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Tagore’s Gitanjali echoes in RCGP corridors

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Gitanjali

The headquarter of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) in Euston Square, London, now has a room named ‘Gitanjali’ named after the famous work of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, writes Anjana Parikh

 

Gitanjali
The plaque with an extract from the famous anthology ‘Gitanjali’

Sponsored by Manchester-based medic, Dr Vikram Tanna and his family, the room has an image of Tagore and an extract from ‘Gitanjali’ “to inspire doctors who walk the corridor or enter the room”.

“There is already a statue honouring Tagore in Gordon Square, London. Now there is an image of him in the RCGP headquarters,” said Dr Tanna who’s been the member of RCGP for over 30 years.

Further, he maintained, “The RCGP is a charity, and I like its splendid new building, but it cost a lot and required a large loan to purchase and refurbish.

dr tanna
Dr Vikram Tanna with Prof Mike Pringle, President of the Royal College of General Practitioners

“I am now in the third stage – ‘van prastha ashram’ – of my life. A major feature of this stage is ‘charity’, ‘daan’ or giving away. One can give away anything one has the good fortune to have: one’s time such as in voluntary work; knowledge such as in teaching or tutoring free, by holding classes in any specialist subject; or wealth such as in charitable giving. I am already involved in voluntary work and teaching.”

Dr Tanna who’s a firm believer of giving and sharing, said: “With regard to money, I always tell my children what my father taught me: ‘you spend some, you save some, and you give some away”. I am fortunate to have more than enough for my needs now, so can afford to give away some funds. I feel the College has done a lot for me and my profession, and am proud of what it stands for. So I felt it was right for me to give something back to the College I love.’

Asked why the name ‘Gitanjali’, he said, ““When I was told I could name a room, I felt very privileged and discussed it with my wife. We are proud of our ancient Indian heritage. We have a daughter called Gita Anjali, partly named after the ancient scripture ‘Bhagwad Gita’, and partly after the famous anthology of poems — ‘Gitanjali’– written by Rabindranath Tagore, a towering literary figure in India’s modern history.

“We felt it was appropriate to honour Shri Rabindranath by putting his image and an example of his poetry next to the entrance of the room we called ‘Gitanjali’.”