Pune: “My mother was a very energetic, vivacious person, who was always onto something. One could just get tired watching her work. Almost till the end of her life, she was interested in knowing more about the latest developments in the field of medicine. Also, she was truly a people’s person, always surrounded by people and wanting to make a difference in everybody’s life,” Dr Kurus Coyaji, Director, KEM Hospital, said, as he talked about his mother, Dr Banu Coyaji.
He was speaking at ‘Dr Banu Coyaji Memorial Programme’, organised by Sakal Publication, in collaboration with the KEM Hospital.
‘Banubai’, the biography of Dr Banu Coyaji, authored by Dr Pratibha Kulkarni, was released by Dr Kurus Coyaji on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kulkarni, who completed her MD with Coyaji, fondly remembered her mentor and narrated her experience of writing the book.
“My son encouraged me to write this book when I told him a few of my experiences with Dr Coyaji. However, as I started interviewing people for the book, I realised that there was much more to this vibrant personality. I came to know her much differently, from the perspectives of different people,” Kulkarni said.
She added, “Banubai was very humble, and whenever somebody congratulated her on her social work, she didn’t like it, saying that she isn’t even giving back as much as society has given to her. She believed that medical services should always remain affordable to all.”
Sakal Media Group Chairman Prataprao Pawar shared his experiences with Dr Banu Coyaji, saying, “I worked with Banubai for around 20 to 22 years, and working with her was always a pleasure. She was always concerned about me like a mother. At the same time, she was a very strong personality and had the guts to be frank with anybody. She was also very hardworking. Before going for any international conference, she would prepare thoroughly, months ahead of the event.”
Many of those who worked with Dr Banu Coyaji narrated their experiences with her. Dr Anand Pandit, a renowned paediatrician, who worked with Dr Banu Coyaji for around 30 years, believes that he was lucky to work with her. “Beginning the journey from a small hospital with a handful of beds, Banubai worked hard to make the KEM Hospital what it is today,” Pandit added.
KM Bhide, who worked with Sakal Publication, talked about Coyaji’s contribution towards Sakal and her opinion about freedom of speech and freedom of press.
Dr Laila Garda, Director, KEM Research Centre, spoke about how Dr Banu Coyaji crossed all barriers to go ahead and work for society. “Not only was Banubai an excellent gynaecologist, she was also a great leader and inspired everyone around her. It wasn’t just a profession for her, but she perceived her work as a revolution,” Dr Garda said.
Chartered Accountant Dilip Dixit, who worked as auditor at the organisation, talked about how Dr Banu Coyaji was always interested in knowing more about accounts and that she believed in transparency.