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    Posted July 4, 2014 by
    Louisville, Kentucky
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    Great Americans. Bill (sr. and jr) and Melinda Gates along with the Buffets sharing their billions with fellow human beings around the world


    Today is 4th of July 2014, the day 238 years ago USA became free of the British colonial rule. As we celebrate our independence we should also remember all those who have made USA, what it is today and what it stands for. To thank all those from the defense services who have made sacrifices for the country to defend our independence and to those who have contributed to advancement of the human race and promoted our values of freedom, liberty and free enterprise. To remember those who have been the visionaries, innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs and discoverers who have come and gone and are still amongst us. America, the land of opportunity is truly blessed to have had people who took advantage of the opportunities to be creative and do something about what they feel needs to be done to bring about a positive and essential change. America is a beautiful land but it is the people who live and have lived on this land who have made it alive and even more beautiful not only by preserving its beauty but by developing it and expressing it in many forms. Two weeks ago, I was in Seattle, Washington and unlike most tourists to Seattle stop to take a panoramic view of the beautiful city from the top of the Seattle Needle, my first stop was the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) visitor center, where I got a guided tour of the photographs and some displays of innovative pieces such as the redesigned toilet, vaccine delivery container, shelter box etc. At the entrance are several photographs including those of the founders of the BMGF, which includes Bill Gates and Melinda Gates (image 1) and William H. Gates, Sr, father of Bill Gates (image 2). In recent times, Warren Buffet and his family have also contributed his billions to the Foundation. Some of the images shown here are from the BMGF and I thank the BMGF for allowing me to take the images and share them with the readers along with my understanding of what the BMGF does globally for the poorest people of the developing and underdeveloped world. The BMGF is housed in 2 horse-shoe like, buildings (shown here in image 3 taken while descending from the elevator of the Seattle needle). The buildings house much of the 1000+ people who work for the BMGF who work globally. The focus of much of the work displayed in images 4-8, is providing drinking water and good nutrition to the undernourished and starving people through various programs, prevention of deadly diseases like malaria, AIDS, TB, polio either through providing proven protective vaccines or developing new ones, designing new ways of preserving vaccines before they are administered, supporting research from a number of institutions world wide. The acute need for more toilets in densely populated areas of the world has been fully grasped by the BMGF and at the entrance a model of a redesigned toilet, which takes little space and just a little water is displayed (image 9 left hand side). Vaccines are biological that require them to be kept at low temperatures, which are generally difficult to maintain, in remote areas of countries, with warm climates and so the BMGF supported innovation has developed a container that can keep the vaccines cold for days (image 9, right hand side). Towards the final decades of the 20th century, Bill Gates and his colleagues founded Microsoft and have given the world powerful tools like Microsoft Office, which has made the job of academicians like myself easier. Microsoft word has enabled me to do the manuscript preparation easier. Without power point, I could not have done my presentations and lectures to future medical students, pharmacy students, dental students, graduate students and world’s scientific community within short time periods. Without Excel my data could not have been organized. In this century, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates is reaching the illiterate and the poorest of the poor and caring for them and finding solutions. The billions that he made from his innovation is being channeled into enabling the world’s poorest have a better life. The BMGF is truly innovative in its organization and brings the same spirit and organization that made Microsoft into a giant enterprise to bear on solving the world’s problems. The focus of efficient direction of funds is clear in some of the areas of the focus of BMGF. Vaccines have saved lives and without BMGF, polio would not have been almost eradicated in the world and completely eradicated in most of the world (the latest being the second most populated country of the world, India). Image 10 here is that of Bill Gates, a person committed to saving lives through vaccines. The BMGF, Howard Hughes, The Wellcome Trust of England are just a few of the fine Not for profit Charitable institutions that exemplify the generosity of some generous founders to the billions of less fortunate ones. So on this 4th of July, I would like to honor the work of the Gates as well as the Buffets and inspire others to assist their fellow human beings in any way they can. Bill Melinda, and Gates senior have shown a way to billionaires on how to effectively maximize the benefit to humankind of their shared wealth. So I truly think that the Gates are the greatest Americans of my time and certainly the Greatest living Americans of the year 2014.

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