Mr. Richard Condorelli was born in Catania, Sicily. He moved to America as a young man. A part-time teacher and a true gentleman, he was a patient and friend of Dr. Ashok Patel for many years. Mr. Condorelli and Dr. Patel built a close friendship that transcended the normal doctor-patient relationship. Mr. Condorelli became a fatherly figure for Dr. Patel, who had a profound influence on Mr. Condorelli’s life through his dental work. He had extensive knowledge of Hinduism and was a devotee at Hare Krishna temple in Boston.
Upon Mr. Condorelli’s death, Dr. Patel traveled to India and disposed of his friend’s remains in a traditional Indian ceremony, as he would have done for his own father. His remains were honorably disposed of at Panchvati in Nasik, Maharashtra. It was during the road trip from Surat to Nasik that the beauty and poverty of Dang inspired Dr. Patel to do something to help the region’s tribal inhabitants. On the way back from Nasik, a chance meeting with a government officer in Ahwa alerted Dr. Patel to the utter lack of healthcare in Dang district.
A few months later, Dr. Patel was astounded to hear that Mr. Condorelli had left him his entire savings. He used the money to found Richard Condorelli Memorial Foundation and KJP Charitable Trust. These foundations conceived Vanbandhu Arogya Dham (VAD), a World Class Healthcare Facility, nearing completion, being built in Ahwa, Dang, Gujarat, India, for the benefit of thousands of underprivileged tribal people of Dang and surrounding areas.