A tribute to Dr. Indra Amla
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A tribute to Dr. Indra Amla

August 3, 2020

Her popularity as a Doctor was so much, some patients even named their daughters ‘Indra’

By Dr. V. Prakash, Former Director of CFTRI and Distinguished Scientist of CSIR

When Sam Cherian called me on Saturday morning and gave the news of Dr. Mrs. Indra Amla’s demise, I rushed to their house and paid my last respects to her. In the afternoon when I was sitting at home I remembered some of the events over four decades of association.

Dr. Indra Amla was always seen by us in CFTRI campus during 1972 (when I was a student) as a serious  Doctor who spoke less and would go to her work at Cheluvamba Hospital and return for lunch and again go back to work in the evening in a Herald car, I think. 

As a Doctor by profession, she was very busy as one could see. Her popularity as a Doctor was so much, I know some patients who have even named their daughters Indra in reverence to Dr. Indra Amla.

Over a period of time when I came back from the USA,  Dr. Amla and family too had returned from USA after her stint at the  World Bank. I was working as a Scientist at CFTRI and I                                                             saw her involved more with some of the Projects on Proteins  and Nutrition at CFTRI and other Hospitals of Mysore, in spite  of her busy schedule with the local Hospitals — especially pertaining to Nutrition and Paediatrics. 

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Many people at CFTRI came to know her more at that time. After I took over as Director, she used to bring us new thoughts with JSS Hospital involvement where she was working and after her retirement from Government service.

Her interest in the subject of ‘under-nutrition’ became more and more intense. We made a draft of a project towards that and sent it to the Government. But, like it happens to Governments, it did not move forward fast enough which frustrated Dr. Amla who once mentioned to me “How much does it cost? I will take care of the expenditure and let us move ahead.” It was a small project. That showed her commitment to children and women and to help them somehow. In the end, the project did not take off but Dr. Indra Amla’s passion to serve women and children did not die.

Over the years we used to visit Dr. Amla’s residence on Contour Road, Gokulam and later in Hinkal.  She was an excellent host and conversationalist. And her conversations inevitably always led to something to do with service to society. 

She had another side too — her love for animals, especially her two dogs Boney and Mint. After retirement the family settled in their own home near Hinkal in a small coconut grove. But the dogs were still attached to the CFTRI campus and would land up at the campus making                                                    their way from far off Hinkal. Dr. Amla, who would visit the campus for half-a-day would then meet the dogs on campus and indulge them in a sort of conversation, as if to know how their day went. She would then drive them back home, like a mother picking up her children after school !

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Dr. Indra Amla was a committed worker not only during service but even after retirement. I feel with the passing of Dr. Indra Amla, the iconic era of exceptional women doctors who stood for a cause in Mysuru, has come to an end.

May her soul Rest in Peace.

7 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “A tribute to Dr. Indra Amla”

  1. Gouri Satya says:

    A nostalgic account and a good tribute to Dr. India Amla.

  2. Past Mysorean says:

    Well, the tribute does not say clearly whether her private practice after retirement included free consultations to poor children. From what I heard,this was not the case, and she definitely charged her patients and details of cash and other means of payment was well advertised. One would like to hear about her free medical attention to the poor children after her retirement.
    The person who pays this tribute was a CFTRI” scientist who joined there when her husband was the director,and one would expect this kind of tribute anyway.
    Aside the question of what exactly this central research institution, the white elephant, has achieved, remembering that the other similar institutions achieved not much,like the NAL,which was meant to develop state-of-the art aero engines, and India is buying jet fighters from other countries.
    forthe present,an obituary , it is,nice words said.

  3. ankeatas says:

    Thank you Past Mysoreans

  4. Bhamy V Shenoy says:

    I want to join Dr. V. Praksah in paying tribute to Dr. Indira Amla. Soon after the implementation of mid day meals, MGP wanted to study how it is being implemented. We formed a committee headed by former CFTRI director and former MGP founding president, Dr. H A B Parpia, Dr. Indira Amla and myself. We went around several government schools in and around Mysuru. It was quite a revelation. There were many things we learnt about the nutrition, hygienic conditions of preparing and serving food, reaction of parents and children to the food served, burden imposed on teachers, etc. We gave a report to the Deputy Commissioner. I was touched by the interest showed by Dr. Indira Amla. We went around for several hours and she did not express even once her discomfort. It was very tiring journey through village roads and she was not in the best of health. She took keen interest throughout.

    Some may question what is so praise worthy or admirable about her taking trouble to spend time to study the mid day meals. No need to write the critical importance of mid day meals and how it has improved school attendance and how poor children have been benefited. However in the early stage of mid day meal scheme, its importance was fully grasped. But Dr. Indira Amla realized how important it was and agreed to help MGP. There are several professionals in Mysuru, how many of them come forward to get involved in social work? Most are ready to give speeches, but not to get involved. But Dr. Indira Amla was one such rare exception and we should remember her such services.

  5. What a culture! says:

    Anything that shows Mysore Grahachara Parishad ( note the word: ” Grahachara”)in good light,whether it is protecting a crumbling building which has no heritage value,but they claim it has etc.. Most of them are retirees and arrived to settle in Mysore after their retirement.
    You do not need a report to show the poor state of nutrition, conditions in which the mid-day meal is prepared etc..in schools, if you are a parent who sends your child to the school which is mostly a government institution,because you are not rich.

  6. The heritage howlers! says:

    Boasting by Barmy Shenoy aside,just focusing on the MGP website,you see a list of office bearers, and their positions. Since, they are claiming that MGP takes up issues of social importance to Mysuru,and invites the public to join as members, and if their activities are transparent, then why there is no hyper link for each office bearer, giving their brief bio, so that a potential member can see who they are?This is a good web design approach, With such poor web design of their own organisation, ,the MGP had the temerity to dish out advice to the MCC about on-line tax collection!
    This is the most scaled down web site that any one encounters with an organisation which claims such lofty ideals!One should conclude that this is a middle-class -to- rich congregation of a few individuals,who want to get their names publicised by linking them to the above ideals!!

  7. What a culture! says:

    I should have added, that the district authorities knew the sorry state of the mid day meals, and a re port would not have enlightened them at all.It is that MGP wanted to get its name noticed!!

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