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There are times when a wonderful idea strikes your mind. An idea, which has the ability to change many lives. However, it takes a lot of courage and hard work to leave everything behind and bring that idea to life. Only a handful of people can do that.

Prof. Satya Mahapatra had everything- a perfect family, dream job, and a cushy life. But one day, he left everything behind to serve the society. When there was no proper medical facility in the state of Orissa, this man did something that deserves an 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 Orissa 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 Orissa,” says Satya in an interview with KenFolios.

He then went to his senior seeking suggestion, who said, “How would America develop with one Satya Mahapatra? You should not go there when your own people are suffering.” This enlightened Satya’s conscience and he decided to serve his compatriots with all of his knowledge and experience.

After reaching Orissa, 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,” he tells. 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 graha dosha. The respect I commanded in the medical college was replaced by laughter and mockery. People would say, Arey yeh toh goonge-behron ki baat kar k bheekh maangega (He will beg on the name of deaf and mute people)”, he recalls.

Satya discussed his plan with a handful of 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 office 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 displays what a person can achieve with constant hard work and determination to do something. He is changing the lives of so many people. Today, the result of his efforts is a center of hope for people with disabilities.