Chinese Premier Li to meet Kotnis kin today

Dr Kotnis,considered an icon of Sino-Indian friendship and collaboration,was part of a five-member Indian medical aid mission that was sent to China when the Japanese attacked the country in late 1930s.

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai | Published:May 21, 2013 1:03 am

“It’s a proud moment for us and a rare honour being bestowed upon the family and my brother,” said 92-year-old Manorama Kotnis,Dr Dwarkanath Shantaram Kotnis’s sister,who will meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday.

Dr Kotnis,considered an icon of Sino-Indian friendship and collaboration,was part of a five-member Indian medical aid mission that was sent to China when the Japanese attacked the country in late 1930s. The devotion with which he served the Chinese is evident from a scroll,which is a prized possession of the family. “He cured the wounded and saved many of our comrades from death. He will live forever in the hearts of the revolutionary Chinese people (Mao Tse Tung)”,the scroll reads.

Dr Kotnis,who was 28 when he went to China,was born in Solapur,Maharashtra. His house there was converted into a memorial hall in January 2012.

“In 2006,we met the then President Hu Jintao. We are overwhelmed that even after so many years,my brother is remembered and loved by the Chinese and that Premier Keqiang is taking pains to meet us,” said Manorama,who currently resides in Vile Parle. “I have been to China at least four times and each time,I was received with a lot of respect and warmth,” she added.

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