Ratlam: As Padma Shri awards were announced on Republic Day on Saturday, those among recipients is a 82-year-old Madhya Pradesh woman who is rendering free medical services to tribal women and teenagers in remote areas in Ratlam for the last 22 years.
Dr Leela joshi had completed services with Railways as the Chief Medical Director in the year 1997 and since then has been fighting anaemia among tribal women and teenage girls in Ratlam district.
For her selfless service to humanity, the woman physician is also known as Mother Teresa of the Malwa region.
Despite her frail body and growing age, she regularly visits tribal dominated areas and renders free of cost medical services on anaemia, pregnancy related issues and other illnesses of women.
Earlier in year 2015, Dr Joshi was listed among top 100 influential women of the country in a survey carried out by Dept of Women and Child Development.
Dr Joshi expressed satisfaction on being awarded the top civilian honour and claimed that she derived her inspiration from her mother. “It’s heartening that these services have got due recognition despite being in a remote area," said the physician.
She added that her mother always rued the fact thousands woman die due to pregnancy related issues which could be prevented by medical help but she could not help as she could not become doctor or para medical staff. "This was in my back of mind and I always wanted to help out women with medical care to avoid mortalities in common diseases like anaemia," added Dr Joshi.
Last year she was felicitated by the Mumbai based Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Society of India.