Retired UA professor’s gifts in honor of late wife aids cancer research, charity in India | Local news
The second gift in memory of Bhattacharya’s wife of 51 is a $380,000 donation from him and his family to a charity in India for a non-profit microfinance project serving women in a rural suburb of Kolkata, where Rabi and Gouri grew up. The project is being carried out from the Gouri Bhattacharya Memorial Building, which also houses a primary school for the children of the participants. Gouri was a history teacher at a high school in Kolkata.
Some 500 women have participated in the microfinance project that includes the construction of a pond on land owned by the women. The women farm fish, including catfish and buffalo fish, and sell the fish in the market to support their families, explains Rabi Bhattacharya.
The retired math professor, who co-authored graduate math books, said that while Gouri was being treated at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, she was moved by bald-headed children who were also undergoing cancer treatment. “She was incredibly brave and never complained about her cancer,” her husband recalled.
After her death, a doctor who treated Gouri in Houston sent a card to Bhattacharya stating that his wife “fought the disease with grace and dignity.” She will be missed’. Bhattacharya took Gouri’s ashes to India and scattered them in the Ganges River, a sacred body of water for Hindus.
Bhattacharya recalled Gouri’s compassion, dignity and graceful appearance. For decades, Gouri gave cancer research donations to various organizations, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
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