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Daya Kishore Hazra

Meeting the Peoples’ President – APJ Abdul Kalam Azad

3 days ago, on 27th July, the beloved 11th president of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam passed away. Social media has been awash with condolences. We asked two of our authors, who had the priviledge of meeting him in person, to share their thoughts with us.

A Memorable Day in My Life – By Dr S K Haldar
It was 2002, Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was visiting and addressing school children in remote areas and city schools in all corners of the country. As part of that, he also came to Udaipur. He has a busy schedule the whole day with the local school children. He wanted to address the citizens of Udaipur at the end of the day. The talk was schedule to start at 6 in the evening in the auditorium of Udaipur Medical College and I was fortunate to be an invitee.

I reached the venue at 5 PM as is my nature and being the first person in the audience, I sat right in the front row. Soon people started coming in and taking their seats. Around 5:40 pm, there was some commotion at the entry door and I saw the great noble soul appear. He looked at clock on the wall, picked up an ordinary chair and sat in front of me. I wished him, he reciprocated and extended his hand. He proposed the people should ask him questions till the official program began. He was a good listener. The chairman of the occasion was yet to reach the venue.

At exact 6 PM he stopped the discussion, went to the podium, took the microphone and started addressing the audience. He was a good story teller and I remember one such story he told. He was invited by his doctor friend for diner at their house in Tamil Nadu. Both the doctor and his wife were medical professionals and wanted their only daughter to go to medical school.  But the daughter wanted to study physics. Their only request to Dr Kalam was to convince their daughter to join the noble medical course. Dr Kalam had a discussion with the girl for almost an hour and listened to her quietly. She was very sincere and focused. She wanted to study physics because her ultimate goal was to be a missile scientist.  Dr Kalam came out of the room and told the parents that he will either join the diner and pay for it or else he will skip the diner as he could not convince the young student. He was very clear that the parents may guide their child but the student should opt to follow the career he/she likes best.

By that time the chairman of the ceremony reached the venue, extend his sincere apologies for not being on time and requested him to visit Udaipur at the end of the year to receive the “Moharana Mewar Annua Award”.He came to Udaipur again for receiving the award and I was fortunate to see him again. 

“My sincere salute to People’s President, AJP Abdul Kalam”
Remembering Dr Kalam – By Dr Daya Kishore Hazra

Today I remember how I was privileged to meet President Dr Abdul Kalam to present my dream of a Therapeutic Biomolecule Centre  for India (similar to that in the UK at Oxford ) to develop lead molecules- monoclonal antibodies and peptides -, as targeted therapy missiles- for treating cancers and infections at affordable prices  without exorbitantly priced imports… He was gracious, affectionate, and immediately suggested an action plan linking INMAS and a prominent biotechnology corporation. That was just a few months before his Presidential term finished, and I still hope to achieve this, and I am sure that had he continued for a second term, this dream would already have seen fruition! My homage to this great but disarmingly humble son of India.



Foreword by Piya Mukherjee: Dr.Daya Kishore Hazra, the author of today’s post is a renowned doctor in India and has been practicing medicine for many decades now. He was conferred a national award by the Government of India for his contributions towards the field of medicine. It is my absolute privilege to know him personally and introduce him to our readers today. I had the opportunity of hosting him at my home over Father’s day weekend last year. At an age that many have already retired, I observed him working from the crack of the dawn till late in the night, traveling long distances to give lectures and attend seminars, and taking the numerous calls people make to seek his advise on medical issues. The people calling him were patients, friends, family, his students, neighbors, friends of friends, friends of his children and the list is endless. I observed he does not refuse a single call and listens to each one patiently and then advises the next step or refers to a doctor he knows. He does not refuse anyone. He gets nothing tangible in return. But what he does get from everyone is their love and respect for the caring and immensely thoughtful person he is. For the few hours a day that he does not work, he is a doting father and grandfather and loves to be surrounded by family. His energy level is enviable. 

For a profession that has been in much criticism for its commercial inclination in recent times, Dr. Hazra’s dedication to help and care for everyone should be an inspiration to all in the medical profession around the world. Where does Dr. Hazra draw his inspiration from ? The answer lies in this Father’s Day post he wrote for our blog. 

Fathers are heroes for all, and in my case, His impress was such as to be an ideal to strive to follow in some small measure.

An excellent physician of national and international repute, it is still a thrill to receive every so often letters addressed to him seeking medical advice, into even 49 years after his passing away.  After obtaining his   MD in conventional modern medicine from Boston (Cambridge, Massachusetts) in 1930, he went on to be converted completely to Homeopathy. He had students throughout India, and in 1948 after Indian Independence he was appointed Vice Chairman of the Homeopathic Enquiry Committee chaired by Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, the Health Minister, which made recommendations regarding the development of homeopathic education in this country.

One remembers his sitting far into the night analysing a case until he was satisfied that he had arrived at the correct prescription. My mother would remind him about the dinner getting cold, but he was meticulous and relentless in his concentration until this was achieved. Once decided he had such confidence in his prescription, he would often predict the date when the patient would be controlled. Such painstaking analysis meant that he would see only 2-4 new cases every day, and his calendar would be booked months in advance.

Apart from this role as a physician, he was also a devout follower of his Guru, and eventually followed him as leader of the Radhasoami Faith community centred in Soamibagh, Agra. Elaborating on this aspect of His life must await another occasion.

As a father he was affectionate, and taught me habits of study: making ‘skeletons’ of every subject topic of study ,finishing syllabi in the summer vacation ahead of the class, but avoiding last moment stress, even advocating seeing movies and light reading in examination times. He introduced me to Swami Vivekananda’s English exposition of ‘Raja Yoga’, Sivananda’s Yogic Home Exercises, apart from the texts of the Radhasoami Faith.
He termed condemnation before investigation as the enemy of the scientific attitude and taught me to be fearless.  He wrote in my autograph book to remember that the Final Court of Appeal was prayer to the Supreme Father Himself.

Fathers Day is an occasion to remember!  I still pray that I may emulate him in even a small measure, and that His blessings abide with me!

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