The Crusader of Mental Health

Awards and Honors

CRC has received more than 50 awards and honors. This chapter covers some important awards given for his work. The next chapter covers the awards for his books.
CRC received UGC – Hari Om Trust Award given to “outstanding scientists in the field of interaction between science and society” on 14 February 2001 in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The University Grants Commission with the help of an endowment made by Hari Om Ashram Trust, Nadiad, instituted these awards to be awarded every year to outstanding scientists.

Every year, National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology invites nominations from prestigious institutions in the country for the National Award for science popularization. In 2001 Dr Gowri Devi, Director of NIMHANS, received letter from NCSTC requesting nomination of a person who had done work to bridge gap between science and society. She nominated CRC for the award after discussing with him, since he had worked extensively for this cause.

An official from NCSTC called home when he was not there. His wife was told that CRC had been selected for the award. She did not call his office, but waited until he came home in the evening. She told him he had got an award and teasingly asked him to the guess the prize amount. He hazarded a figure of Rs. 10,000. She then broke the good news to him.

The awards function took place in Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi on 28 February 2002. He received National award for Science Popularization (General Category) for his contribution to popularizing science through his writings; the award included a citation and one lakh rupees. Till then, only six people from Karnataka had received this award. He was the first psychiatrist in the country to receive this award.

One day in 1997, CRC went to the office of Kannada and Culture Department. One of the office bearers requested him not to take offence at his question and asked him to reveal his caste. As usual CRC shot back, “Why do you ask?” He was then told that he had been nominated for the Rajyotsava award , but at the last stage had been rejected since he was from Bangalore, from where several had already got awarded, and they thought he belonged to a forward caste.
After thirteen years, in 2010, CRC received the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award. He got it without having applied for it or asking anyone to nominate him.

In 1993, his former classmate, Dr. Ramachandriah, who was the President of Bharatiya Vaidya Sangha (Indian Medical Association), Bangalore Chapter, called CRC to break the news that he had been chosen for the Dr. B C Roy Award. The award would be presented on July 1, the National Doctor’s Day, he said.

Raj Kumar, the popular film star, was the chief guest who gave away the awards. In the function, held in Chowdiah Memorial Hall with a packed audience, CRC spoke on behalf of all the awardees. The event was later telecast on Doordarshan channel. CRC could interact with Rajkumar during the event. Subsequently Raj Kumar invited CRC to assist him in making a Kannada movie, “Shruti Seridaga.” CRC gave inputs to the script writer and coached the actor who played the role of a psychiatrist in the movie.

The Sandesha Special Recognition Awards 2006 – instituted by Sandesha Foundation for Culture and Education, Mangalore – was conferred on CRC for his research in and service to psychiatry.

CRC became the secretary of IPS – Karnataka Chapter around 1976. It had only around 20 members at that time. It used to hold monthly meeting; apart from this, there were no other activities. CRC initiated several activities for the public and for the members of IPS. Talks on mental health by members were organized for various target groups like women and the elderly, and talks for the medical fraternity to create awareness of mental illnesses. Most medical colleges do not have department of psychiatry. IPS started holding mental health case studies in many medical colleges.

CRC got IPS to organize inter-school essay competition and debating competitions. Students were provided books through their school libraries, and asked to debate or write an essay on the given topic, which would be on mental health issues related to students – anxiety, depression, examination fear, and blind beliefs. In the beginning, Hombegowda High School, Wilson Garden, organized the competition, inviting participation from 25 schools. Later other schools started similar competitions in their areas, with the help of local psychiatrists. This concept was extended to medical colleges, in the form of a quiz program and a psychiatry examination for MBBS students.
Due to his contribution to IPS and work in psychiatry, the Karnataka Branch of Indian Psychiatry Society gave Eminent Psychiatrist award to CRC in 2006 at the conference of IPS held in Raichur.

Nudisiri Award was presented to CRC for his work and his contribution to Kannada medical literature. It was given during ‘Nudisiri-2009’, the cultural and language conference of Kannada organized in 2009 by Dr. Mohan Alva’s Education Trust in Moodbidri.

CRC was selected for the Dr Anupama Niranjana medical literature award (given for lifetime contribution to medical literature in Kannada) instituted by The Kannada Book Authority (Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara), Government of Karnataka, for the year 2012.

Kannada Sahitya Parishat gave a special award and honored CRC in the annual Kannada Sahitya Samavesha (conference) held in Tumkur.

Dr. K. Shivaram Karanth Pratishtana, Mudubidre (Karnataka) selected CRC for the prestigious award given for science literature.