Reaching out to the world

Nobody who is in need of medical attention should be left untreated: Dr Batra

While many choose their career path, for Padma Shri recipient Dr Mukesh Batra, it was as if the profession chose him. Born on July 1, 1951 (Doctor’s Day), Dr Batra is known for pioneering modern homeopathy in India and his service to society. On his 66th birthday, Dr Batra said he felt blessed that God put him in a position that allowed him to reach out to those in need through his practice and service. “By the very nature of our profession, doctors are always giving,” said Dr Batra. “All of us need to give a part of ourselves if we wish to see a change in society.” A believer of giving up oneself for service, he established the Dr Batra’s™ Positive Health Foundation in 2001 — his 50th birthday. He also has about 168 free clinics that provide consultation, treatment and medicines. “During my early years of struggle, I would treat patients who couldn’t afford medical expenses free of cost. That’s when the thought of free clinics came to me. Nobody who is in need of medical attention should be left untreated,” he said. Dr Batra recollected meeting a patient with acute depression, but couldn’t afford to pay his bills. “His life changed after our treatment,” he said. “There have been close to 50,000 patients who have benefited from our free clinics.” The foundation also works in the areas of nutrition through ‘Annamrita’. Their ‘Feed a Child’ initiative has crossed the one lakh mark in a year. “In our country, 79 per cent children are anaemic — the future of our country is at high risk. Eradicating hunger is the first step towards a healthy India,” said Dr Batra. Another area he is proud of is the ‘Dr Mukesh Batra Homeopathy Scholarship’. “There have been many deserving students whom we have awarded our scholarships to. I remember a father who would have had to mortgage his agricultural land if not for the scholarship.” So, what’s next for this multi-faceted personality? “The past year has been extremely fulfilling with my stint as the president of Rotary Club of Bombay,” he said. “I have been fortunate to devote my time and expertise on several projects like providing drinking water to over two lakh people, medical assistance in rural areas, and 100 paediatric heart surgeries. I will soon be co-authoring a book, the royalty for which will go to charity.” An award-winning doctor and an acclaimed author, Dr Batra uses his interest in photography and music to raise funds for social causes through an annual charity concert, Yaadon Ki Bahaar, and an exhibition, Magic Moments. “I keep pushing myself to enhance my talents so that I can give back more to society,” he explained. On the advice he’d like to give to new doctors, he said, “Not everyone gets a chance to have an impact on society. Blessed are those who give rather than receive.”