Bengal's One Rupee Doctor: The residents of Bolpur in West Bengal know Dr Sushovan Banerjee as the ‘Ek Takar Daktar’ or the one rupee doctor. Dr Banerjee treats his patients from economically weaker families for just one rupee and on Sunday, his bonafide work was recognised. He was chosen by the Government of India for the fourth highest civilian honour in the country – the Padma Shri. On receiving the honour, he said he was giving the credit for his Padma Shri to the people to whom he dedicated his life.
Dr Banerjee, who has been treating patients for 57 years, is among the four Padma Shri awardees from West Bengal this year. He is also an ex-MLA from Bolpur seat and had contested on a Congress ticket in 1984. He said he shares cordial relations with former President of India Pranab Mukherjee and said that on the former President called to congratulate him on the achievement. He further said that Pranab Mukherjee saw him as a younger brother.
He further said that being a former MLA on Congress ticket, he was surprised that he was on the list of Padma awardees when the BJP government was in power. Nonetheless, he said, he was grateful to them.
He further said that being felicitated with the Padma Shri was the third most memorable moment of his life, with the first being when he got a gold medal in his Diploma in Clinical Pathology degree and the second being when he was elected as an MLA in 1984.
Dr Banerjee graduated from the RG Kar Medical College in Kolkata before completing his postgraduate degree in Pathology from Calcutta University. He then went to London to pursue a diploma in Haematology. For four years, he worked as a senior registrar there and then decided to return to Bolpur to serve his people.