Kashmiri Person of the Year -2007
We are pleased to announce that the very first Kashmiri Person of the Year -2007 award has been proffered upon Dr. Kundan Lal Chowdhury
“In recognition of his decades of public service as a doctor, his untiring efforts to provide free medical care to the needy through the Shriya Bhat Mission Hospital as well as his contributions to society as a community activist, writer and poet.”
The Kashmiri Person of the Year is selected by our Editorial Board and given to a Kashmiri in recognition of considerable achievements towards the improvement and well being of others and/or for earning a good name and favorable recognition for him/herself and the Kashmiri people. The award carries a Plaque of Honor and a Certificate.
Dr. Kundan Lal Chowdhury was born in Srinagar, Kashmir, a few years before India’s independence. He was one of the most reputed doctors in the Kashmir and later in 1990 he moved to Jammu to mainly dedicate himself in the service of those who were displaced from the valley due to the violence there.
Dr. Chowdhury was the first to draw attention of the world to the great human tragedy arising out of forced displacement and pathetic living conditions in the camps of displaced people. He is credited with the identification of syndromes and conditions in an exiled population such as “Stress Diabetes”, “The Syndrome of Exiles”, “The Syndrome of Premature Menopause”, “The 10th -12th syndrome”, among others. He drew attention and concern of the world towards low birth rate and high death rate in the displaced population of Kashmiri Hindus and the looming threat of extinction of this distinct ethnic-religious community.
One of his recent papers is a compilation of his 14 year cumulative experience of the Health trauma of an exiled population. The paper is entitled “Health Trauma of Displaced Kashmiris” which contains path-breaking findings on the multidimensional physical and mental trauma of a population forced into prolonged and adverse displacement.
Some of his other medical papers are:
Dr. K.L. Chowdhury is the recipient of the prestigious National Integration and Economic Council (NICE) Rajiv Gandhi Shiromani Award. The award was in recognition of Dr. Chowdhury’s contribution in diverse fields as a doctor, medical teacher and researcher, author, social activist, and human rights crusader but mainly for the pioneering work, by him and his team of dedicated social activists of the Shriya Bhatt Mission Hospital and Research Center, in addressing the problems of Health Trauma of Kashmiris displaced from the valley of Kashmir in the wake of terrorism.
Shriya Bhat Mission Hospital (SBMH) and a Request for Support
What started, 17 years back, as a polyclinic in Jammu for the displaced Pandits has evolved into a charitable medical institution which runs several health projects and medical camps for underprivileged patients, without discrimination. The center treats patients even from the valley and other far flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir. The hospital has examined more than 38 thousand patients, conducted 52 medical camps, undertaken 6 health surveys, and performed vaccination against Hepatitis B in three refugee camps of Kashmiris in Jammu. A Child Nutrition Program for 200 children of Bhattal Bhaalian refugee camp, Udhampur, has been started this year.
The hospital was commissioned on 25th March 2001. Dr. K L Chowdhury, physician and the Chief Patron, inaugurated the hospital in a simple yet impressive ceremony attended by nearly 300 members of the exiled community. Soon after the ceremony he launched the first Medical camp in the premises on the same day. A team of specialists examined 130 diabetes patients. Their blood sugar estimation was carried out and each patient received an instruction booklet and a month’s supply of free medicines. A small beginning was thus made in a large mission.
Since then the hospital is working as a multi-disciplinary clinic with consultants in internal medicine, neurology, general surgery, urology, orthopedics and dermatology in regular attendance. While the displaced doctors association attended to sixteen thousand odd patients, the Shriya Bhat mission hospital has so far registered more than ten thousand patients. All the patients receive a free 3-4 week supply of available medicines. Pharmaceutical houses send their representatives on a regular basis to replenish the depleting supplies from time to time. Over the years some more amenities have been added like an air conditioner, refrigerator, ECG machines, glucometers, nebulizers, traction apparatus etc. Subsidized or free investigations are conducted outside the mission hospital for needy patients. The centre is open to every person without discrimination.
The present structure is at best a suburban polyclinic, essentially catering to one refugee colony. It is not easily accessible to a large section of the displaced population. Yet the growing number of patients, both from the indigenous as well as the displaced population, mandates the urgent need for expansion and for admitting facilities.
In fact the Mission hospital is an ambitious project and a part of the larger vision of establishing a modern multi-specialty hospital, which will form the nucleus for a medical institution. This will entail relocation to larger premises that will reach out to a sizeable population
To this end SBMH proposes to acquire a large piece of land, about 10-15 acres, that can be developed in a phased manner over the next few years.
The first stage will be the construction of a 30-bed hospital, which will have scope for further expansion to a 200-bed hospital and research centre. The hospital will be equipped with modern gadgets for investigation and treatment - a computerized laboratory, X-ray machines, ultrasound, monitors, operation theatres with state of art gadgets, central sterilization, and a computerized filing and record section and a library to help research activities. More facilities will be added with the phased development of the institution.
SBMH expects favorable response from every concerned person. Meanwhile, the Medical Centre will pursue with vigor the health awareness and educational programs that have already been initiated in the community. Disease detection camps and surveys will be organized on a larger scale.
Please visit www.sbmh.org the website which outlines the detailed goals and mission of the hospital. The timelines have slipped and some procedures have changed. Only you can help put the big hospital project on track immediately.
In case you want to support or join the mission of the Shriya Bhat Mission Hospital, please email Dr. Chowdhury directly or you may reach him through firstname.lastname@example.org. Besides supporting the project for a larger hospital, you may also volunteer your services as a medical professional or contribute for the immediate wish list for the daily working of the SBMH.
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