RENUKA RAMAKRISHNAN, DOCTOR
A selfless, humble, dedicated doctor who is revered by her patients and referred to as an angel in disguise. By the time you are done reading this feature, you will call her that too. Very happy to introduce you to Dr. Renuka Ramakrishnan, a dermatologist based in Chennai who has been treating leprosy patients over the last 30 years.
Renuka, whose father was in the Indian Army was always taught that, “service to man, is service to God” and she has lived by that teaching until this day. She comes from a small village called Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu and dreamed of becoming a doctor even as a child.
Dr. Renuka has always stood up for the poor and needy. She told me about a turning point in her life when she saw the body of a leprosy patient abandoned by her conservative community. Determined to give him a respectable end, she took it upon herself to cremate the body and made up her mind to choose a career that would to give hope to leprosy patients and that is exactly what this woman of strength has done.
In 2001, she became a member of The Royal Society of Health, London. She runs a charitable trust, regularly conducts medical camps and is very active in promoting healthcare and hygiene awareness. She also tirelessly works to support destitute children. One other project that is very important to her is to raise early awareness of breast cancer.
Dr. Renuka has won several awards (fifty and counting) and yet remains untouched by the fame. To her, seeing the gratitude of her patients is reward enough. What Dr. Renuka teaches us is aptly summed up by a quote by Madeline Bridges, “Then give to the world the best you have. And the best will come back to you.”