To our readers

The BJ has been featuring people of Bihar and Jharkhand, who have made a mark in their field of activities and carved out a niche for himself/herself. The readers are invited to send details of such persons in their neighbourhood. We will be glad to include NRIs of Bihar-Jharkhand origin in this feature. Please send details to the Editor

New glory to glorious Bihar

BJ Mirror Correspondent

Dr. Jagdish Prasad

This tale of achievement is a tribute to the father. He toiled hard to raise and escalate his five sons to enviable heights. Akalu Dusadh worked in a Dhanbad coal mine as a group leader of labourers digging black diamond from the womb of mother earth, thousands of feet below.

Every morsel of grain was precious to feed almost a dozen mouths. Proper clothing of the large family was a herculean task. And educating the offspring was like asking for moon. But the undaunted Akalu swam against the current and achieved the un-achieveable. The tally of his ‘lifetime achievement awards’ was more than an Olympic gold or a Nobel Prize. (Those were the days when literacy in Bihar remained cocooned below 20 per hundred.)

Sample the Akalu tally of ‘gold medals’. His eldest son Nandu Paswan, IPS, called it a day as DIG of police. His second son Kameshwar Paswan is also an MBBS doctor. Padmashree Dr. Jagdish Prasad is the third gem. The other two sons, Deenanath Paswan works in the Railway ministry and Satish Paswan is a deputy superintendent of police (DSP).
Dr. Jagdish Prasad not only painted his father’s name in gold but also brought a new glory to the glorious state of Bihar. He is the first man from this land of Buddha and Mahavira to ascend to the highest chair by becoming the nation’s Director of Medical Services.

Dr. Jagdish has had a very humble beginning. He braved hunger and wants to pass matriculation from Telhara high school in Bihar’s Nalanda district. Today his village Keshopur has a college, Janaki Akalu Sardar Mahavidyalaya. The college has been established by Dr. Jagdish Prasad in the memory of his parents.

Jagdish did his MBBS in 1977 and MS in 1981 from Delhi. He went on to obtain M Ch degree in 1985 from King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital and Seth GS Medical College, Bombay (now Mumbai). . He also did DNB in Cardiothoracic surgery in 1986. Dr. Jagdish began his career as a cardiac surgeon from Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) and then went to New Delhi. There he joined Safdarjung Hospital and remained its director for years. There he created almost a medical miracle when he operated upon a 40-year-old man, suffering from a tumour in his heart, had 60 per cent of the right chamber of his heart removed and then reconstructed through surgery. The patient went back home a healthy man.

The patient, Ajit Kumar Singh form Jharkhand, was referred to the Safdarjung hospital. Ajit was diagnosed with a tumour in the right atrium of the heart, an extremely rare condition. Due to financial constraints, he had left the ailment untreated. After some time he developed a swelling in the neck and lower body. His liver had also enlarged. “I had trouble breathing and had swelling all over my lower body”, Ajit said after the recovery. He was in all smile and rained accolade on his saviour, Dr. Jagdish Prasad. This operation came as a turning point for this young cardiac surgeon.

Earlier, the government of India bestowed honours on Dr. Jagdish in recognition of his achievement in the field of cardiac surgery. He was awarded Padma Shree in 1991. He did many surgeries at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The Department of cardiac surgery provides free treatment to valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease and congenital heart disease patients, who are below poverty line. Dr. Jagdish Prasad is the chief mentor of this unique programme. He is also the founder Principal of Vardhman Mahavir Medical College. Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University has appointed Dr. Prasad as dean of school of medicine and para-medical health Sciences.

All these academic and professional achievements and recognition and honours have not robbed Keshopur of its gem; prodigal son. Dr. Jagdish still maintains close links with his birth village and the pals, who shared tales during the school days. He arranges cardiac check-up camps in village almost every year. During his recent visit to Keshopur he examined, advised and treated over 2000 persons. “Yes, I shall continue to pay back the debts to my village”, once Dr. Jagdish had said. And he keeps on honouring his words.


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