NEW YORK (TIP): The man who made healthcare affordable and accessible for billions in the Third World and has been showered with many international awards, including the third highest civilian award of Republic of India, Padma Bhushan, was honored with yet another award. Aligarh Medical Alumni Association of North America (AMAANA) held a special event in collaboration with the Consulate General of India on May 13th to confer on Dr Yusuf Khwaja Hamied, Chairman, Cipla Ltd. the prestigious “Jawaharlal Nehru Lifetime Achievement Award”.
The ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Lifetime Achievement Award for Medicine, Public Health and Allied Sciences’ has been instituted to recognize truly outstanding individuals in their particular fields during their lifetimes.
Dr Hamied is an immensely distinguished chemical scientist, a gifted entrepreneur, a nationalist and most of all a humanitarian at heart. He was recognized ‘for his outstanding contributions to the development and distribution of affordable, life-saving medications’ to the less fortunate people of the developing nations.
The historic event was attended by more than 75 distinguished guests including Deputy Consul General Dr M K Mohapatra; Dr Hamied’s wife, Mrs. Farida Hamied; the Consul General’s wife, Mrs. Sadhna Mulay who is a Commissioner of Income Tax in India and was here on vacation, Prof. Indrajit S Saluja, Editor, The Indian Panorama and Donald McNeil, a noted New York Times Science reporter.
The President of AMAANA, Dr Ashraf Khan welcomed the guests and gave an outline of the association’s objectives, mission and activities.
Ambassador Mulay, as a co-host of the event said, “We are honored to have such a distinguished personality in the Consulate.” Turning to Dr. Hamied, he said, “both US and India are vying to honor you” for your contribution to healthcare of billions across the world. Quoting in Sanskrit from an old Indian writing, he said, “Physician is the co-brother of Yamaraj (Hindu god of Death); I salute you”.
Dr Kenneth Robbins, a psychiatrist, a collector of Indian art and an expert on African Elite and Jews in India, a biographer for Dr. Hamied spoke about his association with him. Mr. William Haddad, an investigative reporter, said Dr. Hamied is this “one man with the dream, with the ability, with the talent, with the background, and with the courage to go ahead and save millions of lives”.
Conducting the program, Dr Tazeen Beg, Secretary of AMAANA, highlighted the Cipla story and the efforts, achievements and accolades of Dr Yusuf Hamied over the years through a power point presentation.
Dr Yusuf Hamied accepted the “award humbly” and reminisced about his family’s association with Aligarh Muslim University and the relationship of his father with Mahatma Gandhi who was instrumental in inculcating in him the spirit of nationalism and self-reliance. Later talking to the JNMC alumni and other Aligarhians about the ‘numaish’ etc. he said he felt very nostalgic. He spoke of the need to provide affordable healthcare to billions across the world. He said, ““Healthcare is not just a business; you have to have a humanitarian vision”.
Ashraf Khan thanked Consul General Mulay for helping the association host the event at the magnificent ballroom of the Consulate and the guests for attending the grand reception.
On the occasion, a documentary on the life and work of Dr. Hamied was also exhibited.
Aligarh Medical Alumni Association of North America (AMAANA) is a not-for-profit organization that represents alumni of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), Aligarh Muslim University, India residing in the United States and Canada. It was established exclusively for educational, scientific and charitable purposes. Its mission is to contribute to the advancement of the medical profession and technology; sharing of knowledge; and to recognize outstanding physicians, scientists and academicians for their lifetime achievements. The organization also provides a forum for the alumni to discuss local issues pertaining to healthcare and the practice of Medicine in the United States and Canada.