Obituary:  Dr. Indravadhan Pandit (1937- January 20, 2016)

Dr. Indravadhan Pandit, a long-time resident of our area and a cardiologist, passed away on Wednesday, January 20, 2016. The cause of his death was complications from pancreatic cancer for which there is no cure.

I.PanditDr. Pandit grew up in Visnagar, Mehsana district, in the northeast part of Gujarat. Earning his medical degree (MBBS) from the Baroda Medical College in 1966, he came to the United States with his wife Devyani, also a physician. After short stays in Detroit, Boston and Cleveland, he made Pittsburgh his permanent home, starting his medical practice.

He was an interventional cardiologist for over three decades at UPMC Shadyside Hospital and its director of the catheterization laboratory for several years. He was a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a member of the American Medical Association.  He was also with the Pennsylvania Medical Society, where he was active in establishing need-based scholarships for medical students.

As a philanthropist, Dr. Pandit lived and breathed working for charities. As chairman of the AAPI (American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) Foundation, he put his heart and soul into visiting clinics from Punjab to Tamil Nadu serving thousands of poor patients at no or minimal cost. He passionately raised funds in Pittsburgh for almost twenty years for this cause. In 2002, the AAPI honored Dr. Pandit with its Most Outstanding and Dedicated Service Award.

Dr. Pandit’s interest went beyond his professional activities. He was a pillar of the Indian community in our area. He was a founding member of the Hindu Jain Temple, where he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and also its Endowment Fund. Dr. Pandit, working closely with other volunteers at the temple, raised large sums of money for the maintenance and restoration of the temple. The temple honored him and his wife Dr. Devyani with a Lifetime Service Award.

Dr. Pandit was a member of TAPI (Tri State Association of Physicians of Indian Origin), the treasurer of the US-India Forum, and the secretary-treasurer of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism. If there was an India cause in town, he was engaged in it. He was actively involved with the Indian Nationality Room project in the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt. He was also a benefactor of the Carnegie Museums and many other charities. Even in his retirement, he volunteered at a food packing facility near Kennywood that delivered food to the homeless.

He was a voracious reader of Indian literature and eastern and western philosophies. His other pastimes were golf, tennis, music and dance.

A principled man, Dr. Pandit would not compromise with anyone for the right cause.  I was once sharing a room with Indravadhan at the AAPI Governing Body gathering. Seeing that I was active in a political action committee, he told me, “Krishan, if you want to work in a charitable foundation, it is pure like Ganga in Rishikesh, serving the poor and needy; otherwise politics is dirty water.” I could not agree with him more.

His friend Jitu Desai recalls, “Indravadhan was a giving and forgiving man. Anyone asked him for charity, he always responded generously.”

He endured the treatment (including chemotherapy) for pancreatic cancer with great stoicism and grit. When we went to see him, he was positive, witty and ready to fight till the very end.

He leaves behind Devyani, his life partner of 40-plus years; his two daughters,Amy and Neha; five grandkids, Anand, Asher, Ariya, Maneklal and Maria; his sons-in-law, Ashis Tayal and Daniel Gerhardy; and a  number of friends in the medical fraternity and the Indian community.

Dr. Pandit’s funeral services were held at the Beinhauer Funeral Home with his son-in-law Ashis Tayal performing the Hindu cremation rites led by Pandits Shri Suresh Chandra Joshi and Shri Vinod Pandey of the Hindu Jain Temple.   —  By Krishan Aggarwal, Coraopolis, PA   ♦

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