From conservation of Asian elephants to treating thousands of cancer patients at zero cost -- there are several awardees who were on Saturday selected for Padma Shri Award ahead of the 71st Republic Day.
Ravi Kannan, also known Silchar's saviour, is a surgical oncologist from Chennai, who has treated over 70,000 cancer patients free of cost in Barak valley. The treatment includes accommodation, food, employment and spreading awareness.
He is known to have transformed the rural cancer centre into a full-fledged hospital and research centre. He quit his job in Chennai and shifted to Assam with family in 2007 to make healthcare accessible in the Barak valley, where before his intervention, the nearest hospital was 300 km away.
Kushal Knowar Sarma, 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. He is acclaimed for treating more than 700 elephants every year.
He has pioneered research in elephant anesthetics, especially using remote tranquilizing injection technique.
Arunoday Mondal, also known as 'Sunderban ke Sujan' is a doctor who travels six hours every weekend to treat patients in remote Sundarban villages. More than 250 people, 80% of whom are poor, are treated every weekend across a range of treatments from heart to eyes, thyroid, gynaecology & paediatrics.
He also arranges medicines, conducts medical camps and blood donation drives. He set up Sujan Sundarban, a free medical service centre at his residence in Chandanpur after Bengal floods in the year 2000.
The list also includes Yogi Aeron, known as Himalaya's helping hand. He started Helping Hand, Dehradun, and is dedicated to providing medical help to the hill people. He treats over 500 patients free of cost every year. The patients include those suffering from burns or are mauled by animals.
His patients are mostly poor, hill women from remote villages in the Himalayas. He has organized 14 days' camps in remote villages for the last 13 years.