Dwarkanath Shantaram Kotnis is one Indian doctor whose name continues to be revered by the Chinese people was one of the Indian doctors who were sent to China to provide medical assistance to ailing people during the Second Sino-Japanese war in 1938. He is regarded as a symbol of Sino-Indian friendship.
Dr. Kotnis was part of the five doctors team which volunteered to serve the people of China after Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, had made a written appeal via a press statement on June 30, 1938. Netaji was successful in sending the team 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.
The team consisted of:
- Dr. Atal from Allahabad
- Cholkar from Nagpur
- D.Kotnis from Sholapur
- B.K. Basu from Calcutta
- Debesh Mukherjee
Dr. Kotnis stayed on In China for 5 years working on mobile clinics and serving the wounded. In 1939, he joined the Eighth Route Army which was led by Mao Zedong. Dr. Kotnis had a tough time at the battlefront where he had to work for stretched hours. He treated about 800 patients and was appointed as the Director of the Dr. Bethune International Peace Hospital named after the famous Canadian surgeon Norman Bethune. He was honoured by both China and India with stamps.