HIS life has seen success, service, commitment and extraordinary achievements. For decades, Dr Jagjit S Chopra has inspired generations of young and upcoming neurologists to achieve excellence. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Emeritus Professor, Department of Neurology, PGIMER, Chandigarh and National Academy of Medical Sciences, Chopra has now been honoured with The Lifetime Achievement Award at the XXIII World Congress of Neurology held at Kyoto, Japan, the highest international award conferred for services in the field of research. The first neurologist to set up the Department of Neurology and Research Laboratory at the PGI, Chandigarh, Chopra is credited with training many neurologists and dedicating his life and work to establish world-class clinical, medical and research services in the area of neurology at the department at PGI, from which he retired in 1995.
An eminent author and research scholar, who believes that there is no limit in gaining knowledge and giving it back to the world for the larger good, Chopra on the occasion of World Stroke Day at the Press Club on Saturday, deliberated on the alarming issue of stroke attack between the age group of 18 and 49, contrary to the belief such attacks strikes the old. “Strokes are linked to a sedentary lifestyle. Neuro problems emerge from modern lifestyle, which is full of stress and adds to reduction in exercise and inculcate wrong eating habits. Not only this, there is reduction in sleep and considerable use of junk food which further adds to obesity, which is a major cause of any nervous breakdown. Bronchial diseases, which are modern killers of society, also add to neuro problems,” adds Chopra.
Talking further about our current lifestyle, Chopra adds, “You see so many children falling prey to neuro problems these days. Ten-year-olds are committing suicides. Parents and teachers of youngsters need to keep a tab on their dietary habits and fitness regime. Most importantly, ample love and affection should be given to them. Thanks to the ‘modern lifestyle’, parents these days do not spend enough time with children, leading to depression among children.”
At 83, Chopra himself is a hero for many. Having suffered a stroke last year, because of which he lost his speech, the professor with his expertise, knowledge and perseverance, not only treated himself with the latest developments in the field, but displayed amazing resolve by working on his body, mind and soul to get on the road of recovery. Slowly and steadily with medicines, physiotherapy a positive outlook and emotional support of his family, Chopra is now on his feet, walking, eating and communicating with his family clearly and coherently.
What’s more, Chopra is looking forward to write a book, which will chronicle the journey of his life and work, its landmarks, challenges, ecstasies, experiences and his constant endevour to look ahead and take on life’s challenges with hope and happiness. The good doctor has miles to go.