Renowned Radiologist, Philanthropist, healthcare entrepreneur Dr.Sunita Dube-An Exclusive Interview
Dr.Sunita Dube sets her goals right for empowering women with 10 point Program and Statue of Immunity Research Center Renowned Radiologist, Philanthropist, healthcare entrepreneur Dr.Sunita Dube is name to reckon for her revolutionizing work in the healthcare
Dr.Sunita Dube sets her goals right for empowering women with 10 point Program and Statue of Immunity Research Center
Renowned Radiologist, Philanthropist, healthcare entrepreneur Dr.Sunita Dube is name to reckon for her revolutionizing work in the
healthcare sector along with standing by the cause of Saving, educating and nurturing the girl child, women empowerment and women health.Her efforts have been lauded at several national & international platforms.She has been appreciated for achievements by Hon’ble President Pranab Mukherjee, His Holiness Dalai Lama, Bharat Ratna APJ Kalam, Honorable President of India Ram Nath Kovind amongst many luminaries.
She is an eminent member of several medical Committees and is the receipt of several awards including the Uttar Pradesh Ratna, Maharashtra Gaurav,
Healthcare Star Award, Leadership Impact award 2018 & 2019 Healthcare Entrepreneur Awards 2018, Dr. Baba Ambedkar Corona Warrior,Karamveer Puraskar Femina Woman Leadership Awards 2016,Pride of Nation, Woman Entrepreneur Award 2013, TATA Change Maker Nation Pride 2018, International World Woman Leadership Awards 2016, International Paris Appreciation Awards to name a few.
Medgate Today catches the woman who walks the talk in an interesting conversation with Dr.Sunita Dube…
What motivated you to make such a organisation like Medscape India,Tell us about your journey of MedscapeIndia?
Being a practicing Radiologist, I came across many circumstances which acted as the turning point in my life, bringing me to the path of serving humanity, saving and educating the girl child, and working towards the Empowerment and upliftment of underprivileged girl children and women. It’s been a blissful journey and I feel immense gratitude that God has chosen me to do whatever small I can do for the society.
My journey has been wonderful so far, as I have been able to help mankind for the last 18 years from the time I started the MedscapeIndia – Aryan Medical Trust & Hospital in Kurla in 2003, which was the first hospital in the area. It was then when we started receiving many tuberculosis patients and then came to know that a certain section of the society comprising of laborers of the shoemaking industry, were infected with the disease, who in turn infected 5-6 people living with them in a small shed. We took to their refuge and did health camps to treat TB patients and also created awareness about TB symptoms and precautions to be taken. This initiative also attracted many private bodies and even the government of Maharashtra who came ahead in providing a better living to the slum dwellers by giving them proper toilets, and shelters, and medical facilities joining hands with MedscapeIndia in this initiative.
Over the past 18 years, MedscapeIndia has worked for various awareness campaigns such as, “Save the Girl Child, HIV Awareness, Million Smile Women Empowerment Program, and Fit India Movement along with conducting Medical camps, eye checkups, mental health awareness programs, women education awareness programs, saving child marriage and girl killing in the womb, self-building workshops for children, computer education Programs, providing books and bearing educational expenses for underprivileged girl children.
Our “Anokhi Pehel” Program provides health care facilities to the slum dwellers of Mumbai which was started with 30 local doctors who created awareness about health issues in the schools followed by medical camps and screenings every month. The program provided health care services in the slum areas of Mumbai to provide the underprivileged with affordable and accessible medical facilities. We created HIV Awareness campaigns on how it can be transferred, Mother-child HIV transmission, awareness for transgender and related stigmas. We tried to reach the remote area of India to provide health care services.
In 2015 we launched the “Fitindia movement”, which is partially adopted by the Government of India and I feel fortunate that Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji himself promoted the campaign which stresses good health and fitness. We created the first “Doctors Anthem” which gave the voice to the medical fraternity. Overall I am very grateful to Honorable ex-president Prof Dr. APJ kalam for being a part of my journey to help mankind, inspiring me to work for a larger population of this country.
You call Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam your role model, how did he inspire you?
His Excellency the President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam has been my mentor and he showed his esteemed presence and support in many of our programs. I was fortunate to meet him many times his simplicity was admirable and inspiring. Being a teacher by heart he knew the people’s language and could reach out to them very easily. He had a great understanding of people and inspired me too to serve the larger population of society.
Tell us about your initiatives on providing health care services during covid 19, and serving the country in the time of crisis?
Being a non-government non-profit organization MedscapeIndia has taken an active part in supporting the country with “WE DOCTORS” Campaign in times of crisis thereby serving humanity with over 13000 doctors who treated over 1.5 crore Covid patients across the Indian states. MedscapeIndia left no stone unturned in setting up Tele ICUs, Oxygen PSA plants, and Modular Hospital & ICUs, Oxygen concentrators, Home Dialysis setups, along with conducting vaccination drives during the Covid 19 pandemic. We also have been doing “Rural Health” programs across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh. MedscapeIndia has been steadfast in supporting the country in the time of need by providing medical aid during the Assam floods too.
What inspired you to take up the save the girl child campaign and women empowerment issues and how being a female radiologists helped you?
Being a Radiologist my core competency includes female radiology which includes sonography, mamography, CT scan.Today radiology has become the back bone of medicine which needs latest updates and scienfic and technological research to assess and find the hidden diseases.It infact it helped me to create a drive against female foeticide since I experienced how families would decide to bear a child based on the sex as found early through sonography.I got together all the doctors from various medical associations, to come against the practice of sonography to give pre birth sex information to the families, so as to avoid abortions of the female feoticide, which was later legally banned by the government.
I was concerned about the issues which a girl child suffers in India today which we have practically seen around primarily the issue of female foeticide, along with the issues of lack of education, neglect of health, safety, gender inequality, lack of financial independence. I started the “Save Girl Child” Campaign in the year 2008 with an idea to create equal opportunities for all irrespective of gender bias, with a vision that our girl children and women should be able to contribute to the Nation Building process.
The campaign took a strong stand to ‘Save The Girl Child’ by the stringent prohibition of sex-selective abortion, enforcement of Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Technique (PC-PNDT), and Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Acts and social mobilization of the underprivileged girls who are deprived of basic education.
“I believe it’s time to make a thought transformation, especially in the rural society assuring them of the bright future of the girl child. We need to make them understand the importance of a girl child by giving them instances of how the women of India have reached the moon and are making the country proud. Be it any field from science, technology, or even sports they are bringing the medals to the country, making India proud globally, and nothing is impossible for our daughters.”
MedscapeIndia has traveled across the rural landscape of India to educate the rural audiences about girl child education and about the importance of good health and stamina
using the dance dramas, skits, and yogic performances by girl children,
with an idea to give more power to the girl child. MedscapeIndia also provides self-earning opportunities to rural women by providing raw materials and providing merchandising training to make them financially independent.
When did you think of starting the awards to honor the medical fraternity, which was a pioneering act at that time?
It started with a unique concept of involving all medical specialties with the support of 21 Medical Associations and Councils, who all dedicated themselves towards the ‘Save the Girl Child’ campaign. It gives me immense happiness as this campaign inspired many medical organizations to take this initiative as their core cause. Also, till then, the Doctor’s contribution was not acknowledged as they preferred to stay away from the public eye and media, and were busy practicing their specialty. Many times doctors became the soft targets, and so our strong representation was required. The award came up as a voice for the medical community allowing them to walk the red carpet as our real-life heroes who served humanity relentlessly.
How was the 10th year of Medscape India National Awards special this year and what are its key highlights and categories?
MedscapeIndia National Awards is one of its kind being the first unique award which brings more than 21 medical specialty associations together which has been presented on Sony, life OK channels in the prime time in the past. This year due to covid 19 pandemics, we decided that the show much go on, and so this year we went virtual in the shortest time. I’m glad even this year the awards have created value in the minds of the people. We had active support and participation of the Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Maharashtra Health Minister Shri Rajesh Tope, Smt. Shri Harsh Vardhan, Former Executive Chairman WHO, Former Union Health Minister, Raghunath Anant Mashelkar former Director-General of CSIR who were part of the inaugural panel this year.
This year’s format included a session on “My Daughter My state” with 5 state participation with inputs from Hon’ble CM of Goa Shri Pramod Sawant, Hon’ble Health Minister of Delhi Shri Satyendar Kumar Jain, Hon’ble Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare of Madhya Pradesh Dr.Prabhuram Choudhary and Honorable CM of Rajasthan Shri Ashok Gehlot. The ministers threw light on their opinions and contribution on safeguarding women and children in their states, to providing equal work opportunities for women without gender bias.
Another interesting session we had was on “Saving the girl child from Womb to Tomb” panels discussion which saw global participation from the Ambassador of Afghanistan to the USA, Ms.Roya Rahmani, Richard Rekhy from KPMG Dubai Board, Dr. Ranjana Kumari who’s the Director of, Centre for Social Research, Ms.Mrunalini Deshmukh who’s a renowned Advocate.
10th MedscapeIndia National awards, received nominations from across the globe, from the USA, Greece, the UK, Iran, Iraq, and many more, which were scrutinized with an extensive three-round process of nomination by MedscapeIndia Eminent Jury and Advisory Committee. The Awards this year has reached the global frontiers as it recognized the contributions made by the doctors who in the real sense own these awards, institutions in the healthcare sector, scientists researchers, and eminent personalities in the field of social work from across the world for supporting the ‘Save the Girl Child’ movement, women empowerment, community health, training, education, research, rural health care, medical research, technology, and academic excellence.
This year’s awards were honoured to Spiritual Guru Shri Shri Ravi Shankar in the category of Excellence in Spiritual Health, Dr. Andy Adam – Excellence in Radiology – Global category, Dr. Jeanne Conry – Excellence in Gynecology – Global category, Dr. Kumar M. Dhawale Excellence in Homeopathy, Dr. Vaidya Balendu Prakash for Excellence in Ayurveda, Mr. Brett Lee for Excellence in Social contribution – Global Category, Dr. Chad P. Gehani – Excellence in Dentistry – Global category, Dr. Amrit Pattojoshi – Excellence in Psychiatry, Mr. Steve Waugh – Excellence in NGO in Health Care ” – Global category and Dr. Annamalai Kumarappan – Excellence in Physiotherapy.
Tell us about your vision and future plans?
I dream to create the Statue of Immunity Research Centre to fight any future pandemic, which has already been communicated to the Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modiji and have been presented to the union minister. In Delhi, we have already launched the concept on the occasion of the ‘Doctors Day’ by past Health Minister, Ayush Minister in the presence of Global leaders.
I am working on a ’10point agenda’ for the security of girl children and women which includes bringing a helpline number ‘110’ in association with Mumbai Police which when dialed by any girl or woman in distress can help track and rescue her. Mumbai Police has always been an inspiration for all especially in restoring women’s safety, making it the safest city in India at night.
Could you elaborate on the pledge launched this year…”Save the girl child from womb to tomb”?
Initially launched in 2008 the campaign was more focused on vigorous awareness of female feticide and the due importance to be given to the girl child. Now this year we recreated the pledge to “Save the Girl Child from Womb to Tomb” ( बेटी बचाओ गर्भ से धरा तक).
I know it’s a bit harsh to sound, but it is the reality,which signifies the cycle of a women’s life from the time she’s born till she again gets merges in the soil. We need to protect the girl child from the point of her being in Womb till the time she reaches the final stage of her life while including issues of female feticide, after birth childhood health issues like malnutrition, gender discrimination between siblings, to finding equal job opportunities, personal and menstrual hygiene, protection against sexual violence, Dowry, infertility, abused and forced marriage, Rape, Molestation, Mental health, and mental abuse issues. So are the old age issues with women who are sent to old age homes by there children. Thus,we need an affirmative pledge to care for them. I would request each one of us to take a pledge in our hearts,” I Pledge to Save the Girl Child from Womb to Tomb”.