Dr. Shantuben Patel
Dr. Shantuben Patel was born on 11th October in the year 1945 in Kenya. She completed her MBBS from Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, India in 1972. She went on to complete her DCH from the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians, London, in 1976 and her DTM&H from the University of Liverpool, UK, in 1979. In the late 1970s, Dr. Shantuben Patel left her flourishing career as a neonatologist in queen’s Elizabeth hospital, Birmingham, England, and settled in Kutch, Gujarat.
Since 1979, Dr. Shantuben has been a practicing pediatrician and neonatologist in Bhuj, Gujarat.
Two important events took place in 1981 that laid the foundation for building the trust in the coming years.
The Somiaya group organized a medical camp for 15 days where 20,000 individuals including children were provided excellent total care. The magnitude of the problem in handicapped children was immense. Maximum cases were of polio-affected children and birth injury.
She realized that if good pediatric care was given to them earlier then the handicap would not have been severe.
In lieu of that in 1981 with the help of Kutchi Leva Patel Samaj, she conducted a measle vaccination program where 28 village children, around 400 children were given measles vaccination.
This was the turning point in the life of managing trustee Dr. Shantuben Patel. All these years the idea to form the trust was lingering in the mind but the task was so mammoth and there were financial restraints.
She decided to start her own hospital—an inclusive space where any child could receive medical treatments. A free educational and therapeutic camp for the challenged children was organized in 1994 and again in 1995, initiated by Prof. Madhuri Kulkarni and her team from Sion hospital, Mumbai. In 1994, 110 challenged children attended this camp, and the number rose to 450 next year.
In 1996, school was started in one of the hospital rooms with three hearing impaired children. Within 3 months we had 45 handicap children. By 2000 we had 106 children in three different departments.
1. Cerebral Palsy,
2. Mentally Challenged,
3. Hearing Impaired.
She has been serving as a managing trustee of Child Welfare School, Bhuj since its inception in 1996.
She was nominated as India inspired by Indian oil
She was recently selected as an ‘Amazing Indian’ by the TV channels Times Now and is recipient of ‘Senior Citizen Award-2013’ by CNN-IBN Channel.
During her stay in Bhuj, she came in contact with vipassana meditation and was appointed as assistant vipassana teacher in 2001.
During her service, she is highly revered as a disciplinary, loving and compassionate teacher.
She left for heavenly abode on 29 January 2014 after a battle for 3 month with cancer.Packed with a lot of vibrancy, she is known for her excellence in work and her acumen as a complete professional.
Her extension of a selfless-service and lending her entire life for the cause reflects her devotion and love towards mankind.
She lived a very simplistic but a disciplinary life. With her charismatic smile and her good sense of humor, we would all remember her as an angel who touched each of our lives in a very special way