The Sathe family would have touched the lives of thousands of people from Belagavi over the past century. This is not a small feat to accomplish, considering the family has given some of the best doctors (and actors, musicians alike), to the city.
The Sathe family celebrated the centenary of the establishment of their first clinic in Belagavi on 12th August amidst family and friends. Memories of the contribution of several stalwarts in the family come to the fore as Belagavi people poured their hearts out with their memories of how some of the other Sathe have touched their lives. Most of us know their clinic at Kadolkar Galli, but it all started at Anantshayan Galli in the heart of the city by the family’s first doctor, Dr. K. V. Sathe.
The father of Dr. Ashok, Vishwas, Shri Gajanan Sathe, Pramod Sathe, Dr. K.V. Sathe established his clinic in 1923 when modern medical doctors were few and rare. He was the family doctor for several families in Belagavi and was a noted Ophthalmologist, specializing in cataract surgeries. It was in 1930 that he bought the current premise at Kadolkar Galli Belagavi from one Shri Bhanap and set up his own practice there. At a time when there was no electricity, he practiced using a petromax light and often made house visits on his bicycle.
He was joined by Dr. Ashok, his son, in 1954. Dr. Ashok first started his practice from a clinic in Fulbag Galli where he soon gained a reputation as an ace doctor. He went on to practice till almost recently when he hung his boots.
Dr. Ashok Sathe
Dr. Ashok Sathe is an institution in himself. A multi faceted personality, he is that quintessential bundle of talent, shining in medicine, sports, and theatre alike. He completed his education (MBBS) at Grant Medical College, Mumbai before setting up his clinic in Belagavi. An avid tennis player, he played the sport with much acclaim till he injured one of his eyes as a ball hit it straight. That rendered him with a slight inconvenience for 3D vision, much needed for playing tennis and hence he shifted to playing golf for over 30 years, where the ball is stationary and the player is the one who moves. Sports is where he thrived, going on to play Badminton, Bridge and Billiards as well at Belgaum Club. He was also the President of the Union Gymkhana and the Managing committee member of the Belgaum Club. Acting was another of his passions which he pursued all his life. He says the love for performing arts, theatre and music, is something he inherited from his mother. He went on to act in over 25 plays, won 3 prizes for individual acting in state level theatre competitions and 5 awards for Direction. He was also the Swagatadhyaksh of the Akhil Bharatiya Natya Sammelan held in Belagavi in 2015. Being artistically inclined, he also learned music from Joshi Sir for 35 years where his Guru Bhagini (co-learner at the same Guru) was Dr. Smt. Gangubai Hangal. He was well versed with over 55 ragas and could recite each one for at least half an hour!
Another stalwart and pioneer in Belagavi’s medical landscape is Dr. Uday Sathe
Dr. Uday Sathe – a name synonymous with investigative medical tests for Belagavi citizens from the past several decades. As the first qualified pathologist of Belagavi, he gained the unwavering faith of innumerable patients at his Pathology lab in Kadolkar Galli. He started the lab in 1977 which was functional right up to the Covid outbreak. Dr. Uday Sathe was renowned for his expertise in Bio Onco Cytology, Microbiology and Cancer detection. He also worked as a consultant for LIC and the Indian Aluminium Company (INDAL, now Hindalco). He was the Master of Lodge Victoria (Masonic Lodge) in 1995. Dr. Uday Sathe also played badminton, but few know that he is a master wine-maker and makes his own wine from grapes; which is highly appreciated by wine connoisseurs. His wife, Mrs. Suneeti Sathe, held an MSc in Food and Nutrition from Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai and worked at Maratha Mandal, RPD College and IGNOU for over 2 decades.
Dr. Shashank Sathe
Dr. Shashank Sathe is another maverick doctor who has followed the footsteps of many in the family to be a master of many pursuits. After completing his MBBS from Grant Medical College in 1978, he worked for two years in the Family Planning Association of India as a Medical Officer in Mumbai. He headed back to Belagavi after his wedding in 1980 and started his practice. He chose to practice in border villages, especially Devarwadi near Vaijnath for 12 years. Then in 1986, he started full-time practice at the Fulbag Galli clinic. Since he was inclined towards teaching, he started teaching as an honorary visiting lecturer between 1986 to 1996 at Shaikh Homeopathic Medical College where he taught Forensic Medicine, Toxicology, and clinical medicine. That exposed him to thousands of students spread across India many of whom are in touch with him even today.
In 1986, he started daily visits to Hindalco as a visiting doctor which has continued even today though not daily. He is also associated as a visiting consultant to many reputed industries in Udyambag where he helped create awareness about health for workers. In short, he was actively involved in three diverse pursuits- Medical practice, teaching and consultancy. What’s more, his passion for trekking also got a fair share of his time.
Since college days while in Mumbai, he had trekked to peaks like Lingana and Rajmachi. When he migrated to Belagavi, he met like-minded people who were equally interested in hiking and trekking and together, he started a group, A.P. Hikers. The group members started trekking to nearby places like Mahipalgad, Amboli, etc. He also organized hiking and trekking expeditions for group members, who were in the age group of 35 to 70, to forts like Raigad, Rajgad, SInhagad, Lingana, Lohgad, Rajmachi, etc. which satiated his thirst for being amidst nature.
Dr. Rahul Sathe
Dr. Rahul Sathe Completed his BDS from KLE DENTAL COLLEGE, Belagavi. Dr. Rahul is the fourth-generation doctor in the family of Sathe’s and is very much following in the footsteps of his illustrious family for being multi-faceted. He has gone further and expanded his field of service through the Rotary Club. He started his dental practice in 2002 at the same place in Kadolkar Galli where his father and great-grandfather had their practice. He has come a long way from doing basic dentistry to becoming a pioneer in microscopic dentistry.
Today, Dr. Rahul has a dedicated chamber for micro endodontics which is a highly specialized field in dentistry. It makes use of hi-tech microscopic equipment that allows a dentist to have a super close and clear image of the oral cavity thereby enabling him to perform with utmost precision for procedures like Root Canals. This facility is the first one of its kind in Belagavi today. He specializes in single-visit root canal treatment and complete dentures. In 2013, Dr. Rahul started a separate setup at Bhagyanagar under the name of Care Dental Clinic, which is managed by his equally talented wife Dr Varsha Sathe. It started with just one doctor and one dental chair and now has grown to a team of 3 resident doctors and 7 consultants across 2 clinics with a setup of a total of 5 dental chairs. Dr Rahul Sathe had been in Rotary since the year 2003 and has graced several posts in Rotary Club and won awards as best Secretary (2014-15) and Best President (2017-2018). He is a life member of IDA (Indian Dental Association) and a member of Lodge Victoria No 9 (Masonic Lodge).
Dr. Varsha Sathe
Dr. Varsha Sathe – Hailing from Nagpur, Dr. Varsha became the first Doctor Daughter-in-law of the Sathe family after her marriage to Dr. Rahul Sathe. She came to Belgaum in 2003 and since then has been in dental practice. Earlier she worked at the City Dental Clinic, and Dental Care Centre at Kadolkar Galli for about 10 years.
She was also associated with Maratha Mandal Dental College as a lecturer for undergraduate students. She started her own dental setup in 2013 at Bhagyanagar at her brand new center named Care Dental Clinic. She specializes in the field of preventive dentistry and early childhood care and health education, and her clinic is a testimony to this fun environment for kids. She has been conducting many workshops for child oral health nutrition and oral hygiene and has also conducted many dental checkup camps. Dr. Varsha wanted to extend her services to the common people and hence recently started an AMC for dental care(oral health passbook) and various other plans to make quality dental care affordable and accessible to society. In order to bridge the gap between common people and healthcare professionals and common people she started an online health awareness platform called HEALTHPALS. She is also into digital marketing and Brand building as well as promotion for doctors through her initiative Healthclicks. She is an active member of the Inner Wheel Club of Belgaum for the past decade and a life member of IDA (Indian Dental Association).
Dr. Varsha is a vibrant personality and pursues her hobbies of reading and traveling. She is a foodie and loves to try out different cuisines. The couple is blessed with two sons Arjun WHO IS PURSUING LAW and Varun who is studying in school.
Dr. Sonal Sathe
Dr. Sonal Sathe- Bondre is the daughter of Dr. Uday Sathe and the sister of Dr. Rahul. She completed her Bachelor’s in Physiotherapy from KLE Institute, Belagavi in 2001. After that, she worked at Nanavati Hospital and Ramkrishna Mission Hospitals in Mumbai. She later worked at a private physiotherapy clinic under the guidance of one of the pioneers in the physiotherapy field, Dr. Mrs Saroj Sanghavi for 5 years. Today, Dr. Sonal has her own successful private practice for the last 15 years in Dadar Mumbai.
The Sathe family has set a rare benchmark of how a family can be motivated to serve the community at large while also pursuing passions of its own. In doing so, they have touched the lives of millions of people too.