Mahadev Desai is an Atlanta-based freelance writer. Along-term Community News Editor for India Tribune until he left for Florida in 1999, Mahadev is now back on the Atlanta scene, and writes for various community publications. He says he enjoys covering community events, writing ‘profiles’ and ‘humor’ articles. His articles have been published in Khabar, Voice of India, Darpan, India-Today, Woman’s Era, Desi etc. 
Sujatha Reddy-“The Health Fair Missionary”
Her heart is on fire; she is restless and driven. Her fairs are not only vehicles of social service and welfare, but a shining example of outreach of medical services to the needy and the neglected.

She is a doctor with a mission. She believes in making a difference. Her endeavor in life is to provide medical help to the disabled, the aged, and the poor who do not have health insurance. 

Meet Dr. Sujatha Reddy. This sari-clad, self-effacing lady looks frail, but is a powerhouse of energy, multi-tasking many different projects, and still doing commendable community and social work. 

Inspired by her inner voice, she took up the challenge of organizing Sai Health 
Fairs that offer medical help to the needy with compassion and dignity. “I am doing God’s work”, says Dr. Reddy when asked about her unique Health Fairs, which are recognized and acclaimed in the State of Georgia.  

A young Sujatha. With the University level Table Tennis singles trophy.
At the wedding reception of her elder son Shyam Sundar. (L to R) Shyam, Renee, Sai Prasad, Dr Reddy and husband Mohan.
With Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin (seated left) at the fifth Health Fair held in the Martin Luther King  Jr. Historic Preservation District.
 With (L to R) former Atlanta governor Roy Barnes, son Sai Prasad, husband Mohan and then chairman of Clayton County Crandell Bray.
The  Hindu Vibhushan award winner poses with her Gandhi Foundation associates. (L to R) Giriraj Rao, Mahadev Desai and Anthony Thaliath.

Sujatha doesn’t care for praise, recognition or rewards. “I believe that service to humanity is service to God and I see God in every living thing”, she says. Till today, she has organized five Health Fairs, and the sixth fair is scheduled for September 18, 2004 as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. When asked why she named them SAI Health Fairs, Sujatha says, “I believe in the spiritual Guru Sai of Shirdi. SAI stands for selfless service, accountability, integrity and embodiment of truth…” 

The fairs are not only vehicles of social service and welfare, but a shining example of outreach of medical services to the needy and the neglected. Over 40 doctors including 18-22 specialists have participated in the Fairs, and about 500 to 1200 people received medical consultancy services for EKG & Bone Density. The fifth Health Fair in the MLK Jr. Historic Preservation District on April 3, 2004, graced by The Mayor of Atlanta, Shirley Franklin, was a resounding success. Messages of appreciation, good wishes and support were received from the Georgia Governor, Sonny Purdue and Mrs. Coretta Scott King. 

The seeds of this compassion were sown in her childhood. Sujatha was born in Paparaju Palli in Chitoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India. She frequently accompanied her deeply religious parents to Tirupathi temple where she learnt about service and compassion in a spiritual atmosphere. 

She joined Kurnool Medical College in August 1965 and graduated in 1972. She lived in a hostel and excelled in sports, indoor games and Tennis. She won a Tennis Doubles Championship from Venkateshwara University. After completing her postgraduate training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad, she got married to Mohan Reddy, and then moved to the US in 1973. She completed her Residency at the University of Birmingham in 1980, and became a US Citizen.

Sujatha is also actively involved with the Hindu temple of Atlanta. The temple in fact is her second home. She was a trustee in 1986 and held several positions including president from 1996 to December 1998. Currently, she is temple’s treasurer.

Sujatha has received many awards including the ‘Hindu Vibhushan” award for the year 2001 for her contribution to medicine, service to the community and perpetuating and integrating the Hindu way of life in the community. Sujatha was the third recipient and its first female winner. The previous two winners of this award were Prime Ministers of Trinidad and Surinam respectively.

The other feathers in her cap include the Employee of the Year Award from the River Edge Behavioral Health Center, Macon, GA in 2001; the Outstanding Achievement Award by Telugu Association of Metro Atlanta (TAMA) in 2002, the Gandhi Humanitarian Award in 2003 and the Health Fair Award by TAMA in 2003. She was appointed a coordinator by United States Hindu-Alliance (USHA), Georgia Chapter in 2001. 

Sujatha is currently practicing Psychiatry in Macon, Georgia. Her husband, Mr. Mohan Reddy, who is an electrical engineer, is self-employed in Real Estate. He supports her in all her activities. Mr. Reddy too volunteers at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta. They have two grown up sons, Shyam Reddy, 30, an Attorney in Atlanta, married to Renee Dye, a consultant with Mckinnzie Consulting Firm, and Sai Prasad Reddy, 24, who is a Financial Manager with Sun Trust Bank in Atlanta.

Sujatha is a member of Georgia Medical Association; American Academy of General Physicians; American Association of Psychiatric Association; Georgia Tamil Sangam; Georgia Association of Physicians from India, (GAPI); American Association of Physicians from India (AAPI) and Board of Directors of Gandhi Foundation of USA. She served as Chairman during the National Telugu Association of North America (TANA) Conference in Atlanta in 1991. 

To sum up, if anyone is searching for a role model, Sujatha is surely the one to look up to. Her heart is on fire; she is restless and driven as ever. When she goes for a stroll in the evenings, she perhaps looks at the star-studded sky, thinking of yet another Health Fair. Yes, if she had her way, she would have no uninsured left medically untreated! Dream on, Sujatha. You have God’s blessings!”