Indian medical mission
In 1938, after the Japanese invasion of China, the communist General Zhu De requested Jawaharlal Nehru to send some physicians to China. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the President of the Indian National Congress, made an appeal to the people through a press statement on 30 June 1938. He arranged to send a team of volunteer doctors and an ambulance by collecting a fund of Rs 22,000 on the All-Indian China Day and China Fund days on 7–9 July. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose also wrote an article in Modern Review on Japan's role in the Far East and denounced the assault on China. The key aspect of this mission was that it was a helping hand from a nation itself struggling for freedom, to another nation also struggling for its freedom. The mission was reinforced with Nehru's visit to China in 1939.
Dwarkanath Kotnis, born in a middle class Maharashtrian family from Solapur on 10 October 1910, had then graduated from the Seth G S Medical College, Bombay and was preparing for post-graduation. He asked permission of his family to volunteer for service abroad. Dwarkanath's younger sister Manorama recalls that her brother wanted to travel around the world and practice medicine at different places. She said "most members of the family knew little about China at that time. We only knew that people used to come and sell Chinese silk," While his father Shantaram encouraged young Dwarkanath to venture out, his mother was very sad because he was going that far and worse, in a war zone.