November 2015 \ Diaspora News \ Indians in west coast
Grit, Courage and Determination

By Sayantan Chakravarty
  • Mrs Deepi Singh

Introduction: From Lyallpur to Los Angeles, the extraordinary life journey of Mrs Deepi Singh, and how she overcame the handicap of a polio-stricken body to teach and serve patients with determination, grit and a smile on her face

“Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy”

—Robert A. Heinlein, science fiction writer


We live in times of forgetfulness. So when at age 81 someone distinctly recalls when and where she took her first baby steps in life, the person must be gifted with an extraordinarily sharp memory. And when at age 33 she is informed with a great deal of certitude by the head of the orthopedics department at an institution no less than the UCLA that she won’t be walking beyond age 40, and yet she is still managing fine at 81, albeit these days with a stick, she must be inordinately strong willed as well.

Meet Mrs Deepi Singh who between the ages of 5 and 81 has done quite a few remarkable things in life, stoking wonder and awe in equal measure not only in her doting husband, Mr Inder Singh, the chairman of the GOPIO International, but the community around her as well. Mrs Singh who lives in Tarzana, a suburb in Los Angeles, California, rose to become Director of Foods and Nutrition at Kaiser Permanente, an integrated managed care consortium based out of Oakland in the same state. A measure of the size of the company she worked for where she became a name to reckon with, can be gauged from this figure—in 2014, the non-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals reported a combined net income of USD 3.1 billion. And then she gave it all up to return to her favourite profession—teaching!