Dr. Santosh Gupta
Dr. Santosh Gupta retired from her profitable practice of 37 years to help disadvantaged people with with diabetes in India. In 2007, she founded the Manav Seva Foundation and has helped many people with diabetes overcome their fear of low blood sugars.
When Dr. Gupta heard the daunting fact that impoverished children with diabetes would not survive their childhoods, she said, “Those are the facts I am determined to beat.”
She moved to Haridwar where people with diabetes live on less than a dollar a day. Diabetes is difficult to control even for western populations, with significantly higher incomes, let alone for people in underdeveloped countries. She was told that she wouldn’t succeed, that it wasn’t worth it. Regardless, she rolled up her sleeves, and went to work, offering free diabetes care.
She has proved her critics wrong. Her foundation has treated over 2000 people with diabetes, including many children, and has supplied over 3,000 vials of lifesaving insulin and 30,000 blood sugar testing strips. Her success is seen in her individual care, particularly in her model focused on teaching patients, despite their poverty, to live normal lives with diabetes. This model has been endorsed by several international health programmes, including the IDF Life for a Child Programme, the Global Health Scholars programme at Washington University in St. Louis and Penpals United.
Dr. Gupta also trains doctors and nurses and goes into the community to raise desperately needed awareness. She is a friend, an inspiration and a global change-maker and for me epitomises the essence of a hero.