Prestige Group with Rotary Bangalore Midtown honoured Padma Shri Dr. Ramana Rao with the Prestige Citizen Extraordinaire Award 2019 at Conrad Bengaluru. The Chief Guest for the evening was Jayakar Jerome – IAS (Retd), credited with resurrecting the Bangalore Development Authority as its Chief, and taking up a slew of infrastructure projects in Bangalore in the face of incredible rapid urbanisation. Dr. B Ramana Rao needs no introduction. He is a living legend to younger medical professionals. Medical consultant to Karnataka’s Chief Ministers, bureaucrats and prominent celebrities, including the late Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, actors Amitabh Bachchan and the late Dr Rajkumar, Dr. Rao is an iconic figure who has dedicated his life to changing the rural healthcare system in India.
A savior to the rural poor, he believes that India lives in its villages, and the health of our country will improve only if we improve the Rural healthcare system. Poverty, lack of medical facility and escalating costs of medical care in rural India are the main reasons that drove him to start his Free Clinic which has today grown to become the oldest and largest serving free clinic in the world, treating over 2 million rural poor absolutely free of cost over the last 44 years. In 1974, he fittingly started his Free Clinic on 15 August, India’s Independence Day, to free needy patients from the monetary burden of meeting rising healthcare costs. Dr. Rao is also a previous recipient of the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award in the field of Medicine.