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31st March, 2010 Wednesday
Padma Awards to be given today at 5.30 - Live telecast by Doordarshan
I dedicate my Padma Shri Award to my teachers, friends, colleagues, family members, well wishers and last but not the least my patients who have blessed me so much over the years.
I take this opportunity to share my happiness with all those whom I have been associated with in my journey of 51 years, which began at Kasturba Hospital, Darya Ganj where I was born on Friday, 5th September, 1958. That day also happened to be the festival of Janmashtami.
I am blessed to be a part of a family of nine brothers and sisters (I am at number seven. Thankfully family planning was not heard of at that time!!). Till class IV, I was the only Hindu student in a Muslim school. From Class V onwards, I joined the Anglo Sanskrit School. It was a government school education throughout.
After completing higher secondary, I joined Deshbandhu College for a year. In 1975, I entered MGIMS (Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Science), Sewagram where I completed my MBBS and MD (Medicine).
I owe my pre–MBBS era entirely to my parents. Despite being an average middle class family, they saw to it that none of us siblings were denied an opportunity to study. This is evident from the fact that four out of nine of us have become doctors.
My tenure at MGIMS proved to be a turning point in my career. I secured a medal in every subject, topped Nagpur University in first MBBS, second MBBS, and final MBBS among male candidates and secured the first position in Nagpur University combining all the three MBBS aggregates (MBBS Gold medalist).
After being awarded MBBS University Gold Medal, I completed by post graduation in Medicine from the same college. I left DM Cardiology and Lectureship in Medicine in Wardha and joined Moolchand Hospital on 13th December 1983, New Delhi as a junior resident under Dr (Col) KL Chopra. Within a week, I became a Senior Resident and then a Consultant under Dr Chopra in 5 months. We pioneered Clot Dissolving Streptokinase Therapy in acute heart attack for the first time in India in 1984.
My association with media started in 1984 when I addressed the first press conference on streptokinase therapy in July 1984. The news was carried in Times of India. Ever since, I have dedicated my life in sensitizing the media on a regular basis.
In 1984, we organized the first-ever National Conference in Thrombolytic Therapy. This was my first experience in organizing events. Since then, I have been regularly organizing events, workshops, world conferences etc.
Dr KL Chopra and his son, Dr Deepak Chopra were responsible for refinement in my academic career. In 1987, Dr KL Chopra sent me for one year training in Non–nvasive Cardiology under Dr Navin C Nanda at University of Alabama at Birmingham. Training under Dr Nanda gave me an edge over other cardiologists when I came back to Delhi and established the Navin C Nanda National Institute of Echocardiography at Moolchand Hospital. I also got trained under Dr Deepak Chopra, the new–age Guru, at San Diego in Spiritual and Vedanta Medicine. Under his guidance, I groomed myself in the field of Vedic medicine.
It was late Sh SL Batra, father of my very dear friend, Sanjeev Batra, who persuaded me to start Heart Care Foundation of India, a National trust of which I am now the President. We organized the first–ever ‘Run for Your Heart’ in 1991 and first–ever ‘Perfect Health Mela’ in 1993. The Government of India released a National Commemorative Postal Stamp on both the occasions.
Dr Sanjiv Malik introduced me to medical politics when he directly brought me into the Delhi Medical Association as Vice–president in 1991. I later served IMA New Delhi Branch as President for three terms; DMA as President; IMA as Academic Wing Head, Research Wing Head, National Finance Secretary and Member Delhi Medical Council (serving second term now).
During my journey from unknown to known, I learnt a lot from my father–in–law, Late Shri GL Sanghi, former Senior Advocate Supreme Court of India; my brother–in–law Mr Mukul Rohtagi, Senior Advocate Supreme Court of India; Dr Ketan Desai, President Medical Council of India; Sh SL Talwar former Secretary and Trustee Moolchand Hospital, and Acharya Sadhvi Dr Sadhna ji Maharaj, Chairperson, World Fellowship of Religions.
I am indebted to my teachers – Late Dr HN Khattri, Dr OP Gupta, Dr AP Jain, Dr Ulhas Jaju, Dr SP Kalantri, Dr S Chhabra, Dr Anand N Malaviya, Dr Sanjiv Chopra, Dr PC Bhatla and Dr JJ Sood. I owe my success to them all.
My wife Dr Veena Aggarwal, who now heads IJCP Publications, a medical publication house which I started twenty years ago and my children, Nilesh and Naina, have been by my side all through my journey.Dr KK Aggarwal