This Cardiothoracic Surgeon is on a mission to provide affordable treatment to the underprivileged

Dr Surpreet Chopra – Cardiothoracic Surgeon & Philanthropist  

Incorporated in 2015, Dr Surpreet Chopra’s NGO is registered with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs with 80G and 12A certifications. Being brought up in a family of IAS officers, doctors, engineers, singers, poets, and musicians, she has been highly influence from all spheres of life. Dr Surpreet has always been an extremely observant, keen, and vivacious person, who always dreamt of a world which was tolerant and believed in equity of all beings, whether humans or animals. In her own words,

“I went on to become a Cardiac Surgeon and realised I was chosen to serve the people with my skill and my passion for healing. I questioned everything in myself and around me for constant changes required for this world to be a better place to live, and slowly understood that living a life of simplicity, love, and kindness, was the best way to live sustainably.”

Dr Surpreet’s NGO is currently the leading NGO in the state of Chhattisgarh that offers affordable treatment to the underprivileged, and has access to the remotes of villages in the state for providing healthcare facilities. They serve the underprivileged by treating them at affordable prices, conducting medical camps in villages where health care facilities are either non existent or are substandard. They also educate people regarding health and well-being through seminars. For a nation to achieve sustainable development, equality of health and well-being for all is a must.

She graduated from Armed Force Medical College, and had influences of many healers in her life. The first of them is her mother who retired as a nursing professional. She is a very intelligent, extremely diligent, sharp, and an active person. Although she is retired today, she still inspires her to be the best. Dr Surpreet have also had the good fortune of meeting some of the greatest minds in the history of cardiac surgery. Dr KM Cherian was her first great teacher whom she is still admires. He was a father figure to her. Next is Dr V V Bashi, a great personality she can never stop raving about, his attention to detail, excellence, made her understand the difference between average and stunning.

To be successful, one has to cross many hurdles. For Dr Surpreet, things weren’t different. She feels the system to be patriarchal and its difficult for them to trust a woman easily. She had to work doubly hard as compared to her contemporaries, face ridicule, and take care of her little kid simultaneously. She had to fight all odds, as everyone was only trying to push her down, but there were well-wishers too, which made her survive that awful period.

She has been a surgeon of great repute, and have performed some path breaking and complex cardiac surgeries in central India region. COVID19 has exposed the poor healthcare infrastructure of our country, it has crippled the system socially and economically. These affects were more pronounced in the vulnerable and the underprivileged groups, and disproportionately influenced the poor, displaced and marginalised.

Statistics indicate that 70% of all deaths today occur due to chronic diseases that include heart and lifestyle diseases, and they are on a rise, with increasing urbanisation, stress, and increasing threats to food and water security. These will continue to be a major cause of mortality and disability in the world. And in India especially, the numbers are peaking. When compared with other countries and races, it is found that we are around 50% more prone to develop these diseases that too a decade earlier and at a younger age. This has become a major health concern in our country today. The causes of these diseases are complex and are beyond individual control.

As a social worker and doctor, Dr Surpreet feels the pain to see the urban-rural inequality in healthcare services. That’s where her NGO comes to fill up the gap. According to her,

“We partner with the government organisations to serve underprivileged in the remotest villages where healthcare facilities are sparse. We along with the Government conduct health camps at regular intervals of time, treat the patients at the district / government hospitals for free, educate general masses through seminars conducted in the villages. We also take help of local volunteers to achieve the health goals.”

Throughout her career, she learned that to lead a happy life, only simplicity and love for all equally, is what you need to be truly happy in this world, and that’s what exactly she is been doing.

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