Dr. Bipin K. Shah: A Renaissance Man

Dr. Bipin K. Shah

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Dr. Bipin K. Shah of Clifton, New Jersey passed away peacefully on November 13, 2023 after battling illness.  In his final days, Bipin’s home was filled with the blessings of friends, family, and colleagues.

Bipin Shah was born to Kantilal and Jasud Shah in Gujarat on September 29, 1937. He had two older sisters and lived with his father’s family on their ancestral farm in a village in Kheda, Gujarat.  Bipin and his family shifted to the nearby city Ahmedabad after his father got a job as a clerk at a hospital.  Following a promotion, they once again relocated, this time to Mumbai where Bipin attended an all-boys school.

Bipin was raised following the Jain faith, whose core beliefs revolve around nonviolence and compassion.  When he was young, food scarcity spread throughout the country due to World War II.  Bipin recalled wondering why his family had access to so much food while others were dying from starvation.  He then dedicated his life to helping the less fortunate in any way he could, exhibiting the Jain values of kindness and service.

Bipin fell in love with his family’s next door neighbor Ela Sonpal, who he married in 1963.  Their wedding was nothing short of extraordinary, with the three-day grand event being hosted by Ela’s father.  To transport Bipin’s family in Ahmedabad, the couple went the extra mile and rented out a train to ensure that every beloved member could be part of the joyous celebration.

Bipin’s journey then led him to Grand Medical College in Mumbai, where he pursued his dream of becoming a doctor. However, tragedy struck when his firstborn fell seriously ill during the crucial time of his board exams. Despite the heart-wrenching loss, Bipin exhibited remarkable resilience and determination. In the face of unimaginable grief, he not only pressed on but also took and passed his board exams, showcasing his unwavering work ethic and steadfast spirit.

At the request of his friend, Bipin took a job at the Cardiac Care Center(CCC) in the Gujarati village of Khambhat.  He and Ela selflessly gave up their city life to move to the village where Bipin committed himself to improving the conditions of the struggling hospital, staying there for 7 years.

In Khambhat, Bipin’s young daughter Bindi was bitten by a venomous cobra and, if it weren’t for his unyielding efforts, she would have died.  Realizing that snakes were a severe problem in the village, Bipin co-founded the snake bite unit in Khambhat which specialized in treating venomous bites. The year prior to founding the unit, 89 snake bite victims had died due to the lack of knowledge about the bites, resources, and anti-venom.  However, since its formation, the village has had 0 deaths due to snake bites because of the hard work of Bipin and his colleagues.

In 1971, Bipin, Ela, and their two children moved to Montclair, New Jersey, where Bipin worked for over 30 years as a physician and Ela pursued art.  Even after his retirement later in life, Bipin still worked with and volunteered at the CCC in Khambhat with over 20 years of service.

He was truly a renaissance man, well versed on the topics of art, music, politics, and religion.  Bipin was a world traveler and a staunch advocate for gender equality and women’s rights.  Many in his family describe him as both the wise philosopher you would go to for advice and the hilarious jokester whose laugh lit up every room.

Bipin’s devotion to caring for others is carried on by his two children, Dr. Bindi Shah and Dr. Dhwani Shah.  Bindi married Rohan Sukhdeo, a lawyer and musician, and had Deven and Kaya. Dhwani married Dr. Amy Shah, and had Maanav and Mia.

Whether it was saving the lives of the less fortunate or giving much needed input on life struggles or even something as simple as telling you a joke to brighten up a bad day, Dr. Bipin Shah’s legacy is his unwavering dedication to compassion and giving help to those in need.



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