About Us

BRIEF BIO-DATA

Dr. B.T. Maskati (1925-2016)


Leading Ophthalmologist, dedicated immensely to serve humanity, a very devoted Rotarian, an experienced traveller a raconteur of humour and an orator par excellence are terms that aptly describe DR B. T. MASKATI.
Dr. B.T. Maskati’s life story is a truly inspirational one of “rags-to-riches”. Orphaned at an early age, he completed his schooling in Surat and later Bombay, with the aid of scholarships, often studying in the light of street lamps and many a time, living on one meal a day, he completed his medical education (MBBS) again with free-ships, from G.S. Medical College and KEM Hospital, Bombay, in 1950. He then took up posts in various departments, besides ophthalmology, including, general surgery, ENT and even dental, to become a truly “complete surgeon”, before passing MS (Ophth) at the first attempt, in 1955 – a feat achieved by only one other student out of 20 in his batch. He got married to Mariam in the same year, borrowing a coat from a friend for the wedding reception.

In 1958, he was selected as Hon. Asst. Ophthalmic Surgeon at his alma mater. However, in those days, only a ‘foreign returned’ person, could be so appointed. Dr. Maskati had no means to travel abroad. Visualising his potential, however, the Bombay Municipal Corporation, gave him a loan of Rs.5000, with which he took his first foreign trip, to London, by boat. Of course, Dr. Maskati repaid the loan within the stipulated period, after his return.

From 1958 to 1983 he served as Hon. Ophthalmic Surgeon & later Head, Department, of Ophthalmology, at K.E.M. Hospital & G. S. Medical College. Currently, he is Professor Emeritus at K.E.M. Hospital and the senior most honorary consultant at the Saifee Hospital. During his tenure at KEMH, the KEM Ophthalmic Dept. became a referral centre for patients from all corners of the country. It was one of the first Departments in the country to acquire a xenon arc photo coagulator, in the early seventies, thus treating Eales’ disease, retinoblastomas, and diabetic and hypertensive retinopathies in non-affording patients from far and near. In the early eighties, original research done at KEM showed the efficacy of reduced post-op stay for cataract patients. Day care surgery was started at KEM long before it became the norm all over the country. Dr. Maskati trained under giants in ophthalmology such as Dr. Weve for retinal detachment, Mr. Stallard and Sir Stewart Duke Elder, in UK (Mr. Eric Arnott was a co-resident at Moorfield’s), George Spaeth for glaucoma, the Will’s Eye Hospital for Retinoblastoma, Irene Maumenee for ocular genetics etc. He was a true ‘all-rounder’ eye surgeon, doing all types of eye surgery, from keratoplasties, cataracts, trabeculectomies, retinal detachment surgeries to Oculoplasty procedures such as ptosis and DCR. Therefore his students also passed out adept at all procedures and ‘complete’ eye surgeons.

Along with the usual cataract camps, which he started in 1962, Dr. Maskati pioneered the concept of “squint correction” camps in 1968. He realized during his travels to the remote interiors of Maharashtra, that there was abysmal ignorance in the rural community that squint in children could be surgically corrected. Most accepted the condition as incurable. If a girl child had squint, the parents often sold their meagre plots of land to raise enough money for her dowry. Hence, squint caused more of a socio-economic problem in the community than cataract. Dr. Maskati insisted that the nearest eye surgeon to the place of the camp be involved in the screening of the cases and assist in the surgery, so that he could gain the confidence to do similar surgeries himself later.

Dr. Maskati had a passion for teaching. Some of his illustrious students include late Dr. Kanti Mody of Mumbai and Dr. M.M. Joshi of Hubli, both recipients of the AIOS Life-Time Achievement Award, Dr. Rumi Jehangir, Dr. Kirit Mody etc. He has been an examiner for MBBS and post graduate exams in Mumbai and all over the country. He looked upon all exams as opportunities to teach. When he asked a student a question, he often ended up adding to the student’s answer with many more details, thus making it a learning experience both for the exam going student as well as the supervisors and often the co-examiners as well! He never refused to be an examiner, even visiting Srinagar during the height of the terrorism era, to conduct an MBBS exam, when no examiner from around Kashmir was willing to attend.

Dr. Maskati recently donated Rs. five lacs to his alma mater and has a lecture hall named after him in the medical college. He always considered himself indebted to KEM Hospital and GS Medical College for giving him so much and making him what he was.

Dr. Maskati was awarded number of Oration Gold Medals at National and International Conferences. He published over 100 papers. and represented India at European Congresses, International Congresses; He was the sole representative from South Asia comprising India, Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka from 1970 to 1974 at the International Association for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the only Asian to be invited to 2nd International Symposium at Johannesburg (S. Africa) in 1972 (a rare honour, as South Africa was still in the grip of apartheid).
Dr. Maskati contributed Chapters in “Diagnosis & Management of Medical Emergencies” & API Text Book of Medicine.

Secretary General - All India Ophthalmological Society - 1978 to 1985.

President – All India Ophthalmological Society - 1987 - during this year achieved the impossible - Total exemption of Customs Duty on 37 items like Lasers, Ophthalmic Microscopes, Scans, etc.

Founder Member and Examiner - National Board of Examination (MNAMS), now called DNB.

Expert in Ophthalmology - Indian Council of Medical Research for 20 years.
He was the1st recipient of LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD awarded by ALL INDIA OPHTHALMOLOGICAL SOCIETY JANUARY - 2000. Later similarly awarded by Maharashtra Ophthalmological Society. On September 5th 2000 he was awarded “Outstanding Teachers Award” by National Board of Examination, New Delhi and also by his Alma Mater - G.S. Medical College & K.E.M. Hospital. Both awards were for the first time to an Eye Surgeon.

Chairman for Prevention & Control of Blindness– National Association for the Blind – 1989 to 1992. District Governor - Rotary International District 314 (1978 – 1979) – the first Eye Surgeon to hold this coveted post.
Awarded Vocational Excellence Awards by several Rotary clubs in the district, including his home club, Rotary Club of Bombay North.

At the sprightly young age of 90 years, he retired from private practice in March 2015. He was still seeing charitable patients twice a week in Saifee Hospital till his demise on 2nd August 2016 and kept himself updated with the latest advances in ophthalmology by voracious reading of journals and attending conferences.

Dr. Q.B. Maskati


Did his graduation& post graduation from KEM Hospital, Bombay University, obtaining his M.S. & D.O.M.S & F.C.P.S. Degrees, all in 1983, with a gold medal in DOMS.
Superspecialised in diseases of the cornea and anterior segment microsurgery from Rochester and Boston, USA.

Was a lecturer at Nair Hospital for a year, before starting private practice in 1986.
Has over 2 dozen scientific publications to his name in national and international journals.
He is co-author of chapters on “Ophthalmology” in 12 books.
Has published a book “Simplifying Eye Care” available in book stores, for the general public, in June 2010. Second edition released in July 2013.

Has devised and conducted an “Ophthalmic Quiz” at the National Conference every year, for over 15 years.
Was the president of Maharashtra Ophthalmological Society (94-95) and Bombay Ophthalmologists’ Association (2000-01) He is the youngest person in the history of these societies to hold these posts.

Was President, All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS) for 2014-15. This is the largest life member national Ophthalmic Society in the world with approximately 18,000 members. It is also the only time in AIOS history that father and son have held this coveted post (Dr. B.T.Maskati was President AIOS in 1987-88)

Has been a guest speaker and visiting faculty at several international and national conferences, including World Ophthalmic Congresses (WOC), Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO), Asia pacific anterior segment, cornea and refractive Society (APACRS),Asia Cornea Conferences (ACS), International Kpro Society Conferences, International Society of Dry Eye Meetings, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, USA, (ARVO), American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery ( ASCRS), , South Asian Academy of Ophthalmology (now SAO, formerly SAARC) , American Academy of Paediatric andStrabismus,( AAPOS) , Middle East , Asiana dn African Congress of Ophthalmology (MEACO) conferences as well as annual conferences of various countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Egypt, Philippines, Turkey, Russia, China, USA (American Academy) UK (Royal College of Ophthalmologists, UK as well as Oxford Congress) etc. He has been invited faculty at every AIOS annual conference since 1984.

He is the only ophthalmologist in Asia having extensive experience of the Pintucci Keratoprosthesis, having done over 85 cases since 1997.He also demonstrated this surgery live at Manila, Colombo, Dhaka, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore and Karachi, besides various cities in India.

He is the only ophthalmologist in the world with experience of performing both the Boston Keratoprosthesis (since 2009) and the Pintucci Keratoprosthesis.
He was ophthalmic advisor to “Sight Savers International” (formerly Royal commonwealth Society for the Blind) for the whole of India, for 6 years, till 2004.

He is currently advisor to Queen Elizabeth Trust national task Force on Diabetic Retinopathy and convenor, AIOS diabetic Eye Screening Clinics – a programme where every year since 2014 DESC are held free of charge all over India during Diabetic week, November 14-21. This is the largest such exercise in the world , screening over 10,000 diabetics all over the country and is the brainchild of Dr. Quresh Maskati
Has been participating and has conducted numerous cataract and squint surgical camps all over Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, since 1980.
Has delivered lectures on “Dry Eye” and the Pintucci Keratoprosthesis in over 60 cities in India in the past15 years as well in several other countries such as USA, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippines, China, Russia, Turkey, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

He was awarded the VK Chitnis Oration by MOS in 1995 (the youngest recipient); a gold medal for his pioneering work on the Pintucci Keratoprosthesis at the Silver Jubilee Conference of the Indian Implant and Refractive Society in July 2007; APAO Achievement Award 2013; Honorary FAICO Award by AIOS , 2013 (the first for a Cornea Surgeon); the prestigious Centenary Gold Medal by the Egyptian Ophthalmic Society for his work on K pros in March 2013. The RPN Sinha Oration Award by the Bihar and Jharkhand Ophth Societies in June 2013, the A.V. Madangopal Oration award by Vidarbha Ophth Society in March 2014, the M. Mishra Oration Award by Odisha Ophth Society in Nov 2014, to name a few.
He was awarded the VK Chitnis Oration by MOS in 1995 (the youngest recipient); a gold medal for his pioneering work on the Pintucci Keratoprosthesis at the Silver Jubilee Conference of the Indian Implant and Refractive Society in July 2007; APAO Achievement Award 2013; Honorary FAICO Award by AIOS , 2013 (the first for a Cornea Surgeon); the prestigious Centenary Gold Medal by the Egyptian Ophthalmic Society for his work on K pros in March 2013. The RPN Sinha Oration Award by the Bihar and Jharkhand Ophth Societies in June 2013, the A.V. Madangopal Oration award by Vidarbha Ophth Society in March 2014, the M. Mishra Oration Award by Odisha Ophth Society in Nov 2014, to name a few.

He is vice President of the World Society for Small Incision Cataract Surgery Has been performing refractive surgery since 1998, PRK, PTK, LASIK and now Wave-Front Optimised LASIK and Femto Lasik (Smile Surgery).

Joined Rotary in 1986. President of the Rotary Club of Bombay North (95-96) {youngest in history of his club}. Was Assistant Governor, District 3140 in 09-10. Assistant District Trainer, 2010-11, district conference Planner 2011-12, Avenue Chairman, Medical, 2012-13; co-chairman, membership Development 2014-15; Avenue Chairman for South Mumbai The Rotary Foundation 2015-16.

He is a trustee for the Rangoonwala Foundation a UK based charitable trust working in the fields of health care, patient rights advocacy and education since a decade.