Juan Monros (85), is an international Spanish footballer of yesteryear, and a philanthropist who used to donate aids to the differently-abled persons in Vellore and other parts of Tamil Nadu. He died following prolonged illness at his home in Avinyo, Barcelona Province in Spain last week, according to information received by his friends in Vellore.
Monros’ acquaintance with Vellore dates back to early 1960s when he visited the Christian Medical College Hospital in Vellore to train the staff in prosthetics (manufacture of artificial limbs) and orthotics (making of calipers and braces).
Monros who regularly played football for his country strayed into the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) during his visit as a tourist to New York. During his stay in Vellore, he came into contact with late Mary Verghese, a professor at CMC, who herself became a paraplegic but continued her academic and social work with great zeal.
From 1963, Monros regularly visited Vellore and trained people in prosthetics and orthotics and gifted the poor differently-abled persons with mobility aids, hearing aids and Braille equipment.
Monros, who remained a bachelor, provided the aids with the help of the money earned by him as a soccer player and during his stints at international organisations like UNICEF. He used to visit Vellore every year in November, stay in the house-cum-office of the Juan Monros Trust in Otteri here and organize his philanthropic activities. With Vellore as base, he used to visit the differently-abled persons in nearby towns , assess their needs and provide tricycles, hearing aids and the other aids required by them.
Amarlal B. Kanal, a businessman of Vellore, recalls that Monros would never give money to the differently-abled, but only gifted aids after ascertaining their needs. “He used to pick up differently-abled persons from the road and help them. His death is a great loss to the community of differently-abled.”