Professor Vijayalakshmi Deshmane (Fig. 1a) was born in a slum (an area of a city where living conditions are poor and where the houses are in bad condition) in Gulbarga (now Kalburgi) in the South of India. She was the eldest child (of eight) of late. Baburao Deshmane a textile mill worker (who was also involved in the Indian freedom struggle), and late. Ratnamma, who was a vegetable seller (Fig. 1b). As a child, Professor Deshmane vividly remembers her brother and herself helping their mother sell vegetables. In her opinion, Professor Deshmane regards her father as a visionary who spared no effort to encourage all his children to aspire to intellectual excellence, including persuading her to become a surgeon–which would have been considered preposterous at the time–not only because she was a woman, but a woman from the underprivileged, backward classes (Fig. 1).