Graceful, yet gritty, Dr Uma Rajan has contributed to the school health system in a great way.
7/11/2014 11:35:08 AM
|written By : Nithya Subramanian|
Over the past several issues, we have been running a series on Indians who have made
significant contribution to the Singapore story. This issue, being a Women’s Special, we decided to feature one of the country's most prominent women leaders - Dr Uma Rajan. A graceful dancer and doctor, this 73-year-old has been recognised as one of the pioneers of Singapore. In February, she was commemorated at the Istana for her work on school health.
I met the graceful artist at her beautifully done-up, sea-view apartment and what struck me was her ability to balance life, almost perfectly. She comes across as a strong, yet extremely warm person. She speaks her mind quite fearlessly – this was amply evident when she said that unlike some of the well-known men who have contributed to Singapore while also holding big jobs, “We were real women doing a routine job with salaries, and not too many expectations. I was a single mother (widowed at 37) who ploughed back my earnings into the education of my children etc.”
She can even tick off journalists for asking unnecessary and irrelevant questions. “I think it’s a good idea for you to introduce Singaporean pioneers to the new immigrants. That should be a good story angle for you,” she suggested.
Apart from health, Rajan has contributed to the arts in many advisory roles and has written two books - A Life For Others, a biography of the Buddhist nun, Venerable Ho Yuen Hoe in 2006 and Spice Potpourri, a celebrity cookbook collection.