BENGALURU: Dr R Marthanda Varma, the Founder Director of NIMHANS, passed away owing to age-related aliments at M S Ramaiah Memorial Hospital at 9.30 am on Tuesday. He was 93.
A member of Mavelikkara royal family, he also served as the Director General of Health Services. In recognition of his services, he was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1970. He was also one among the first five neurosurgeons in India.
Dr D Nagaraja, former Director, NIMHANS, remembers the legend and the human being that Dr Marthanda Varma was.
“He was the father figure of neurosciences in the state. NIMHANS is what it is today because of his vision. It was with great difficulty that he was able to amalgamate the state mental hospital and the Central Hospital into NIMHANS,” Dr Nagaraja said.
He remembers how Dr Varma, the teacher, was always full of energy, not just in his speech but his entire being.
“When he talked, he expressed himself with his whole body and you could feel the sense of involvement and interest he had in the subject he was talking about,” recalled Dr Nagaraja.
“He greeted newcomers with much enthusiasm and when teaching, would start at their level and bring them up to the top,” he said.
Dr Varma is renowned for his surgical skills and won international accolades for devising a technique to treat Parkinson’s. “Although it was unimaginable at the time, the technique involved making a small lesion through the face, into the brain and by targeting a small area on the brain, stop tremors immediately,” Dr Nagaraja explained.
“Dr Varma taught us to have a vision, to think beyond the present. This is what I will miss the most about him,” he said.
Dr Varma is survived by wife Dr Malathi Varma and sons Dr Ravi Gopal Varma and Shashi Gopal Varma.