1. Dr Shankar Nath Jha The paediatrician volunteers to help children in Bihar’s Musahar community break free from the shackles of child marriage and labour.

He achieves this through sports, dance, debate programmes, cleanliness discussions, and education, and has helped enrol over 5,000 children in schools since 2007.

2. Dr Bindu Menon Her initiative, Dr Bindu Menon Foundation, conducts free treatment camps for underprivileged patients with epilepsy, stroke etc.

The foundation has conducted more than 200 free medical camps across 44 villages, screening over 12,000 people so far.

3. Dr K Prathibha In 2018, when asked to conduct a screening of a convict, Dr K Prathibha realised that there is an absence of proper protocol when it comes to medically assessing convicts. She decided to lobby for the cause and was successful.

On 4 June 2021, the Directorate of Health Services issued a circular which stated that the Director of Health Service must ensure that all persons brought from police custody shall be subjected to initial screening to check for possible internal injuries inflicted by the police.

4. Dr Jayant Gandhi and Dr Devangi Dalal The Mumbai-based doctors co-founded Juvenile Organisation for Speech and Hearing (JOSH) in 2004 to provide high-quality digital hearing aids to hearing-disabled kids, aged between 1 and 20.

The duo has helped over 1,300 children across India hear again, for free.

5. Dr Shahnaaz Teing During the 2014 Kashmir floods, Dr Shahnaaz and patients of Lal Ded maternity hospital were stuck on the premises without food, water, and electricity for four days.

During this time, she delivered 6 babies in candlelight, using her own handkerchief to dress wounds, and pumped air into patients’ lungs manually as ventilators failed.

6. Dr Ganesh Babu As the medical officer at the Barsur Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, Dr Ganesh noticed that most women delivered their babies at home, as public transport was limited.

He set up pre-birth rooms in the village that enabled women to stay at the hospital in the days lining up to their delivery and receive care and food for free.

7. Dr A Simon Hercules Dr Simon continued treating his patients in rural Chennai even when the pandemic hit, putting his own life at risk. In April 2020, he became the first Medical Doctor in Tamil Nadu to succumb to the virus.

In an obituary, his colleague Dr V G Ramesh wrote, “He used to conduct medical camps in remote villages in Tamil Nadu and provided care for poor patients. He has also contributed to the social welfare activities in Chennai.”

8. Dr Ramanand Singh For over 35 years, Dr Ramanand Singh from Barbigha village has been treating his patients for just Rs 50. This was after he realised that most poor patients were not able to afford the follow-up sessions after their treatment.

He went above and beyond, paying for their medicines too.

9. Dr Subodh Kumar Singh When Dr Subodh was 13 years of age, he had to sell homemade candles, soaps and goggles to earn money after his father passed away.

Today his hospital Gyan Singh Memorial Hospital has conducted over 37,000 free surgeries for children for various conditions including cleft palate.

10. Dr Sunil Kumar The oncologist’s initiative Chandrakanti Devi Cancer Foundation in Bihar has helped over 1,000 patients identify cancer at various stages and seek much-needed treatment.

He was in the US, all set to become a liver transplant surgeon, when his mother was detected with pancreatic cancer in 2012. The 44-year-old returned to India, joined AIIMS, and decided to help other cancer patients through his NGO.