Born in 1957 as a poor farmer's son in a small village Makegaon in Latur district of Maharashtra, Dr. Tatyarao Pundlikrao Lahane educated himself under the scheme 'Earn while you learn' and graduated in the field of Medicine from Marathwada University, Aurangabad in 1981. He obtained his surgical training and passed the Master of Surgery degree in Ophthalmology from the same University in 1985. He conducted numerous cataract surgery camps in rural Maharashtra while serving as a Lecturer and subsequently as an Associate Professor at the Rural Medical College, Ambejogai. Failing kidneys and deteriorating health brought him to Mumbai in 1994 where he joined work as Professor and Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Sir J.J. Group of Hospitals and Grant Medical College. His single-handed dedication, determination and hard work has made the Department of Ophthalmology, Sir J. J. Group of Hospitals the most advanced tertiary Eye Care Centre in Maharashtra today. In spite of being on life support medicines after his kidney transplant in 1995 he continues to work 12 to 14 hours a day, performing state of art surgeries like phacoemulsification, sutureless cataract surgery, keratoplasty, all types of lasers, paediatric surgery and cancer surgery, totally free for poor patients.
Dr. Lahane's contribution also includes pioneering activities in community ophthalmology, which are not part of his duties, in the Medical College but done as social work, in his off duty time. He is the pioneer of advanced phacoemulsification and stitch-less surgeries in eye camps in rural Maharashtra. He has conducted 120 such camps, all over Maharashtra including 196 camps in tribal areas. He is the pioneer of such advanced cataract surgeries in leprosy patients. Since the year 2000, he has operated 1491 leprosy patients with complicated cataracts in Hon. Baba Amte's Anandvan Ashram, reducing the complication rate from 35% to less than 1%. He has restored vision to hundreds of blind children and adults by successful corneal transplants.
Dr Lahane embodies the rare combination of surgical brilliance and humanitarian inclination. His eye camp surgical patients travel many miles to queue up for 'Lahane baba's' camps in the base hospitals; such is their faith in his ability to restore their vision. He has conducted live surgical workshops and Instruction courses in advanced surgical techniques all over India. He has more than 200 presentations in National Conferences. Through public lectures, newspaper articles and electronic media he has campaigned to create awareness for Eye Donation. He is the Associate Editor of Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, an Index Journal, member of Academic Council of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences and President of the Bombay Ophthalmologists' Association (BOA) and Maharashtra Ophthalmological Society (MOS). Bombay Ophgthalmologists' Association and Maharashtra Ophthalmological Society are two major Associations in India with more than 1500 members, working towards the goal of blindness control and prevention. He is a member of Management Council of Maharashtra University of Health Services.
Dr. Lahane has received numerous awards for his contributions to scientific knowledge and for his vast social work. These include 'Best Professor Award', 'Athavale Award', 'Marathwada Gaurav Puraskar', 'Karveer Jeevan Gaurav Puraskar', 'Gold medal for Best Community Services', 'Utkrushta Karyakarta Puraskar', 'Samajik Krutadnyata Puraskar', 'Lokmat Marathwada Gaurav Puraskar', 'Latur Gaurav Puraskar', 'Dr. Mulay Memorial Oration award', 'Dr. Daljit Singh gold medal', 'Lifetime achievement award', 'Giant's International Award', 'Best Doctor Award',and many more. Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra felicitated him in August 2007 for the feat of performing 1,41,000 cataract surgeries. Zee TV "Ananya Sanman 2008". He was awarded "Drushticon Award" by Uttar Pradesh Ophthalmic Society in the 23rd Annual Conference. He was felicitated with "Nashik Nagari Satkar" by great Social Worker Mr. Anna Hajare. Felicitated with "Lokmat Gaurav" puraskar on 9th January 2008. Felicitated with 'Padmashri' award for the year 2008. Hon. Mayor of Mumbai has felicitated him with 'Nagari Satkar'.
He is presently handling the charge of Dean of Sir J. J. Group of Hospitals, without affecting number of eye surgeries in the Department of Ophthalmology.