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N.S. Murali built VHS as a flagship institution, says Swaminathan

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M.S.Swaminathan, chairman, MSSRF, paying homage to N.S.Murali, honorary secretary of VHS, at Taramani in Chennai on Sunday. He passed away in London on May 5.
M.S.Swaminathan, chairman, MSSRF, paying homage to N.S.Murali, honorary secretary of VHS, at Taramani in Chennai on Sunday. He passed away in London on May 5.

Special Correspondent

Mortal remains of honorary secretary of VHS cremated

CHENNAI: The mortal remains of N.S. Murali, honorary secretary of Voluntary Health Services (VHS), were cremated on Sunday after a two-hour homage that was attended by people from all walks of life.

By 8 a.m., the mortal remains of Dr. Murali flown in on a British Airways flight from London — where he had collapsed and died while taking a morning stroll on Tuesday — were brought to the daycare centre at the VHS.

M.S. Swaminathan, chairman of MSSRF, who was among those who had come to pay homage, spent some time consoling the family of Dr. Murali. Dr. Swaminathan later told The Hindu that Dr. Murali was a unique person who built up the VHS as a flagship institution. “The commitment to ensure that everyone, whether rich or poor, was given the best care was a rare quality that he adopted from the tradition of Dr. Sanjivi and expanded upon in this era of commercialised medicine.”

Krishnamoorthy Srinivas, neurologist, whose association with Dr. Murali dates back to 1951, said it would be difficult for the VHS to find a replacement for a man who was admired and revered equally for his absolute integrity, warm relationship with persons regardless of their job or social background, charitable manner and leadership skills.

The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai and the USAID Mission in Delhi sent condolence messages to the bereaved family.

Dr. Murali’s son, Dr. Sandeep Murali, said that the loss was completely unexpected. The family was enjoying a quiet vacation in England when tragedy struck.

The visitor’s book kept at the VHS quickly filled up as several mourners spent a few minutes expressing their feelings.

K. Ranganathan from R.A. Puram expressed his gratitude for the doctor who treated his wife for 25 years with dedication; P. Sekar, a batchmate, said he had lost a true and lovable friend while the D.K. Oza and Sushila Oza family described Dr. Murali as a great doctor and true server of the poor.

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