- Indian government announced 141 Padma Awards for the year 2020
- Among them were 13 doctors who remarkably contributed to the health of the nation
- Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honors of India announced every year on Republic Day
Indian government conferred 141 Padma Awards marking the celebrations of Republic day and honored their contributions to the society. Among those honored were 13 doctors (who may not be in public eye), but have been contributing to the health of our nation through their remarkable service.
Padma Awards, one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories:
- Padma Vibhushan - awarded for exceptional and distinguished service
- Padma Bhushan - awarded for distinguished service of high order
- Padma Shri - awarded for distinguished service in any field
Dr. Yogi Aeron - Uttarakhand: The octogenarian plastic surgeon, is known around the area of Dehradun for providing free treatment to burn patients who cannot afford. The 82-year old KGMU pass out is the go to man in the area as well as afar for burn victims and those attacked by animals. Even the government hospitals in the area are seen referring patients to his center for treatment. He's got the credit of conducting more than 5000 free surgeries.
Dr. Padmavathy Bandopadhyay - Uttar Pradesh: She is the first woman in the history of Indian Air Force to be promoted to the rank of Air Marshal. She had the distinction of being the first woman officer to become an aviation medicine specialist. Being the first Indian woman fellow of the Aerospace Medical Society of India, she had conducted a scientific research at the North Pole. Dr. Padma Bandopadhyay was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal for her meritorious service during the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict, as she and her husband made key contributions at the Halwara airbase in Punjab during the war.
Dr. Sushovan Banerjee - West Bengal: Dr. Bandopadya (81 years), an MBBS graduate of RG Kar Medical college, and PG Pathology from Calcutta University, was working in London. In 1960s, he decided to come back to his country and serve the poor. In 1964, the doctor relocated to his village in Bolapur, West Bengal. He has been treating patients for a consultation fee of Rs 1 since then and because of his fees, he's popularly known as "Ek Takar doctor."
Dr. Digambar Behera - Chandigarh: Dr. Behera is known for his contributions to the field of Chest Medicine and TB Medicine in India. He is a pioneer of lung cancer chemotherapy as well as the chairman of the national task force of the National Tuberculosis Elimination Program. He was the former Head of the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, PGIMER.
Dr. Bangalore Gangadhar - Karnataka: Dr. BN Gangadhar is a well-known psychiatrist having more than 30 years of extensive experience in the field of mental health, from both clinical and academic perspectives. He is the director of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences. Previously, he's been conferred to the prestigious Sir C.V. Raman Award in 1999 and the BC Roy Award in 2010 for his contribution to the field of mental health.
Dr. Leela Joshi - Madhya Pradesh: Dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the tribal woman in the MP and Chattisgarh area, gynecologist Dr. Joshi has dedicated her life being engaged in tribal dominated areas providing free treatment to women with anemia, pregnancies and other issues. For her immense contribution to the tribals, she was also named in the list of 100 effective women of the country in the list of Department of Women and Child Development.
Dr. Ravi Kannan R - Assam: A prominent practicing surgical Oncologist in Chennai, Dr. Kannan moved to the Barak Valley Assam in June 2007, coming in aid to the ailing Cachar Cancer Hospital Society that was struggling with resources and serving the patients and an area where the incidence of cancer is much higher. Under his leadership, the hospital has made a remarkable journey and is providing treatment to over 3000 new and 14000 follow-up patients annually, 80 percent of these patients being daily wage earners. In his journey the doctor has treated over 70,000 cancer patients free of cost in Barak valley including accommodation, food, employment and spreading awareness.
Dr. Arunoday Mondal - West Bengal: Serving in the remote forest areas of Sunderbans, Dr. Arunoday Mondal set up a free medical service center, in 2000, and since then has been providing free treatment to the locals in the remote area. His center "SUJAN" has steering ahead with expansion in multidirectional ushering ventures like education, social service etc. Arunoday Mondal, known as 'Sunderban ke Sujan' itravels six hours every weekend to treat patients in remote Sundarban villages.
Dr. Shanti Roy - Bihar: A gynecologist from Patna, Dr. Shanti Roy is a retired Professor and HOD, Gynecology department, Patna Medical College. Specializing the field of women's health, Dr. Shanti has dedicated her life to not just promoting women's well-being but also matters of encouragement of women in other domains of life
Dr. Kushal Konwar Sharma - Assam: Kushal Knowar Sarma, also known as the Elephant Doctor a veterinarian in Guwahati, has devoted his life to the conservation of Asian elephants. Interestingly, he has not taken a single weekend off in the last 30 years as per media reports. He is acclaimed for treating more than 700 elephants every year. He has pioneered research in elephant anesthetics, especially using remote tranquilizing injection technique.
Dr. Gurdip Singh - Gujarat
Dr. Sandra Desa Souza - Maharashtra: A noted ENT surgeon practicing in Bombay, Dr. Souza was one of the first ENT surgeons in the country to perform artificial ear operations, is credited to have given the gift of hearing to thousands of patients. She was the first woman surgeon to pioneer the Cochlear implant surgery in India and Asia in the year 1987.
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Hannah Joy. "Padma Awards 2020: President Honors 13 Unsung Heroes of Medicine". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/padma-awards-2020-president-honors-13-unsung-heroes-of-medicine-192765-1.htm. (accessed Jul 04, 2022).
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