Monday, July 26, 2021

Dhananjay Kumar, writer of the much acclaimed book ‘Dishonest Medi(a)cine’, is an acknowledged opinion maker in Indian healthcare realm. The book, based on his comprehensive research on the theme-‘dangers of unskilled and unscrupulous health reporting’- under the aegis of prestigious Prem Bhatia Research Scholarship for media, was reviewed by globally commended health magazine ‘Health for Millions’ sponsored by Voluntary Health Association of India. The book, being first of its kind on the quality of health writing and medical underbelly in India, got rave reviews in other newspapers and health magazines too.

As founding Secretary General of HEAL (Health Essayist and Authors’ League), the only coalition of health writers for the SAARC countries, he conducted workshops among health writers from across the country in the quest for improving the quality of health reporting. He has a pan- India presence and, under the aegis of HEAL, had a unique experience of leading contingents of the health writers of all the mainstream newspaper groups, namely, TOI, HT, Economic Times, Telegraph et el. Starting from IANS, the reputed wire service, Mr. Kumar has worked with almost all mainstream newspaper groups in Delhi including TOI and HT.

Health is so sacrosanct for Mr. Kumar that he never stopped writing against tobacco menace despite intimidating pressures from formidable tobacco lobby and wrote even those sensational anti tobacco stories which no other newspapers dared to touch.

As if Mr. Kumar were a guidebook for good doctors, he gets innumerable calls, e-mails and SMSs from unknown persons from all over the country to find out which hospitals and doctors would be reliable for their particular ailments. He is being looked at as a ready reckoner for true healers.

Recent feather in his cap was his inclusion among six big time journalists who were chosen by Delhi Medical Association (DMA), the first doctors’ association in the country, even before Indian Medical Association (Indian Medical Association) for felicitation in Vigyan Bhavan at the completion of its 100 years of existence.

Last but not the least, just see what Dr. Ashok Seth (Padma Shree), Chairman, Cardiology, Fortis Escort Heart Institute, has to say about Dhananjay Kumar in his piece ‘Health Needs An Honest Vehicle To Spread’ which he has written as preface to his book ‘Dishonest Medi(a)cine’. Dr. Ashok Seth writes in one of his stanzas– ‘I have known Dhananjay Kumar, the writer of this book, for a pretty long time. I will say, without a shade of exaggeration, that I have seen very few alert health writers of his ilk. He is so much nuanced about health matters that doctors sit upright when he is part of the media brigade. If he has been invited for the press conference, experts must come fully prepared, lest they are caught unawares by his rapier like wit. His questions make a press conference really worth it and keep the doctors accurate and truthful’.