• NHS awarded the George Cross

  •  

    In Conversation with Arun Baksi

     

    Emeritus Physician in Isle of Wight and a champion for the NHS

    with Ritwika Roy

    A Gentle Man With An Iron Perseverance & a Heart of Gold

     

    “God works in funny ways, I was sent here for a purpose and now I feel my purpose is complete”

     

    A line that caught my attention from today’s guest as he spoke of his life’s bright days, trials and
    tribulations as he championed his life’s cause in becoming one of UK’s most famous doctors. A man of wisdom and a quiet demeanor. Seated comfortably in front of his computer with a plethora of images and artifacts at the backdrop which I couldn’t help but notice, showed his interest in living life to the fullest. My guest for today was Dr. Arun Baksi, a warm personality with a never-die attitude to live life to the fullest.

     

    Arun Baksi's career as a doctor has spanned many decades, during which, against all odds, he fought to achieve status as a consultant and one of the country's leading physicians. A man born in his native India but living a truly international life. He identifies himself as not a citizen of any country, but as a citizen of the world. He doesn’t believe in subscribing to any nationality. Starting right from the beginning, he mentioned being lost in nostalgia,
    “Well, you know, I always wanted to become a doctor, my maternal grandfather was a doctor, and that inspired me nonetheless. Aah! My father wanted me to become an engineer, but I had no interest in that”

     

    Thinking about his life in the UK, he arrived in the country in 1962. He spoke passionately about how
    he sailed from Mumbai to start his journey in the UK. The initial years were quite hard for him due to
    tough competition, condescending questions from seniors, and the differences in accents that he faced when he was working in Liverpool.

     

    “Funny thing is I thought everybody looked ill when I was working in Liverpool! I couldn’t understand
    what they were saying, or if they were pale or ill” he chuckled reminiscing about his first days as a
    doctor.

     

    Racial prejudice was acceptable and also very rampant back in the day. Despite all this, he’s an iron
    man truly who has survived everything without any grudge and this has indeed made him a stronger
    person.

     

    “Discrimination & prejudice are not the monopolies of the UK, it is there everywhere and it is sad!”
    Sadly, in every stage of his career, he faced differential treatment and by sheer perseverance, he
    fought it thoroughly. Junior doctors got positions way ahead of him, and this deepened him sadly
    too.

     

    Over the months that followed Dr. Baksi submitted 66 applications for consultant posts across the
    UK attending 33 interviews. Sheer determination and passion are what give him the adrenaline rush
    to be where he is currently, completely content and peaceful with his life. On the other hand, during the pandemic, having Zoom calls and everything being virtual was quite difficult for him as he is a very social person having an occasional drink at the pub, having a chat, and taking some time out with his family and friends listening to some good comforting music.

     

    “Oh, I love pop, jazz, classical, and Tagore’s music. I can feel the music and the words from my heart.
    Bhajans fascinate me, there is no language but you can feel every emotion and feeling that you can
    hear from the heart”

     

    Being a very social person, he is immensely loved by his friends and family. Nurturing friendships
    takes time and he is a person who comes across as loving, intense, and stubborn for his friends! He jokes saying:

    “Oh I think once I die, that’s when I will get to know what my friends say about me”

     

    Speaking of India, he misses the colors, the nectar-filled, fragrant flowers, the lovely culture, and the
    bright fruits and vegetables in his birthland! His favorite fruit, he chuckles like a kid is the famous
    Alphonso mangoes. Something that he devours from the depths of his heart is Mughal food in India
    and everyone’s favorite, the famous mishti doi from Bengal.

     

    “India is renowned for setting good examples in leadership roles and serving the society at large in
    terms of healthcare accessibility or from an overarching perspective. We should all look up to those
    leaders”

     

    “All of us have been sent to Earth to fulfill a mission. We all have a purpose and we need to do our
    best in the jobs that are meant for us. Every human being deserves love and cares for their illnesses
    and no one should suffer in this world.”

     

    With his parting thoughts, Arun said today’s generation needs to be more mindful of their actions
    otherwise everyone will be deviating a lot from their profession and their goals in life. In the ever-
    changing fast-paced world, Arun expresses his concerns about the corruption in people’s thoughts,
    actions, and goals as everyone is getting more selfish day by day. He ends on a puzzling note, saying
    that

     

    “I am old, and I am saying with my retrospective vision, and I feel sorry for today’s generation as we
    are leaving behind a sad world for the generations to come forth”

     

    Chatting with Arun today, I got to know his life journey in the 30 minutes of the interview and that is
    a short time to get to know someone completely. But what I could see was his genuine nature, a man who speaks his mind and someone who will do good for society and the world till his last bated breath. Having an eclectic interest in life, food, culture, friends, and family, it was a pleasure talking
    to a gentleman of such a high and respectable stature, having achieved so much, yet having the glint
    of a sparkle in his eye to achieve more in this life!

  • The Blog

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

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  • Bridging the Gap

    Tackling Differential Attainment in Medical Professions

    Presentation of early findings

    Alliance for Equality in Healthcare Professions, BAPIO Institute for Health Research

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    India is in the throes of a calamity

  • BAPIO Action on Vaccination

    COVID-19 Vaccination

    1

    we are writing to ask you to review the strategy and to ensure that ethnicity
    is taken into account when making decisions to vaccinate healthcare workers as well
    as the general population. we believe that you have an overriding
    responsibility to ensure that policy implementation in these matters which are of
    enormous importance to the public, especially the BAME community, are done so to
    protect the vulnerable community.

    2

    we are writing to you now to raise our concerns about the heartening
    news about the vaccines for Covid-19, and yet the negative momentum that seems to be
    building around it especially from the BAME community. You will be aware that our
    organisation was the first to raise concerns about the loss of BAME doctors in our letter to
    you and others on 7 April 2020. Unfortunately, the government and the NHS were slow to
    react to that letter and therefore we feel that lessons need to be learned and early
    engagement with those in leadership positions will help put the right context in the debate
    on the vaccine.

    3

    Health and social care workers

    The committee considers frontline health and social care workers who provide care to vulnerable people a high priority for vaccination. Prioritisation among health and social care workers

    Frontline health and social care workers at high risk of acquiring infection, at high individual risk of developing serious disease, or at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare environment, are considered of higher priority for vaccination than those at lower risk. This prioritisation should be taken into account during vaccine deployment.

  • Poetry Corner

    Ananta Dave

    Lest their beds lie empty tonight

     

     

     

    Hark! A ball of fire

    a bullet or the sun?

     

    Be still

    Stand straight

    Hands up

    Lest a bullet go astray

    A hairs breath, in the blink of an eye

    Propelled by the hubris of uniform,

    And the colour of your skin.

    Taser or gun?

    A youngster in an alley,

    A roadside grave.

    A pyre of branches,

    A shroud of crimson and cloud,

    A dirge of birdsong.

     

    Hug your boys tight

    Lest their beds lie empty tonight.

     

    Rest tonight and then rise, rise

    To continue the good fight

     

    Ananta Dave

    17.4.21

     

  • MISSION

    To promote Equality, Diversity & Leadership in Healthcare and beyond.

     

    Harmony is the platform to showcase achievements, events, news and campaigns from BAPIO chapters and Forums across the UK

    Harmony reports on the activities and views of our members and affiliates, our diaspora and the wider healthcare workforce globally.

     

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