Padma Shri to Prema Dhanraj: A burn survivor who rose to be a pioneer in reconstructive surgery

Bengaluru, Jan 26 (IANS) The life of 72-year-old Dr. Prema Dhanraj, who on Thursday was named for the Padma Shri award, is no less than a movie. Surviving as a child from a fire accident after suffering 50 per cent burn injuries, as per the wish of her mother she made it her mission to give succour to burn survivors who lost hope.

At the age of eight, Dhanraj suffered severe burn injuries from a kitchen fire at her residence. Fifty per cent of her body was burnt and her entire face was reconstructed.

Rosie, her mother, prayed to the almighty that if her child would get healed, she would dedicate herself to the service of humanity.

Being a fighter, Dhanraj was able to survive miraculously following multiple surgeries. As per medical experts, burns that exceed 30 per cent of a person’s body can be potentially fatal.

However, as years rolled by, Dhanraj went on to become one of India’s top plastic surgeons and Head of the Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery Department at a prominent hospital in southern India.

She is an internationally recognized and respected consultant for the establishment of multiple burn treatment centres around the world.

Dhanraj, a burns surgeon, is regarded as a pioneer in the field of reconstructive surgery and operated over 25,000 burn victims.

Originally from Vellore in Tamil Nadu, she is residing in Bengaluru.

In 1999, she founded ‘Agni Raksha’ with a focus on holistic rehabilitation of burn survivors.

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