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Dr K L Chowdhury receives Rajiv Gandhi Shiromani Award

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National Integration and Economic Council (NICE) gave away the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Shromani Awards in a glittering function held in India International Center, New Delhi on 24th August. Since Dr, K L Chowdhury is away on a private visit to USA the award was received, on his behalf, by Shri Virji Bhat, Secretary Shriya Bhatt Mission Hospital and Research Center.

The Award which includes a trophy, a memento and certificate was presented by Minister of State for Planning Government of India, M V Rajasekharan.

The award is in recognition of Dr. Chowdhury’s contribution in diverse fields as a doctor, medical teacher and researcher, author, social activist, and human rights crusader but mainly for the pioneering work, by him and his team of dedicated social activists of the Shriya Bhatt Mission Hospital and Research Center, in addressing the problems of Health Trauma of Kashmiris displaced from the valley of Kashmir in the wake of terrorism.

What started, 17 years back, as a polyclinic in Jammu for the displaced Pandits, evolved into a charitable medical institution, first of its kind, which runs many health projects and medical camps for the poor patients irrespective of caste, creed, region or religion? The center now draws patients even from the valley and other far flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir. It provides free consultation, besides conducting limited investigations and providing free medicines to all the patients. Till date the hospital has examined more than 38 thousand patients, conducted 52 medical camps, undertaken 6 health surveys, and performed vaccination against Hepatitis B in three refugee camps of Kashmiris in Jammu. A Child Nutrition Programme for 200 children of Bhattal Bhaalian refugee camp, Udhampur, has been started this year. The findings of research, on the whole gamut of health trauma that have impacted the displaced population, has been presented in national and international conferences and published in various journals. Besides, Dr Chowdhury has three published books of poetry and numerous articles on medical, cultural, political and social themes to his credit.

When contacted on the phone, Dr. Chowdhury thanked NICE for the award and said it was an award for the self belief of the displaced Kashmiris, for the hard work and selfless dedication of his team in their endeavor to fight discrimination, disease and injustice, and for so many well wishers whose moral support and encouragement keeps him going.