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Spirit to serve

FOR THOSE who complain even about a common cold or get dispirited at the mere hint of a headache, Captain V.V.K. Mani's life is an inspiration.

A former Commissioned Officer of the Indian Army and currently Regional Manager of The Hindu, Bangalore, this gallant 62-year-old's life has been a saga of trials and tribulations. From renal failure and cardiac problems to a malignant tumour in the colon, Mani has endured the knocks of life stoically.

As he stood inside the `Opulence Hall' of Breeze Hotel to receive the `Triumph of Human Spirit Award' conferred by the Rotary Club of Ambattur, one cannot help admiring this man who has been referred to as a `medical miracle.'

" It's all about cultivating a positive attitude," says Mani, a Rotarian, with characteristic enthusiasm. " Your mind, like a coin, has got two sides, positive and negative. If you think nothing is right with you, you will automatically lapse into dejection and frustration," he explains.

The dynamic Mani was diagnosed as suffering from renal failure four years ago. "One evening while leaving for the airport I felt an excruciating pain in my stomach. Check ups revealed that I was suffering from complete renal failure. Later, during dialysis, a block in the arteries and a fatal tumour in the colon were discovered."

According to Mani, till he underwent kidney transplant, he was undergoing peritoneal dialysis (self-administered). His never-say-die-spirit is reflected in the fact that he was back to work in 28 days after the transplant.

Like a true Rotarian, Mani has made social service his motto. Through projects such as blood donation, counselling, a home for terminally ill cancer patients, and organ retrieval and transplant, Mani has worked for the benefit of his club and society. K.S. Bakthavatsalam, former Judge of the Karnataka High Court, conferred the award and citation.

Incidentally, Mani becomes the second person to receive the award after Mike Nemesvary, a former world skiing champion, who drove around the world despite being a quadriplegic.

S.K

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