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Dr Jack, Calcutta’s ‘Pavement Doctor’, becomes first living westerner honoured at the Asian Awards

Dr Jack Preger MBE was named Philanthropist of the Year at a star-studded Asian Awards ceremony in London (Friday, May 5 2017).

The award recognises his extraordinary contribution to helping the poorest of the poor in Kolkata for the past 38 years.

It is the first time a living person not of Asian origin has been honoured at the awards, though Mother Teresa received a posthumous award last year.

During the presentation at the Park Lane Hilton by actor and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar, Dr Jack, as he is known, was described as: “truly an outstanding individual who defines the meaning of philanthropy.”

Dr Jack told the audience, which included cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar and London’s mayor Sadiq Khan plus a host of other celebrities: “This is an incredible honour for me. This award gives my organisation, Calcutta Rescue, street med cred - and that’s a great help in this country for our support groups raising funds. It’s a great help in Kolkata. Financially it really is so difficult to keep an organisation going nowadays.

The fact that I’m not Asian makes it even more impressive for me receiving it. I am, in fact, just a nice Yiddisher boy from Manchester.”

Jaydeep Chakraborty, chief executive of Calcutta Rescue, said: “Dr Jack has selflessly and quietly gone about his work of serving some of the poorest citizens in the world. He leads an almost monastic existence.

“The entire team at Calcutta Rescue feels tremendous pride that Dr Jack’s work is finally beginning to be recognised.”

Now 86, Dr Jack still lives in Kolkata helping run Calcutta Rescue, motivating staff, caring for patients and continuing to inspire supporters around the globe.

About Dr Jack:

Born in Manchester in 1930, Jack Preger studied at Oxford before becoming a farmer in Wales. Driving his tractor one day, a mysterious voice told him to become a doctor - prompting him to start a degree in medicine at the age of 35.

Following a radio appeal, he went out to the newly-created Bangladesh where he established a 90-bed clinic for war refugees and two farms where they could live and work.

But he was deported in 1979 after exposing a child-smuggling ring.

He flew to Calcutta, where he began providing free medical care to some of the multitudes living on the streets in abject poverty.

Alone at first, and with very little money, he opened his medical bag and started treating patients on the pavement under a flyover. Over time, Western travelers who saw the vital work he was doing stopped to offer money and help.

Despite repeated challenges, from crime bosses to hostile bureaucrats who forced him to fight repeated legal battles, even throwing him in jail at one point, he set up a charity, Calcutta Rescue, and established a series of street clinics and schools which have helped more than half a million people over the past 38 years.

In 1993 he was made an MBE for his “continued perseverance and incredible selflessness”.

About Calcutta Rescue

Calcutta Rescue provides free healthcare and education to tens of thousands of people living on the streets and in the slums of Kolkata. It has decades of experience delivering high quality, cost-effective care for the poorest of the poor, where and when they need it.

In 2009 the charity was named joint best medium sized NGO in India and last year it received a Guidestar Platinum Award for outstanding transparency and public accountability.

Calcutta Rescue specialises in plugging holes in services provided by the government and other organisations, such as the most difficult to treat cases of TB and HIV, long term care for people affected by leprosy (Hansens Disease), a busy mother and babies unit as well as supporting people with diabetes, heart conditions and a wide range of learning disabilities.

The work is primarily at three make-shift clinics and with two mobile clinics which take medical care deep into the slums with the highest level of need. It also runs two schools preparing slum and street children to enter formal schools and then supporting throughout their education.

Almost all the funding for Calcutta Rescue is provided by individual donors.

About the Asian Awards

The awards were set up in 2010 and recognise exemplary achievement by Asians around the globe.

Former winners include Sachin Tendulkar, Ratan Tata, Jackie Chan, Ravi Shankar and John Rocha.

Dr Jack is the first person to be named Philanthropist of the Year since 2013 when the father of the Indian IT sector, Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, received the award for his support for a wide range of philanthropic initiatives and institutions including the UN Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Over the years the glitzy awards event has attracted the biggest names from the world of sports, showbiz and business with guests and presenters including Zayn Malik, Idres Elba, Lindsay Lohan, George Osborne and Lord Sebastian Coe.

Two years ago the awards trended number one around the world on Twitter for four hours and in India for almost two days.

This year’s judges included the head of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, and Colin Jackson the world champion sprinter and TV presenter.

Media Coverage-

Doctor, who treated poor for free, bags Asian Award!

Dr Jack Preger, Kolkata’s “Pavement Doctor”, became the first living Westerner to be honoured at the “Asian Awards”. Dr Jack Preger, MBE, was named “Philanthropist of the Year” at the Asian Awards ceremony in London on Friday, in recognition of his service in helping the poorest of the poor in Kolkata for the past 38 years.
Click here to read the article on Doctor Jack at "The Asian Age"

 

'Pavement doctor' Dr Jack gets 'Asian Award'

Dr Jack Preger, the city of joy's 'Pavement Doctor', has become the first living westerner to be honoured at the 'Asian Awards'. 

Click here read full article on "Business Standard"

 

Kolkata’s ‘Pavement Doctor’ becomes first living westerner honoured at the Asian Awards

Dr Jack Preger MBE was named Philanthropist of the Year at a star-studded Asian Awards ceremony in London (Friday, May 5 2017).
The award recognises his extraordinary contribution to helping the poorest of the poor in Kolkata for the past 38 years.

Click here to read full article on India Blooms:

 

City's Pavement doctor wins Asian honours.

From being a farmer in Manchester to the “pavement doctor“ in Kolkata, it's been a long journey for Dr Jack Preger. In recognition of his extraordinary contribution to helping the poorest of the poor in the city for the past 38 years, the 86-year-old doctor was conferred the Philanthropist of the Year award at the star-studded Asian Awards ceremony in London on Friday.

 To read full article on Times of India, click here!

 

I'd like to contribute more to help Palestinians facing Israeli oppression: Kolkata's pavement doctor. 

It's been a long journey for Dr Jack Preger from being a farmer in Wales to the 'pavement doctor' of Kolkata. In recognition of his extraordinary contribution to helping the poorest of the poor in Kolkata for the past 38 years, the 86-year-old doctor was awarded the Philanthropist of the Year at a star-studded Asian Awards ceremony in London.

For full article on Times of India City, click here!

We just got the Youtube video link of the 7th Asian Awards-Promotional Overview. Dr Jack was a real star on the night.
Click here 

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