Dr Sushovan Banerjee, better known to the residents of West Bengal’s Bolpur as ‘Ek Takar Daktar’ (one rupee doctor) for treating poor patients for just a rupee, on Sunday gave credit for his Padma Shri award to the people “for whom he has dedicated his life”.
Dr Banerjee is among the four Padma Shri awardees from West Bengal this year.
“I have been treating patients for 57 years. The Padma Shri was possible only because of them. I dedicate the award to them,” Dr Banerjee said.
The ex-Congress MLA from Birbhum district’s Bolpur seat said he received a “congratulatory call” from former President Pranab Mukherjee, with whom Banerjee says he shares a cordial relation.
“Mr Mukherjee sees me as his younger brother. He had called me up to congratulate me on Saturday evening. I told him that when one brother is a Bharat Ratna, then another should also get something,” Dr Banerjee chuckled.
The former MLA said he was surprised on knowing that he was in the list of Padma awardees this year.
“I was a Congress MLA. It was surprising for me that the BJP government at the Centre chose me for this award. Nevertheless, I am grateful to them,” he said.
Dr Banerjee said getting selected for the Padma Shri award was the “third memorable moment of his life”.
“The first was when I had received a gold medal in DCP degree and second was when people of Bolpur voted me as their MLA in 1984,” he said.
Banerjee had graduated from RG Kar Medical College in Kolkata before completing a PG degree in Pathology from Calcutta University after which he headed to London for a diploma in Haematology.
After working as a senior registrar in London for four years, Dr Banerjee chose to return to his native Bolpur to serve the needy.
Apart from Dr Banerjee, the Padma Shri was conferred on three others from West Bengal — Dr Arunoday Mondal (Medicine), Kazi Masum Akhtar (Literature and Education) and Manilal Nag (Art).
Source: Times of India