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Eminent medical professional Dr. Sudharam Rai passes away

Eminent medical professional Dr. Sudharam Rai passes away

Mangaluru, June 24, 2024: Dr. Sudharam Rai, a distinguished medical professional and community leader, passed away. Born on August 19, 1943, into the renowned Bellipady family, Dr. Rai’s life was marked by significant contributions to both healthcare and community service.


Dr. Rai received his early education in Puttur and pursued medical studies at Kasturba Medical College in Manipal/Mangalore. During his college years, he was an active student leader, heading the College Union and organizing activities such as marches related to the Pakistan and Chinese border issues and anti-Hindi agitation. He founded the All College Students Union, serving as its first president, a legacy that endures today. An all-rounder, he excelled in sports, becoming the Chess Champion and winning the Mr. KMC title in bodybuilding in 1965.

After qualifying as a doctor, Dr. Rai began his career as an Assistant Surgeon at Govt Wenlock Hospital, Mangalore, and as a part-time Tutor in Surgery at KMC Mangalore in May 1969. His dedication to rural healthcare led him to serve in Jayapura and Balehonnur in Chikmagalur District. During his tenure in Jayapura, he joined the Lions movement and became a Charter Member of the Lions Club of Koppa, which recently celebrated its Golden Jubilee.

In 1976, Dr. Rai pursued higher studies in the United Kingdom during the Emergency period imposed by Mrs. Gandhi. As a junior doctor, he produced a research Paper accepted by the World Conference of Psychiatry in 1977, earning him an invitation to be a Co-Chairman. He served in various hospitals in the UK and became a Family Physician/General Practitioner in 1979. Elected Chairman of the British Medical Association, he led nearly 1,000 doctors at the district, regional, and national levels for over 12 years.

Dr. Rai established a pioneering medical complex in Nottinghamshire, including a doctor’s surgery, dental surgery, optician, pharmacy, and shopping centre under one roof, and served as a member of the Parish Council. He also ventured into private enterprise, starting a private school in Nottinghamshire for children aged 5 to 18, which continues to operate. In 1979, he opened his first nursing home, eventually building and operating 15 nursing and residential homes. In 1998, he founded a 34-bed mental hospital, the first of its kind in the UK by a private individual. Dr. Rai was involved in various NHS committees and started a free helpline to support stressed and depressed doctors, helping many of his colleagues.

Dr. Rai served as a part-time Police Surgeon and was part of the Lord Chancellor’s Department, assessing compensation for war veterans and social security cases. He also served in the British Army as a Major, working in Hong Kong, Germany, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Kenya, and during the Iraq war, assisting patients with post-traumatic stress syndrome. He was honoured with an invitation from the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to her Jubilee Garden Party, along with his wife. He was an officer of the Magnus Lodge.

After retiring, Dr. Rai returned to Mangalore to serve his community, founding the Global Hospital in 2012. He was instrumental in establishing the Lions Mangalore Centennial Club and, with fellow Lions members, the Tapasya Foundation and Hospice in Mudipu near Mangalore to support terminally ill patients. He also acted in several Kannada and Tulu films, portraying the role of a doctor. He organized the first KMC alumni meeting outside India.

Dr. Rai is survived by his wife Manjula and children Nithin and Neema, who reside in London. The family is involved in various business activities in India and the UK. Dr. Rai’s legacy of service, innovative thinking, leadership, and compassion will be remembered and cherished by all who knew him.

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