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Dr. Raj Bothra awarded Padma Shri

January 29, 1999

Dr. Raj Bothra of Warren, Michigan, an Indian American, is among this year’s recipients of Padma Shri, one of the high national awards of India conferred on people who have distinguished themselves in different fields. Dr. Bothra has been recognized for his accomplishments in the field of medicine.

Apart from his professional achievements in the field of medicine in the United States, Dr. Bothra has been active in working for the poor and the sick in India. For about eight weeks each year, Dr. Bothra leaves his general surgery practice in Warren and travels to his native India at his own expense to work with Indian organizations to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS and drug, tobacco and alcohol addiction. He holds regular lecture tours in India to educate professional and lay audiences on health issues. Dr. Bothra has worked with the Nargis Dutt Foundation to produce two documentaries, one on AIDS and another on tobacco abuse.

"When you are educating an entire population, it is not a matter of a month or a year, but of many years," Dr. Bothra says, adding that he hopes all physicians will become involved in volunteerism.

"We are the blessed ones who are able to do it", Dr. Bothra says, "If we do not do it, who will?"

He has also been instrumental in gifting of US equipment to Indian hospitals and assisting in the rebuilding of hospitals in Latur, Maharashtra after a severe earthquake.