By GINA KINSLOW
Glasgow Daily Times
After spending countless hours helping others – whether by building houses, collecting canned food items or developing a charity to help the working poor obtain medical care – Bharat Mody of Glasgow is being recognized for his service.
Mody, a retired general surgeon, was the recipient Thursday of a 2014 South Central Kentucky Jefferson Award.
Due to scheduling conflict, Mody was unable to attend the award ceremony at Mariah’s in Hitcents Park Plaza in Bowling Green. A group of people who assist Mody in is charity work accepted the award – which is sponsored by WBKO-TV and the Bowling Green Daily News – on his behalf.
The awards are given to southcentral Kentuckians who go above and beyond to benefit their communities.
“He sure deserves it,” said Italo Pedicini of Glasgow, who assists Mody in collecting non-perishable food items during the To the Brim community food drive.
“He never backs off of anything that needs to be done in the Glasgow and Barren County area,” Pedicini said.
In addition to the To the Brim community food drive, which benefits the food pantry maintained by the Community Relief Fund of Glasgow-Barren County, Mody also volunteers for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity and helped start Community Medical Care, a charity that helps the working poor of Barren County obtain medical care.
He also works heavily with Children’s Day, an annual fundraiser that generates money for family resource and youth service centers in area school systems, plus the Housing Authority of Glasgow’s backpack food program.
Mody is quick to point out that he doesn’t do the work alone.
“The credit goes to a lot of people,” Mody said. “I’m just one of what you call, just one of those guys who got it because of all these people. One person can’t do what we are dong up here for this many years. So, I think it goes to everyone. That’s how I feel.
“I feel very grateful to all the people who help me in everything I do for our community.”
Mody credits several mentors for inspiring him to become so community focused, such as the late Ruel Houchens, David Bailey and Billy Elmore, as well as his parents.
He also credited his older sister, Manjuben, an 83-year-old physician who practices in Navapur, India, and works with organizations that benefit disabled children.
“I feel so blessed, really, and I feel so happy and glad that I’m trying to make some difference in a little way for so many people,” he said. “Coming all the way from India, coming from one of the poorest countries in the world ... to one of the richest countries in the world, I kept up with my roots. ...
“I think we all have what I call that inner spirit to make a difference for others. Sometimes you just need a little push and there you go.”
Mody was nominated for the award by both Tina Combs and Betty Bailey. Neither woman knew the other had nominated Mody for the award until they learned at the end of March that he had been chosen.
Combs, who works for Community Medical Care, said she couldn’t think of anyone who deserved a Jefferson Award more than Mody.
“It’s just amazing the things he does to help people,”she said.
Bailey said she continues to be amazed by his energy for charitable work.
“He supports everything that he is involved in. He’s just amazing,” she said. “He just blows my mind.”
Bailey’s late husband, David, and Mody were close friends for many years.
“To have Dr. Mody as a friend, you are certainly blessed,” she said.
Mody’s eldest daughter, Bhavana Mody of California, said her parents have always striven to give back to the community.
“I’m very excited that he is getting recognized for what he values and what he believe in,” she said. “Both my mom and dad are very generous people.”