Mahatma Gandhi's lessons are timeless says Dr. Swati Piramal

Dr. Swati Piramal is a unique combination of a medical doctor, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur and a passionate drug researcher

CH UnnikrishnanUpdated: Saturday, October 01, 2022, 08:03 PM IST
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An art enthusiast and painter who fills her canvas with the images of a healthy and happy world, nothing can stop Dr Swati Piramal from helping others recover from their pain.

Dr Piramal, one of India’s leading scientists and industrialists, recently received the highest civilian honour of France — Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. In 2006, she was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by France. This is a rare fete.

Though she was awarded for her contribution to the Indian pharmaceutical industry, it was the poet in her that took over during the ceremony. Dr Piramal wrote a French poem to express her gratitude. She presented it to the Minister for Europe and External Affairs of France, Catherine Colonna during the ceremony. “I felt honoured and humbled to receive the highest civilian honour from France. I wrote a small poem in French for the award and presented it to Ms Colonna, when she presented me with the insignia of the red ribbon of the Legion of Honour,” Dr Piramal reminisced.

Epitome of humility, she gave the credit to her company and team for the honours that she received. “Rather than letting these recognition add colours to my persona, I take them as a recognition of our collective efforts, which perhaps reinforces Piramal Group’s unending commitment to strengthen the relationship with France that now spans decades across science, business, arts and culture.”

Passionate about her research in health sector, she said, “It is my firm belief that a nation’s progress is also determined by the advancements it makes in the field of science, innovation and business. The rapid strides in science and innovation, in my opinion, benefit the humankind across the world. The awards and recognition encourage us to further endeavour to do more in these fields.”

Dr Piramal’s commitment and contribution is much beyond just healthcare. As the Director of Piramal Foundation, a philanthropic arm of Piramal Group, Dr Piramal is involved in developing innovative long-term and scalable solutions to resolve issues that are critical roadblocks in unlocking India’s economic potential.

She spearheads the efforts of the Foundation towards effective public policy and governance, which, according to her, help enable successful private-public-partnerships to effectively help meet India’s sustainable development goals.

Under the leadership of Dr Piramal, the initiatives of Piramal Foundation work cohesively with the central and state governments, as well as through collaborations with NITI Aayog, The Rockefeller Foundation and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, amongst several others.

She is proud of the fact that India is known as pharmacy of the world. It is a testament of the progress made by the country in the field of healthcare and R&D. “During the pandemic, India has not only produced indigenous vaccines for its citizens but also for the world. In the public health space, India like any other developing country faces challenges. We have to look at developing innovative long-term and scalable solutions that will provide further impetus to India’s economic and social progress.”

An ardent fan of Gandhi and his way of life, Piramal believes that Mahatma Gandhi and the learning one derives from his life and struggles are timeless.

“It is not just India, but also the entire world that continues to be inspired by him and will continue to do so in the coming time. His endeavour to see God through the service of humanity is what we at Piramal Group have looked to imbibe as an ethos. The spirit of ‘Sewa Bhaav’ stems from the belief of doing our duty for the larger good of the society,” she concluded.

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