Padma Shri award at 81 is a wonderful feeling: Dr Leela Joshi

Ratlam: No one in Ratlam could have ever dreamt that someone amongst them could become the recipient of Padma Shri award. And that’s exactly what 81-year-old Dr Leela Joshi proved that selfless services rendered to humanity could bring glory and recognition to a small place like Ratlam.

Dr Joshi’s name has been included in the list of Padma Shri Award recipients announced on the occasion of Republic Day this year. Dr Joshi has proved that even after retirement a person can serve society.

She retired in 1997 from railway health services and since then has devoted herself to the cause of humanity by rescuing large number of children and women from the clutches of anemia in the tribal and rural belt of Ratlam district.

On Friday Dr Joshi spoke to this Free Press reporter and said that during her long professional career she has been felicitated many times but when the message announced on the eve of January 25 of being included in the list of Padma Shri Award recipients reached her, the feeling was totally different and a picture of serving humanity came right back. She said that probably it was the good wishes of numerous children and women that she became a recipient of such a prestigious award.

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Dr Joshi said that health services particularly the medical field provides opportunity to serve humanity and it gives great satisfaction when selfless services are rendered. She appealed those medicos of the country to contribute for the betterment of society as much as possible.

I have seen more than 3.5 lakh children having anemia in tribal and rural belts and it was most satisfactory moment when after treatment a child reported improved hemoglobin range, she said. “I have received many honours but this time after being chosen for Padam Shri award at the age of 81 it is a wonderful feeling and I am thankful to tribal and rural children and women who gave me an opportunity to serve them and to the President of India, she added.

But in my journey of serving people after retirement from the post of chief medical director, Assam in the year 1997 voluntary organisation ‘Shree Sewa Sansthan’ members support from its foundation time in 2003 was very encouraging and due to their cooperation service to humanity in rural and tribal belts could be possible.

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Dr Joshi who completed her MBBS from MGM Indore in 1961 joined the railway health services and served on many important posts like executive director health in railway ministry in 1991. She also did her MD. After retirement from railways Dr Leela Joshi settled in Ratlam and is also the state coordinator of Pink India Mission of Indian Medical Association.

After the announcement of Padam Shri award district collector Ruchika Chauhan paid Dr Joshi a visit and congratulated her.

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