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  Table of Contents  
OBITUARY
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 268-269
 

In memoriam


Sr. Consultant Nephrologist, Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai, India

Date of Web Publication11-Jul-2014

Correspondence Address:
A F Almeida
Sr. Consultant Nephrologist, Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai
India
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How to cite this article:
Almeida A F. In memoriam. Indian J Nephrol 2014;24:268-9

How to cite this URL:
Almeida A F. In memoriam. Indian J Nephrol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Nov 30];24:268-9. Available from: https://www.indianjnephrol.org/text.asp?2014/24/4/268/136124


The Indian nephrology community became poorer on the 5 th of May 2014 with the passing of Dr (Smt) Vidya N Acharya, known fondly as "Madam", "Mother of Nephrology" and other terms of endearment by her countless patients, students, colleagues and admirers.

Dr. Acharya completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Medicine at the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai. She then trained in Nephrology at the University of Leeds and returned to her Alma Mater to nurture Nephrology. He had at one time written that she was a reluctant entrant into the field of Nephrology and had considered Gastroenterology as her first love. But the lady whom we all knew and admired for her strength and commitment, refused to be despondent and instead focused all her energy to make her department a sought-after one.

She had many firsts to her credit, having established the first Department of Nephrology with dialysis and transplant facilities in Western India at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, the first postgraduate course in Nephrology in Western India and the first deceased donor transplant in India. She held the distinction of being the first lady nephrologist of India. She retired as Professor and Head of the Department of Nephrology in 1996. However, as was expected of her, she jumped right back into the fray, not letting grass grow under her feet. She joined the Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital as Senior Consultant and Director of Postgraduate Studies.

Teaching was her obsession, be it to undergraduate or postgraduate students in Medicine and Nephrology, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy students, nurses, technicians and nutritionists. She had been one of the pioneering Nephrology researchers, with a number of high quality publications in journals and book chapters.

Her contributions to the development of nephrology and nephrologists in India have been immense. She helped in the formation of Indian Society of Nephrology, Indian Society of Organ Transplantation and consistently worked for their progress having held the post of president of both societies. She was also a founder member and past President of Hypertension Society of India, and an active member of the Education Committee and Hypertension and Kidney Disease Detection Committee of the International Federation of Kidney Foundation [IFKF]. In recent years, much of her energy was devoted to the prevention of CKD. Despite facing a number of health issues in recent years, her commitment to education remained undiminished till the very end.

Her contributions to the development of Nephrology in the region, the country and in the international arena are well known. In recognition of her contributions, the Indian Society of Nephrology and International Society of Nephrology conferred on her the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Pioneer Awardrespectively.

For those who knew her more closely, she was 'The Iron Lady' with a reputation for discipline, a tough taskmaster and able administrator, a strong motivator in whose vocabulary the word 'impossible' did not exist. She maneuvered through the elephantine bureaucracy of public hospital to set up a model unit, giving evidence to the saying "Tough times do not last, tough people do".

A teacher of nephrology but an exponent of philosophy, teaching not only the science of nephrology but the Art of Living, instilling qualities like courage, integrity, punctuality, meticulousness, compassion, humanity and simplicity, she touched the lives of people around her. Her love for others knew no boundaries, encompassing all around her. Her students and their families felt her motherly protection, her patients experienced her humane touch.

She dreamt the Impossible Dream and made it a reality.

 
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Indian Journal of Nephrology
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Online since 20th Sept '07