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Indian Express
10 November 2010
Ratnagiri, India

City Anchor Mangesh Gaonkar Was Born With A Visual Handicap; Had Developed Juvenile Diabetes At 16
Mangesh GaonkarMangesh Gaonkar
IT was a double blow for Mangesh Gaonkar who was born with a visual handicap when he developed juvenile diabetes at the age of 16. Mangesh, who is 30 now, has fought them bravely and is now pursuing a post–graduate degree.

His struggle against the twin problems has earned Mangesh, a resident of Sangameshwar tehsil in Ratnagiri district, the lifetime achievement award for diabetics 2010 ahead of World Diabetes Day (November 14).

Relief had reached Mangesh in the form of Diabetes Care and Research Foundation's programme of adopting juvenile diabetics. "I did not learn the braille script as my sister often read out the texts. Now, there is an English software that reads out the content of various subjects. I went into a depression after I was detected with diabetes and had to face several prob lems. It was in 2005 that I met Dr Abhay Mutha of the Diabetes Care and Research Foundation and they sponsored the treatment. I have to take insulin shots twice a day."

Mangesh buys cassettes from Kolhapur at wholesale rates and sells it to shopkeepers in Ratnagiri to earn a living.

Says Mutha, "We decided to select Mangesh for the lifetime achievement award this year as he hails from a poor family and had to face several problems. Still he did not give up hope and pursued higher education and learnt to live both with blindness and diabetes. He is suffering from Type 1 diabetes. Some are detected early and some even as late as 15 or 16 years."

The award had gone to tennis player Kaira Shroff last year. Individuals suffering from Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin daily and failure to do so for two days can easily leave them in a coma. Diabetes Care and Research Foundation (DCRF), in association with Lions Club 21st century, Poona Ganeshkhind, Poona Central and South East have organised a special programme to mark the World Diabetes Day. The programme will kick off with a road show on Diabetes, aimed at creating awareness, to be inaugurated by Mayor Mohansingh Rajpal. Actors Prashant Damale, Rahul Solapurkar, doctors, students of Suryadatta Group of Institutes and others are expected to participate.

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