan helped them with an
unused space. Gradually people started volunteering without asking for salary
and the patients who availed services started paying small amount. They kept on
piling up their earnings and moved forward.

But what Satya thought would take a year or two, took ten years. After so much effort,
in 2004, Institute of Health Sciences was established in Bhubaneshwar that took two
more years to become fully functional (2006).

Today, Institute of Health Sciences is one of the largest therapeutic service provider in the nation. They treat children with autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders etc., to make them a part of the mainstream.

Satya’s story shows the feat that a person can really achieve with constant hard work and
determination. It reflects the notion that only one man is enough to change the world for he is changing the lives of thousands and millions out there, all by his own sweat and blood. And today, the fruit of his efforts is as sweet as a center of hope for people with disabilities.