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Award for Dr. Adibul Hasan Rizvi

NOT many people become legends in their lifetime, particularly if they are not in the public sphere, and especially so if they do not seek the limelight. Usually, it is posterity that in retrospect recognizes the enormity of their achievements. Not Dr. Adibul Hasan Rizvi however. Pakistanis have long held him to be one of the foremost humanitarians that this country has produced. And so it was entirely appropriate that the country’s cultural community recognized him with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Lahore Literary Festival last week. This is one of a slew of awards that the good doctor has received over the many years he has been the driving force behind the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation in Karachi and head of its transplantation team. For instance, he received the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award 20 years ago; the government of Pakistan too has bestowed upon him some of its highest civilian honours including the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the Hilal-i-Imtiaz and a Lifetime Achievement Award. At 79 years, the celebrated urologist has spent well over four decades in the service of his fellow citizens, without consideration of caste, creed or class. That is a rarity in a country where these distinctions often determine access to facilities that are, or at least should be, welcoming of all. Dr. Adibul Hasan Rizvi`s belief that every person has a right to access free public healthcare with dignity informs his work and the ethos of his beloved institution, one that he began as an eight-bed facility back in 1972 in Civil Hospital. Today, SIUT, despite depending on charitable donations for a large part of its funding, has grown into a state-of-the-art centre offering free medical care to all, and involved in specialized medical education and research.

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