My Hero (yet again): Bill Gates

He’s my hero yet again, an unlikely one at that!  No, not because he was named to one of those “Top” lists once more – he’s #5 on Forbes’ latest list, Top 100 Most Powerful People in the World.  That’s so been there, done that for Bill Gates.

It’s for this:

“The metric of success is lives saved, kids who aren’t crippled,” says Gates. “Which is slightly different than units sold, profits achieved. But it’s all very measurable, and you can set ambitious goals and see how you do.”

Forbes has a wonderful article (from which this quote was taken) that I would strongly encourage you to read. It’s called:

With Vaccines, Bill Gates Changes The World Again

Here is the Cliff Notes version. It aims to show you why he (& Melinda Gates) should be your heroes too.

Did you know?

  • When Bill and Melinda first started their initiatives in public health, they went the way of birth control thinking that with each unborn child (in developing nations) you saved a child from hunger, poverty and illness.
  • He had his epiphany later when he recognized that when mortality rates fall, so do birth rates, leading to the a stable population.  As he said about his realization, “Most people don’t choose to have eight children because they want to have big families, it turns out, but because they know that many of their children will die.
  • That was when he did a complete turnaround and decided that instead of preventing births, he would give his billions towards saving lives, specifically of children that were already born and lived in environments of poverty and poor health.
  • With this, he set out to fight the war with the vaccine – because vaccines – not doctors, not hospitals or anything else – could scale to the level he needed and fight the war against debilitating and fatal diseases.  Melinda Gates echoes that thought: “Where’s the place you can have the biggest impact with the money? Where can you save the very most lives with those ­resources?
  • His total Foundation endowment is now $36 billion, with $25 billion given away for his various causes.
  • You cannot do without the money, but money alone does not do the work. You have to coerce, motivate, negotiate, create market demand and create a sustainable business model so that governments can get to work and pharmaceutical companies can get to work – in developing and distributing vaccines to all the people that need them. Who better to take this on than Bill Gates?
  • With this they created a sustainable economic environment that will ensure that their money is in fact reaching millions of children around the globe in the form of whatever is needed for a healthy, productive life.
  • This is just part of the magic of what Bill and Melinda Gates are doing with their billions. You can see what some of their other grants are here.

I end with this paragraph from the awesome Forbes article written by Forbes writer Matthew Herper; I sincerely hope that you will read it in it’s entirety and get inspired by this amazing man –

It’s heady, historic stuff: America’s richest man—he’d be the world’s richest had he not already given away so much money—still in his prime (he just turned 56), with the reputation, resources and determination to stamp out infectious disease. “I’d be deeply disappointed,” says Gates, if in the next 25 years he can’t lower the death toll by 80%. Otherwise, “we’re just not doing our job very well.”

Now, can someone please enlighten me – is there truly any other individual alive today who is doing so much for the people of this world?

One chart presented by Bill Gates to world leaders at the G20 Summit

Read more about the progress being made by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation here.


Photo and Image Credits:

Bill and Melinda Gates By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

All other images: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Posted on November 16, 2011, in india and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Sumathi Cattamanchi

    Respected Mr. Bill Gates, There is nothing to comment about your kindness to humanity. i have only compliments.I wish i had a son like you and daughter-in-law like Melinda gates!!!!!
    I have a project in my mind. I am very old person with one foot in the grave. I am learning my computerskills since last june!!!. I dont know how to get in touch with you. Hence i am trying

    to send this message in this web page.

    It is about LEPROSY. Albeit it is less contagious than tuberculosis and aids, public ostracizes people with Leprosy. If you both can help these people any way you can, you both would be doing a devine work.
    It is prevalent in INDIA , PAKISTAN.
    We need to educate public as well as the leprosy patients as to how to deal with this situation!!! Some patients are committing suicide not able to bear the humiliations.
    In Hyderabad, INDIA Rani KUMUDINI DEVI started one institution for LEPROSY patients. Similar units should be established where ever Leprosy population is more.They deserve better.
    I am just trying to bring this to your rador screen. I know you had done lot for children immunization prigramme . You tried to eradicate malaria, aids.
    My humble request is please do something for well deserved unfortunate people.
    Thank you very much for going through this long letter.
    with regards.
    Sumathi Cattamanchi
    P.S. Iwould like to know how to get in touch by e-mail, to express my projects to you. Thank you.

  2. Sumathi Cattamanchi.

    Thanks for the response. Since I am absolutely novice to computers then, I could not access the net. After two years , just by sheer accident I came across this cite and I was so exited to see that my letter was read and responded. Thank you once again. Still I am in the process of learning. I am anxious to convey my thoughts to younger generation. This I am doing by sending to known contacts. I don’t know how many characters I could use in this space. I have an idea about a scientific investigation which could throw light on ill effects of smoking.
    I will send the details in the regular e- mail. That is where I feel comfortable. Second thing , I want to bring to your focus some of the projects in India which needs utmost importance. So many people were facing death because of fluorosis. ( fluorine content in water is high). This I had observed when I worked in Nizam institute of medicals sciences. Similarly, I found in Guntur acute leukemia in a very healthy males who worked in fields. These cases were seen during harvest season. ( may be due to pesticide). In Kurnool Guinea worms infestation is more. People are aware of so many problems . But they do not know the reasons for the problems. If we pump knowledge into the society, that will cure so many. I firmly believe, knowledge not only solves the problem but also gives directions as to how to avoid and gives correct direction to proceed. I don’t know whether I could mark a copy of my educative e- mail to you also. My computer knowledge is absolutely minimal. I am just a toddler. But I have immense perseverance. I am in the extremes of age. I will be completing my 75 years. My body is a medicine book!!!I am alert in my mind and memory is fairly good. What I want to know is !) Whether I could send by my e- mail 2) what is the length of letter.3)I am finding difficult to compress my thought and present my thoughts in precision. well, I wish you all my sincere best wishes. I appreciate so much what all you and Mrs Melanda doing for the society. I saw in time magazine Dec 26, 2005/Jan 2,2006. Mrs Melanda feeding a child with tea spoon touched my heart! I just did not know how to get in touch with you.
    I had cloistered sheltered life in U.S.A and I could not fend my self in the out side world.
    I confined to my books and music. At that time, I was battling with life threating health problems. One of my friends wanted me to put all my thoughts in a journal so that it will be useful for others. I had completed one book. Then I thought, this is going to be useful only for my family circle. My concept of our children is in different perspective. That is , it is not your child, my child or some one else’s. Children are our legacy, our treasure, our hope, our love and our future. Every adult has both obligation and responsibility to guard them and guide them. When I was struggling with these thoughts, I made up my mind to learn computers. I bought a laptop ‘WINDOWS 7’ , went to senior citizen center paid my fees and started learning computer. Because of my health problems, I am yet to complete. With the computer my dimension of the entire world changed .i had realized that knowledge is bigger than space!!!! This is the time, realization dawn on me on what Newton said, ” I am a small child picking up pebbles on sea shore , still large ocean is un explored!!” I know if I want to teach my children, I need to learn. I am putting lot of effort to ward this goal and trying to do little things in my own way .I had ambition to do some thing to down trodden in my Cattamanchi village. My mom said ” Sumathi don’t have tubular vision, World is a bigger stage. Stand firmly with both feet on the ground and look around who ever needs your help in what ever way , help then in whatever way comfortable with you. Never do any social service for society’s certificate .Happy smile and gratitude filled eyes would be your reward” She was right. Well this in short my story,
    Thank you so much once again. With all my best wishes to your staff and at home.
    I wish you all long life with peace, tranquility and bliss. My mother tongue is not English . If there are any mistakes I humbly request to forgive me either in my English or the way I had expressed or in my thought process. I am tired so i am not going through the letter again
    If you read this letter enough. Since it is very personal, use your discretion to put on net. There is nothing to hide.
    Yours truly,
    Sumanthi Cattamanchi.
    ( My full name is mile long. It is Sumathi Kumari Cattamnchi Lingamallu )
    Cattamanchi is maiden name.

    • Mrs. Sumathi – your note touched me. However, please be aware that I have no affiliation with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I am merely an avid admirer of their work from afar. To get in touch with them, please contact them directly. Their website is Good luck!
      Warm wishes – Maansi

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