12 Heroes of Medicine Receive Padma Shri Award 2020

Padmashri Awards are given to people who have achieved something exemplary in their field. These 12 doctors received the Padmashri in 2020 for their outstanding work in the field of medicine.


1Padma Shri Awards 2020

The Government of India has always continued with its tradition of awarding the Padma Shri to deserving heroes all over India. This year, it has selected 12 doctors among others and conferred them with this prestigious award.

Padmashri is one of the highest civilian awards in India, the others being Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.

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2Dr. Yogi Aeron

Dr. Yogi Aeron is the 82-year-old doctor from Uttarakhand who is known for providing free treatment to burn patients. Treatments for burns often cost astronomical amounts, often involving extensive hospitalization and numerous surgeries. This doctor does it all for free and has more than 5,000 free surgeries to his credit. He also attends to people attacked by animals. The government hospitals in the area often refer him to their patients for treatment.

3Dr. Padmavathy Bandopadhyay

This brave heart of Uttar Pradesh is a trendsetter in many ways. She is the first woman Air Marshal in the history of the Indian Air Force. She is also the first woman officer to become an aviation medicine specialist. As a part of the Aerospace Medical Society of India, she is the first Indian woman to conduct research at the North Pole. This 75-year-old lady is also the first woman to have completed the Defence Service Staff College course and to command the CME (Central Medical Establishment). She was also the first woman officer to be made Air Vice Marshal.Dr. Bandopadhyay has received the Visisht Seva Medal for her contribution in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.

4Dr. Sushovan Banerjee


Dr. Sushovan Banerjee from West Bengal treats his patients for a consulting fee of Rs. 1. He originally graduated from the Calcutta University and was working in London after completing his diploma in Haematology from there. In the 1960s, he came back to India and has been working here ever since. He decided to dedicate his life to the service of the poor. He settled in his village of Bolapur in West Bengal. This 81-year-old doctor is called “Ek Takar Doctor” by the locals because of his low fees.

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5Dr. Digambar Behera

Dr. Digambar Behera from Chandigarh is a senior professor in the department of pulmonary medicine at PGIMER. He is known for his relentless research in the field of chest medicine and TB medicine in India. He is now the chairman of the national task force of the National Tuberculosis Elimination Program and some divisions of the ICMR-based Indian Tuberculosis Research Consortium. He is a pioneer in the field of lung cancer chemotherapy. After spending 42 years in this field, the 66-year-old has further plans of working towards TB elimination and lung cancer treatment.

6Dr. Leela Joshi

Dr. Leela Joshi is a gynaecologist who has dedicated herself to improving the health of the tribal women in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. She is called the Mother Teresa of MP for her selfless service. This 82-year-old doctor provides free medical services to the tribal women in and around Ratlam for the last 22 years. She was listed among the top 100 Influential Women in India.

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7Dr. B.N. Gangadhar

Dr. Bangalore Nanjundaiah Gangadhar is the director of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS). He has extensive experience in the field of mental health. His key research interests are Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), Schizophrenia, Community Psychiatry, and Public Health and Yoga. He has more than 300 research publications in leading journals to his name. He has received several other awards for his work including the prestigious Sir CV Raman Award and Doctor’s Day Award from the Karnataka Government.

8Dr. Ravi Kannan R

Dr. Kannan was a practicing oncologist in Chennai when he saw the dismal rates of cancer treatment in Silchar in the Barak Valley in Assam. There were no medical facilities available for the rural residents, the nearest hospital being 300 km away. The Cachar Cancer Hospital serving these patients was struggling with resources and the patients were suffering as well. Dr. Kannan quit his job and moved there. Under his leadership, the small cancer centre has transformed into a full-fledged hospital. Due to its proximity to the border, there is limited access to medical resources. Even under these circumstances, the hospital manages to treat over 3,000 patients annually. Some of them are very poor daily-wage workers. Dr. Kannan has personally treated over 70,000 patients for free including providing accommodation, food, and employment. He also works actively to spread awareness about cancer.

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9Dr. Arunoday Mondal

Dr. Arunoday Mondal has been treating patients free of cost in the remote Sunderbans area of West Bengal. This 67-year-old doctor treats around 12,000 patients annually. Every weekend, he travels for 6 hours to provide medical services to those in rural areas. He has set up his clinic called “Sujan” at his own house. He is popularly known as Sunderbaner Sujan in the area. He has been serving people without any government support for the last 20 years. He hopes to serve future patients to the best of his abilities.

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10Dr. Shanti Roy

Dr. Shanti Roy is a gynaecologist from Patna. She is a retired professor and HOD of the Gynaecology Department at the Patna Medical College. She has worked extensively in the field of women’s health. Her contribution to promoting women’s well-being and empowerment is enormous.

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11Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma

Dr. Sarma is more popularly known as the Elephant Doctor in Assam. He is a veterinarian from Guwahati who has dedicated his life to saving the Asian elephant. He treats more than 700 elephants a year. According to some, he has not taken a weekend off for the last 10 years. His research in the field of elephant anaesthetics, especially remote tranquilizers is notable. He is also a key player in the conservation of the Indian one-horned rhino.

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12Dr. Gurdip Singh

Dr. Gurdip Singh is the senior professor of Ayurveda at the SDM College of Ayurveda and Hospital at Hassan. He has worked ceaselessly to systemize Ayurveda to meet international standards.

13Dr. Sandra Desa Souza

Dr. Sandra Desa Souza is an ENT Head, Neck and Cochlea Implant Surgeon in Mumbai. She is the first ENT surgeons in the world to pioneer the cochlear implant surgery in Asia. She is also one of the first Indian ENT surgeons to perform artificial ear operations. She has given hearing to thousands of patients. She has been practicing ENT surgery for the last 45 years and has held several international workshops on various ENT procedures.

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