President honours doctors with B C Roy National Awards

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New Delhi, July 1 (UNI) At a glittering ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan, President Pratibha Patil today gave away Dr B C Roy National Awards to 54 medical professionals.

Well-known names like Dr S H Advani, an oncologist, Dr Naresh Trehan, cardiac surgeon, Dr T P R Bhardwaj, a medical teacher, Dr S R Mittal, clinical researcher, Dr K K Aggarwal, cadiologist and Dr Vinay Aggarwal, a physician working in the field of socio-medical relief, were among the awardees.

The awards presented by the Medical Council of India were conferred on outstanding doctors and medical professionals for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The ceremony at the Ashoka Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan lasted nearly an hour and began and ended with the playing of the National Anthem.

The names were called out one by one as the President gave away the awards, often having a word with the doctors whom she was honouring.

As Dr Advani was brought on a wheelchair Mrs Patil took a few steps forward to present the honour.

The awards are conferred in memory of Dr B C Roy, whose birth day as also the date of death fall on the same day, today. The Union government in 1991 declared that July one of every year be observed as 'Doctors Day.' Dr Roy was an outstandig doctor and an illustrious public figure.

The Ashoka Hall, which gives the feel of a large jewel box, was originally built by the British as the State Ballroom. The Hall has a painted ceiling, the paintings being in Persian style. The main painting on the roof depicts a royal hunting expedition while those towards the corners show scenes from court life. The work was commissioned by Lady Wellington when her husband was the Viceroy.

The President's bodyguards with their back to the walls, the ambience of the Ashoka Hall and the manner in which the ceremony was coducted were reminiscent of the Raj era.

As the doctors took the awards, the battery of cameramen clicked away often prompting the recipients to pose for photos.

Some of the doctors have become legends in their lifetimes.

For instance, Dr Trehan did his poneering work in the field of coronary artery bypass surgery at the New York University Medical centre, New York.

The Escorts Hospital, which he headed for a long time, has performed nearly 45,000 open heart surgeries.

Dr Advani has been involved with medical oncology and hemotology along with strong involvement with other clinical branches and basic sciences. He has been a pioneer in establishing bone marrow transplants in India.

The citation relating to Dr Advani said under his able guidance medical and paediatric onclology of Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai has scaled greater heights.

Dr K K Aggarwal, President of the Heart Care Foundation and Consultant at Moolchand Medcity here, did his graduation from MGIMS in Vardha In Maharashtra. Schooled in the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Aggarwal has done stupendous work in creating public awareness relating to prevention of heart attack. He has also done considerable work in Vedic Sciences and their application to the field of medicine.

The impressive ceremony ended with a group photo with the President.

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