On the 75th Republic Day, Dr Manohar Dole was honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri Award for laying the foundation of a charitable eye hospital in Narayangaon, Maharashtra.

What were his contributions? Here is all you should know about this man with a heart of gold.

For the past 43 years, Dr Dole has dedicated his life to providing free eye care to thousands of tribals and underprivileged people.

Currently 95, Dr Dole completed his studies in 1962 and opened a small clinic on the Nashik-Pune highway and started treating patients.

But with no experience in the field of ophthalmology or surgery, he would refer those patients to a professional.

Observing the patients from the area, he realised most had a common problem of losing vision due to cataracts.

However, in early 1982, Dr Dole lost his best friend, Mohan Thuse, which triggered him to do social work in his memory.

Despite overcoming numerous hurdles, including a lack of funds and initial scepticism from the community, he founded the Mohan Thuse Eye Hospital under the Dr Manohar Dole Medical Foundation. The hospital began with 20 beds and one operating theatre.

Finding success and more funds from temple trusts and donors, in 2002, a new hospital building was set up with a facility of 100 beds and three operation theatres. Since its inception in 1982, the hospital has treated more than 400 patients monthly for free providing them with free transportation, meals and treatment.