Since the first Yatra, organized in response to western India’s devastating 2001 earthquake, hundreds of volunteers—from pediatricians to oncologists; planners to translators—have joined the cause.

Meet some of the Yatra’s most dedicated members.

Artboard 2.png

Gita Gidwani MD

Gita served as a gynecologist at the Cleveland Clinic for over 30 years before retiring in 2010. In 1976 she became the hospital’s first female in the Division of Surgery, and in 1986, she co-founded the North American Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Originally from Pune, India, she is celebrating her fiftieth year in Cleveland and her twelfth Yatra.

Artboard 3.png

Jaya Shah MD

Co-founder of the Yatra and Cleveland International Hall of Fame inductee, Jaya is a retired pediatrician who started practicing in Cleveland in 1973. Born in Gujarat, India, she was raised in Uganda and Kenya and holds an MBBS from Bombay University. Outside the Yatra, she has volunteered on medical missions in the US, Uganda, Kenya, Haiti, Guyana, Ecuador, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Artboard 5.png

Murthy Vuppala MD

A native of Chodavaram, a small village south of the Araku Valley, Murthy is returning to his home state of Andhra Pradesh to coordinate the 2018 Yatra. He completed his residency at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital in 1978 and operated a private pediatric practice in Cleveland from 1979 until his retirement.

Artboard 6.png

Saroj Mahalaha MD

Saroj is a retired obstetrician and gynecologist who delivered thousands of babies serving Cleveland's Fairview General Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic from 1979 to 2014. Originally from Uttar Pradesh, India, she is the former president of the Association of Indian Physicians of Northern Ohio (AIPNO) and current co-chair of the Medical Yatra Committee.

Artboard 4.png

Ramesh Shah

Co-founder of the Yatra, alongside his wife, Jaya, Ramesh handles the Yatra’s administrative, PR and fundraising duties. Originally from Gujarat, India, he is an active member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland and a recipient of the 2014 Sewa International Lifetime Achievement Award for Exceptional Service and Volunteerism.