Dr. Jaydeep Tank

FOGSI President 2024

From the Desk of President – Dr. Jaydeep Tank, FOGSI 2024

  Click here to view Dr. Jaydeep Tank’s Presidential Speech at FOGSI AICOG Hyderabad 2024: A Vision for Women’s Health.


It is my privilege and honor that I am being installed as the 61st President of FOGSI in beautiful Hyderabad the city of pearls, love, biryani and of course the OGSH.

I knew I was going to have to give this Presidential address at least from 30th March 2022 around 6 pm when the election results were declared and I had been meaning to write it since a long time. But as Calvin tells Hobb—You can’t just turn on creativity like a Faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What is that? asks Hobbs, and Calvin says—Last minute panic.

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…”
Julie Andrews, Rodgers and Hammerstein
The Sound of Music.

The AICOG 2024 was awarded to the OGSH during the MCM in Hyderabad in 2020 held on the cusp of Covid and the beginning of normality. Although the OGSH team was already at work, it is safe to assume that efforts multiplied after the grand and highly successful AICOG at Kolkata led by our dear friends Dr. Bhaskar Pal, Dr. Dibyendu Banerjee, Dr. Krishnendu Gupta with the wonderful and warm team from the Bengal Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society.

The hours of hard work and planning has reached fruition in this fantastic event FOGSI’s 66th AICOG at Hyderabad 2024 hosted by the OGSH. The entire team and Society led by the indomitable Dr. Shantha Kumari also the President of the OGSH amongst all the other hats that she wears, Organising Secretaries Dr. Vindhya T. and Dr. Aruna Suman, Treasurer Dr. Jamuna Devi, Chair Scientific Committee Dr. M. Krishna Kumari and Vice Chair Dr. Kiranmai Devineni and Dr. Padmaja A., Joint Organising Secretaries, Dr. Archana, Dr. Manjula, Dr. Lakshmi (also the secretary of OGSH) and all the team with its subcommittees and members of the OGSH Managing Committee have achieved a event to remember and I am again humbled by the honour of being installed here in Hyderabad. I must mention Mr. Thirupathi Atkapuram and his team here for excellent imaginative and prompt work.

I tip my hat to the beat work done by all the team members of the previous year. Many congratulations to all of them.

I have no hesitation in saying that this is an overwhelming and emotional moment for me. It has been my privilege to have presented the Secretaries report at the Inauguration of the AICOG three times and now I stand before you as the 61st President of FOGSI. It is a privilege not taken lightly.

We must welcome the future,
remembering that soon it will be the past;
and we must respect the past,
remembering that it was once
all that was humanly possible.
– George Santayana –

I have always felt that we stand on the shoulders of Giants and I am very cognisant of the fact that what is seen today is built over years and gets stronger with time.

My being here is resplendent with Serendipity. It is only the third time in the 74 years of FOGSI’s existence that a son has become the President of FOGSI after his father was President, but I believe it is the first time that a father and son have been both Secretary General and President and also the first time this has happened with a sibling as Treasurer. It is also the first time that a Past Secretary General has handed over the Presidency to another Past Secretary General and it is also perhaps the first time when three persons who have been and are Secretary General are on the dais together for an AICOG Inauguration.

“post hoc, ergo propter.”
“after this, therefore because of this.”

Being the President of FOGSI is an immense honour and as I begin my journey in this position I would like to reflect on what a Presidential address at the Inauguration means.

I believe the Presidential address has to have three vital components, to outline the expectations and hopes for the upcoming year, reflections on the personal journey to becoming a President, in the hope that this journey will find an echo with all members of FOGSI and serve as an expression of gratitude to all those who made it happen and finally a brief outline of what FOGSI and women’s health means to the person leading the organisation. That is why this Presidential address follows the same order.

Let me first begin this part by introducing the team for the next year. But let me say this and I cannot reiterate it enough. Each one of you, including the International faculty, is Team FOGSI. The persons on the stage and holding office and post are your custodians for our Federation. Although we are used to saying my team and my year this is not my team, this is truly FOGSI’s team I will make a conscious efforts to always refer to them as FOGSI’s team and the FOGSI year 2024-25 where I just happen to be President.

I am blessed with an incredible set of Vice Presidents. Dr. Ajay Mane, Dr. Charmila Ayyavoo, Dr. Girija Wagh, Dr. Janmajeya Mohapatra, Dr. Neerja Bhatla – FOGSI looks to you for your individual and collective talents, steadying hands and unstinted support.

I am sure that Dr. Madhuri Patel our dynamic Secretary General the first woman in FOGSI to hold this position, Dr. Suvarna Khadilkar who has revealed to tech geek side of her since she became the Deputy Secretary, Dr. Parikshit Tank, the meticulous and thinking treasurer and the efficient and effective Dr. Niranjan Chavan and the quiet and hardworking Joint secretary Dr. Kunal Doshi will step up to the plate and ensure a smooth and fruitful year. In all this I will look for guidance and advise from my dear friends Dr. Hrisikesh Pai and Dr. Sunita Thandulwadkar. The ICOG led by Parubhai, Parag, Dr. Sheela Mane, Dr. Ashok Kumar and my very good friend Dr. Sarita Bhalerao will surely excel as it always does and take the splendid work led by Dr. Laxmi Shrikhande forward. Parulbhai has some interesting idea and we hope we can implement them. And our ever enthusiastic and prompt team from the Journal will lead the Journal to greater heights. Dr. Madhuri Patel the EIC, Dr. Sujata Dalvi, Dr. Arun Nayak, Dr. Anahita Chauhan, Dr. Ashwini Bhalerao Gandhi, dr. Pradnya Chengade, Dr. Pradnya Supe, Dr. Gaurav Desai, Dr. Gaurav Desai, Dr. Sunil Tambavekar. Dr. Geetha Balsarkar – congratulations on a great tenure and some wonderful work done by you. My core team – Dr. Neharika Malhotra, Dr. Rohan Palshetkar, Dr. Priyankur Roy, Dr. Apoorva Pallamreddy, Dr. Ritu Hinduja, Dr. Kunal Doshi, Dr. Munjal Pandya. In large part, the structure Dr. Hrishikesh Pai has put in place with the Zonal coordinators will continue.

The train of thought for what the tenure looks like begins from choosing a theme. I went back and looked at all the themes FOGSI has had. In another act of serendipity, the tradition of having annual themes was started by my father Dr. D. K. Tank when he was the President of FOGSI in 1997.

FOGSI has thus had 26 themes to date and I divided the themes into broad and topic specific themes. 17 out of 26 themes were broad and since this sees to be FOGSI’s seitgeist I decided to follow this.

This is the theme for this year and I am very happy to share that the logo, communication and artwork has all been done by me personally. No artist of creative person has been involved in making it. I have always felt that any logo has to tell a story and I am happy to share the thoughts and stories behind this logo.

It is difficult to give a full and complete rundown of the FOGSI’s activities through the year so I will attempt to give a brief account of the year.

We plan to have thirty two conferences bookended by the two AICOG’s. I would like to thank all the Societies, organizers, committee chairs involved in organizing the conferences. We intend to identify skills that can be imparted in a CME fashion and make skill building an integral part of the conferences and CME’s, include breakout sessions and roundtables and encourage greater south learning and participation. We have tried to maintain an equitable and proportional distribution of conferences in our four zones and the plan is to have major CME’s in the states where we have not been able to reach with a conference.

Amongst other activities we will launch Em Gurukul – the world’s first bottom – up mentor matching system which will enable mentees to choose topics and their mentors through an online platform. We will work in Urban slums – focus on rural areas although well deserved and much needed makes us lose sight of a grossly underserved population right below our noses for those in cities. The format will be pre hype for two days in a given slum with incentives followed by an awareness and medical camp, and a parallel one for paramedics. This will also be followed up by a second camp in the same area to assess the impact of the intervention. The work will focus on anemia and we will use the platform to piggy back knowledge on menstrual hygiene and general nutrition. We will initiate and participate in 30,000 camps of various sizes in healthcare facilities and in the community, over 500 in person CME’s and over 250 Online CME’s. In person CME will be preceded by a meeting like a TOT to develop a resource pool of speakers who will communicate uniform messages. The Gurukul Medha – FOGSI ICOG PG training program will continue. Our projects like Manyata. The ACS project. The LDI project and all the other ongoing projects will, well for want of a better word go on and hopefully be scaled up. We will also have Conclaves and consensus meetings. Rh Masterclass, Rishta Breastfeeding program Labour CME’s, Adult Vaccination centres, etc. We will start monthly Newsletters and hope to have 12 of them to disseminate information about FOGSI activities to all our members and other stakeholders in Womens Health. We will also draft and circulate letters to authorities at National, State and district level to amplify FOGSI’s voice in policymaking at disparate levels.

FOGSI has 29 Committees this year and they are the backbone of FOGSI’s activities. We have instituted the use of Gantt charts this year where the committees will be able to draft and report on the plans of the year. This will alleveiate the problems of collating reports for the various meetings. I am delighted to share and would like to acknowledge that 28 out of 29 Committee chairs have submitted their work plans. I am very proud of their efforts and would like to express my gratitude to all of them for their unrelenting enthusiasm and hard work. Every Committee will have its own webpage where their activities will be showcased and they have also put together a narrative about their respective committees which will be displayed on the webpage. I have urged them to Think Big. Start Small and Start Now and they have already started even before the year begins.

Humans are FOGSI’s greatest assets and the cells stared in 2012 represent this. The topics of deliberations for the cells have been static since 2012. I intend to completely revamp the cells by assigning new topics to them, give new Terms of reference and introduce a new working methodology for them. The cells will now have the following topics:

  1. Regulatory Cell—ART Act, PC PNDT Act and other regulatory issues, Violence against Doctors—“People don’t see the problem until there’s data to show the violence And no one wants to spend money to solve a problem that they don’t perceive to exist in the first place.” This cell will look at the evidence and narratives which surround the issue and try to tease apart the data to validate these narratives.
  2. Membership Cell to look at our Social Security Scheme where we should move from our current pyramid model to a group term insurance model.
  3. Elections Cell to look at specifically the issue of Nominations and opening up of the Joint Treasurer and other administrative posts.
  4. Language / imagery guide cell which I will talk about later in the speech.
  5. Publications cell—create a landscape of FOGSI publications over the years, develop a Guideline to develop Guidelines and identify the types and value of various kinds of publications like GCPR’s, Clinical Practice points, etc.

I hope that every President to follow will have different topics for cells as the Output for the cells will be a Document on the issue under consideration with a Deadline for presentation at the September Managing Committee Meeting.

The working of the cell is also tweaked so that instead of an in person meeting in February (which has been the norm) the cell will hold virtual meetings in February and March followed by an in person meeting prior to the April Managing Committee which in this year will be on the Friday 19th April in Kolkata. This will be followed by one more virtual meeting in July and an in person meeting on 27th September in Mumbai. The in person meeting will be from 11 am to 4 pm to have a thorough discussion on the issues.

We are also introducing KPI Dashboards. This will help in creating a searchable database of all the work that we have done and work which is planned. and hopefully we will develop it in a way that will allow us to search for work done by geography, topic and type and will obviate the need to go through our annual reports anytime we want to look for the enormous amount of work that we do.

We are also planning a demographic study of FOGSI members to find out and stratify our membership by gender, geography, age, district, state, etc. We are also planning to have a consultant look at FOGSI from the outside. Sometimes we are so invested in what we are doing we fail to realise that we have so many missed opportunities and this will help us in filling those gaps.

Our efforts and in no small measure the kind guidance and stimulating discussions with Medha Gandhi, Anchita Patil, Vikas Yadav and Dr. Rajani Ved from the BMGF, the hard work from Rathish Balakrishnan, Harsh Ghildayal and the team from Sattva (we took four months and at least 10 meetings to write the proposal and budget) has resulted in the largest ever grant, direct or indirect, to FOGSI ever for a shade over 2 Million US Dollars equivalent to around 16 and half crore rupees. I am happy to share that the first tranche of around 6 and half crores has already been disbursed and is in the FOGSI account waiting to be deployed.

We are in talks with Packard Foundation along with IDF to tease apart the evidence for Provider behaviour and bias if any, the origins of stigma and effective interventions to address it. We expect that the our second MOU with USAID will be signed in the first quarter of this year for Menstrual health, Perinatal Mental health, Udaan Adolescent Health. We are also speaking to RTSL to do some work on NCD’s particularly in Hypertension. Briefly the FOGSI BMGF project will work in three outcome areas in four states across approximately 30 districts. More details about this project are discussed and will be minuted in the GBM and as always the minutes will be shared with all members.

My time at the AOFOG has been thoroughly enjoyable and a delightful learning experience and I thank the officers of the AOFOG and all the Committee Chairs. I am delighted that current President Pisake Lumbiganon, Secretary General Dr. Rohana Hathothatwa, Treasurer Joong Shin Park and SRH Committee Chair Unnop Jaisamrarn and MFM committee Chair UDP Ratnasiri have been able to make time and be here and look forward to seeing everyone in Manila a few days from now. I must also thank all the Past Presidents Dr. Ravi Chandran and Prof Kazunori Ochiai for their constant support and guidance. AOFOG is grounded in fellowship and science and I sincerely hope that FOGSI and AOFOG have an ever more synergies and we welcome AOFOG activities and its members to India as often as they possibly can make it.

I have gained much knowledge about organisations and their functioning in the short time I have was the Vice Chair for the Abortion project and then Committee Chair for Safe Abortion at FIGO and would like to thank the person who led the Abortion project in FIGO for so many years Prof Anibal Faundes, then President Carlos Fucthner, the secretary Lesley Regan the immediate past president CN sir who was the President when we wrote the proposal, the other officers, and then CEO Johan Vos and then interim CEO Hamid Rushwan and the FIGO staff for all their help. I welcome all the FIGO officers and committee members and hope that under Anne Beatrice Kihara and Frank Louwen our relationship will continue to grow and flourish and look forward to welcoming all from FIGO to India through the year.

The SAOFG is an important subregional organisation and I would like to thank and congratulate Dr. Shyam Desai the President and Dr. Rohana the Immediate past President and the other dignitaries from the SAFOG including Dr. Narendra Malhotra, Dr. UDP Ratnasiri, Dr. Ferdousi Begum, Dr. Farhana Dewan, Dr. Rowshan Ara and Dr. Hrishikesh Pai for their contribution to Womens health and thank you Dr. Rohana for giving me the privilege of being able to put together the SAOFG website.

FOGSI has enjoyed a close relationship with many inter national organisations. I am happy to note the presence of representatives from the RCOG led by the President Ranee Thakar. Personally I was privileged to have been awarded the FRCOG (Honoris Causa) when Eddie Morris was the President of the College and I had the honour of having my citation read by Dame Lesley Regan and nominated by Prof Sir Arulkumaran and Dame Lesley. EBCOG is represented by Frank Louwen, Sambit Mukhopadhyay and Fionnuala and we hope that our relationship continues to grow and I am hoping that we will sign a MOU with the RANZCOG this year and I would like to thank Vijay Roach, Benjamin Bopp, Nisha Khot and Vase Jovanoska and Sudi Sekhar, for this initiative. FOGSI has great sister organisations in India and it is a happy coincidence that this year the President of IAGE Atul Ganatra, and the President of ISAR Ameet Patti happen to be close friends.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”.
~ John F Kennedy Jr ~

As we express our gratitude to FOGSI, as we express gratitude to each and every one of you, as we express gratitude to all the seniors and everybody who will be a part of the next year activities, we will certainly try to live our words of gratitude by our actions.

My Journey in FOGSI began when I was very young. I am proud to say that I am not a self made man. I have been shaped by my family, my mentors, seniors, colleagues and juniors. I attended my first MOGS meeting when Dad was installed as the President of MOGS in 1986. I was elected to the Managing Committee of the MOGS in 1998.

Every person has his or her individual characteristics. But not being the same doesn’t mean to be better or worse, just different.
~ Prof Anibal Faundes ~

Prof Faundes had once written to me in an email that every person has his or her individual characteristics, but not being the same doesn’t mean to be better or worse, just different. FOGSI has been served by a diverse set of leaders and this has served the organisation very well. I remember R D Pandit sir in the MCM and the sigh of relief from the dais when it he finished making questions to the office bearers, I am delighted that I have had the good fortune to witness the presence of Rohit Bhatt sir, Daftary sir, Dr. Shirish Sheth, Usha Krishna, Kamal Buckshee, Soonawala sir, Dr. Alokendu, Kamini Rao, and Dr. Usha Saraiya and Dr. Sadhana Desai, as Past presidents in the MCM. I have now served under 17 FOGSI Presidents and it has been wonderful to learn something from each one of them.

From the affability of Dr. Behram Anklesaria, the dynamism of Dr. Shyam Desai (who helped me with the first paper I published in the Indian Journal which was proofed by Dr. Shirish Daftary), the grace, sheer polish and planning of Dr. Duru Shah, the articulation and oratory of Dr. Pankaj Desai, the kindness of the youngest Yuva of FOGSI the king of selfies and publications Dr. Narendra Malhotra ( my first invitation as a faculty outside Mumbai was from him), the amazing sense of what makes an organisation work of CN sir (I missed sir when I was installed as the MOGS President and I am so happy that he is here). Although much has been said about Sirs abilities I think what has not been appreciated adequately is his ability to pick talent and mentor that talent so effectively. The serenity, wisdom, acumen and the gravitas that Sanjay Gupte sir brings to any discussion he is a part of, the extraordinary capacities of P C Mohapatra Sir as an entrepreneur, leader, guide and now politician and the sheer warmth, affection and love that he exudes particularly for me. the meticulousness of Dr. P K Shah (I am sure Sir is tired of hearing this but Sir was my examiner in 3rd MBBS and I always say that I hope he does not regret passing me in the exams. The funny thing is that after hearing this so many times Sir has still not told me that he does not regret it.), Hema Divakar the dynamo of FOGSI ever enthusiastic, ebullient, helpful and thought leader, the wonderfully enthusiastic and innovative Suchitra Pandit, one of the most hardworking and dedicated persons I have ever met Dr. Prakash Trivedi, the wonderfully calm and brilliant surgeon always encouraging and supportive Dr. Alka Kriplani, and of course one of the most organised and pragmatic persons I have met Dr. Rishma Pai who was such a great President. I was very fortunate when I was Secretary General I was lucky that I started my tenure as Secretary General with my namesake my elder sister Jaideep. Her rapport with everyone in FOGSI was and is extraordinary as is her grasp of issues. My next trip around the sun as Secretary General was with the President with the golden touch, Dr. Nandita Palshetkar. Nandita was and is a very generous person, unafraid to raise questions, a great friend and extremely resourceful, dependable and consistent. I was very fortunate that I was her secretary both in the MOGS and FOGSI and I had not only a productive but also a fun time working with her. Alpeshbhai of course will go down in the history of FOGSI as the person who led us through the Pandemic his drive and passion to work made a mark and managed to turn a threat into an Opportunity. FOGSI increased its reach and found new ways to cope in the Pandemic in ways which will augur well for the future.

The last two and the next Presidents are brilliant person. We knew that Shantha is a great organiser and she has this unique ability to make people see things the way she wants them to be seen. Thank you again Dr. Shantha Kumari for all your dedicated hard work for this wonderful launch pad for the year 2024-25. The very special Dr. Hrishikesh Pai. The greatest peoples person I know – someone who can make you believe you are so good at something and then get work done from you in a way which makes you grateful that he asked you to do the work. Dr. Hrishikesh Pai has been a great inclusive leader and has also walked the talk when he told me that I should not hesitate to start work on this year well before the year starts. Hrishikesh complete a frenetic term and has hope that he will have a quiet life now. But I am sorry Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a quiet life is not in your nature and is not in FOGSI’s interest also. So although you can take a short break you will find yourself in Zooms and airports and planes soon enough. Dr. Sunita Tandulwadkar is of course a great planner and executes everything with great panache, we have heard and seen continuity in action this year and I can assure you Sunita that whatever support you need this year will be there for you to enable you to start planning and even executing you plans from this years itself. You will have a two year Presidency.

The post of Secretary General in FOGSI is a special post and notwithstanding the fact that I have held this post special people have held this post. CN sir was the Secretary General when entered the Managing Committee of FOGSI and his influence over the institution and all of us is undeniable. P K Shah sir was a fantastic Secretary General who had the abilityto hold in thrall and command attention from the sometimes unruly MCM, Dr. Nozer Sheriar of course was one of our most brilliant Secretary General and Hrishikesh bought his charismatic leadership style to the post It is fair to say that Secretary General add to the organisation in their own way. As has the current Secretary General Dr. Madhuri Patel and our entire administrative team with Dr. Suvarna Khadilkar, Dr. Parikshit Tank and Dr. Niranjan Chavan. We have worked together for many years. Although we have argued sometimes our relationship and friendship has weathered all this and come out better for it. I have always felt that a relationship that cannot withstand a little argument is perhaps not a healthy relationship – this does not mean that everyone start arguing with me now. I have my hope pinned on all of you for smooth and efficient functioning for the next year.

The FOGSI office staff is forever. We come and we go as office bearers and with other posts but they are a constant. I remember Ms. Bhandarkar today with her extensive command and knowledge over FOGSI and wish to thank all the staff for their sincere efforts. They really shone in the pandemic and ensured that the office continued to function through the pandemic. Sangeeta Mestry the OS, Kanchan Pathare Asst OS, Hema Bhatkar and Deepti Gotad from accounts, Neelima More from ICOG, Maria Pareria and Arati Mhatre from the Journal Shubdha Redkar, Poonam Singh, Poonam Mahendre, Sonam Singh, Nikita Parab, and the men of FOGSI Prakash Gurav, Prakash Bomble, Satyawan Gurav, Suryakant Rane, Prasad Karkhanis we owe you all a big round of applause.

I trust that like in all the years gone by the FOGSI Office bearers, Managing Committee, Committees and above all the members get together in a well – coordinated minuet which will allow us to combine the beauty of the past with all the best hope of the future.

My professional life is underpinned by all the teachings I have received over the years from all my teachers. I am very thankful to all of you and am delighted that so many of you could be present today. My first ever Gyn term as an MBBS student was in the unit of Dr. Asha Dalal and Dr. C V Hegde and Arun Nayak was the lecturer. I cast my mind back to Dr. Virkud’s clinics and notes, the surgical skills of Dr. Sharad Shah and Dr. R M Sarogi, the surgical dissection and clinics of my MD teacher Dr. Pravin Mhatre, the teachings of Dr. Manju Mataliya, Dr. Manohar Motwani, my lecturer in Cooper, Dr. MS Bhattacharya and Dr. Vanita Raut, Dr. Kaizad Damania who assisted my first cesarean section, Dr. Mehroo Hansotia under whose guidance I learnt Trans Vaginal Ultrasound and the basics of Infertility in the Wadia infertility clinic, Dr. Nitin Narvekar and Dr. Nayna Dastur and Dr. Murari Nanvati under whome I was a lecturer for several years.

But I must admit that my education started even before I got a residency in Obstetics and Gynaecology. Thie Journal Club a collection of the most fascinating personalities including Dr. C G Saraiya, Dr. N D Motashaw, Dr. Sula Mehta, Dr.M D and Sharda Adatia, Dr. Anil Parulekar, Dr. Govind and Sarla Ganatra, Dr. Shrish Sheth, Dr. Sadhana Desai, Dr. Mehroo Hansotia, and Dad. Their discussions which I attended instilled aspirations in me for a lifetime. I particularly miss Mehroo aunty today, as the first time I got an opportunity to be a part of the organising team of a conference was during her tenure.

You cannot choose family, you are born into it. I have been singularly lucky and fortunate to have the family I do. I have always aspired to like my Father. The son of a humble potato farmer born into poverty in a remote village in Gujarat, he rose from studying under streetlights in his school days, to building a flourishing private practice and also becoming the President of literally every association he was in be it professional associations like the MOGS, FOGSI, SAFOG, AOFOG or even the housing societies we lived and worked in. But through it all, what shone was the empathy and understanding he carried for everyone he interacted with. He did Yeomans work for FOGSI a amongst which he was the first to start themes within FOGSI, instituted the C G Saraiya CME, for the first time raised voluntary funds for FOGSI from the membership and initiated and established relationships with the Government of India which resulted in FOGSI’s longest running project the EMOC project which was later taken forward by Dr. Sadhana Desai.

My mother was by any standards a remarkable woman. She was a midwife and met my Father in the labour rooms of JJ hospital. I presume their dialogue went much beyond please pass me the Mop sister. My mother managed our hospital, home and family for over fifty years. You know they say God could not be everywhere and so he made mothers. I don’t know about God, but I knew my mother was always everywhere I have never got away with any of my multiple shenanigans in my very mischievous childhood, she always seemed to know. I miss them both and I hope that wherever they are looking down from upon our family they feel happy, satisfied and are continuing to bless us.

My sister Nivedita aka Didi pretty much everywhere we go for IVF work, she calls herself universal Didi is one of the nicest persons I know. She is the archetypal softie with the gruff exterior. Much like the characters George Clooney portrays. If it were not for her, we would not find it so easy to do the amount of IVF work we do. I always thought that my younger brother Parikshit is a spoilt brat. As we have both grown older, I have realised that he is a spoiled brat, but he is also the most dependable, kind, intelligent, thorough and hardworking person I know. Quite simply I can only do what I do because he shoulders the burden of our work and I can be absolutely certain that he does it with impeccable integrity, dedication and unparalleled sincerity. Although I don’t say it often enough or they would even say, never, Didi and Parikshit I love you both to bits. In our family we have been fortunate to have married well. Kurush is one of the most brilliant Gynecologists and doctors I know and an all round great person and Parul is simply wonderful and charming and one of the best regarded psychiatrists of the country. Thank you Pesi uncle, Naju aunty, Porus and Kashmira, Rajen uncle and Sushma aunty for them. Our gen Next is all set to take on the world and Anosh, Maithili and Nikhil- we look forward to great things from you.

I really hit the jackpot when I met my wife to be Sonali, then Chauhan in medical college. She has been the rock on which I have built my life. She is my best friend, my sounding board, my anchor and the love of my life. Since words often fail me when it comes to her, I am going to paraphrase Lord Byron and say.

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes,

It has been the joy of my life to see my two children Dev and Jash grow. Dev is now a Lawyer and pursuing his Masters in Intellectual property law at Durham University and Jash is pursuing the study of medicine in his third year I have now realised the true meaning of the phrase that “Making the decision to have a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” They have become fine human beings and as they embark on their life beyond the confines of the home, I can only hope that we have given them wings to fly and roots to come back to.

I have also had very good kismet that I have such wonderful in laws. I owe this to Ba and thank you Tiku, Anahita and Renu for being who you are and the kids now adults Ritwik, Arnav, Sanaa and Shamoel. Thank you for taking the time to be here.

I am very thankful to all our team Ashwini. Everything stems from there.

I J Uncle, Suvarna Ranadive, Dr. Piyush Modi, Mayuri, Rekha, Asma, all our Doctors staff and above all Dr. Amla Chati. Chati Aunty as she is known to us and literally thousands of patients is an institution by herself and stands alone in her relationship with patients. She keeps Ashwini together. Paresh and Egbert thank you for all your help over the years. I am very happy to see Egbert here. Our colleagues who we are associated with for IVF have gone beyond being colleagues and have become a part of our lives. I am very thankful to all of them for everything. About Ben Ademites, We have been friends for close to three and a half decades, more than half my lifetime and in all these years I have yet to find one picture that was not at least partly blurred. I wonder why? Thank you for our effortless friendship and love you all. My closest friends in Gynecology, Atul, Nozer and me have attended several conferences together and eaten innumerable theplas from Atuls bag. They are both considerably senior to me and yet have never made me feel as if I was junior to them. Thank you Madhvi and Ruby for sparing them to MOGS and FOGSI and me. Prof Paul Devroey was introduced to us by Mehroo aunty and I had the good fortune to learn the nuances of IVF in Brussels in his department, Christophe from the same university and Sabeth are close friends and we had the pleasure of organising two unique BIC meetings with Christophe in Brussels. Dame Lesley Regan, unfortunately could not make it to this conference but she has always been a great support and inspiration and I look forward to all her guidance.

I have many friends in the public health sector, but I must admit I have a special place for my friends from Ipas. It was the first organisation I worked closely with and the relationship has not only survived but grown and thrived for close to 23 years. I am very happy that Vinoj Manning, Sangeeta Batra, Medha Gandhi originally from IDF are here and please convey my best regards to Chandra and Glad son. I would also like to acknowledge all the friends and seniors across organisations—Pompy from MSD for Mothers, Somesh, Parag, Shweta, Dr. Dinesh, Anupama and many more from JHPIEGO, Moni, Sachin and Amit from USAID, Anand from Packard Foundation, Kalpana from FPAI, Anjali, Suchi and Rahul from GHS and so many more from so many organisations. FOGSI and me are indebted for the partnerships and we hope to work together even more closely. I have been extraordinarily lucky with friends and I owe them all big time.

When I was making a list of my friends to thank for this speech, I realised that I needed to thank and acknowledge at least 250 persons who I consider to be my friends. It is not possible for me to name all of them but I can only say I am very grateful you took time off to be here wish us the best and I am truly appreciative of all that you have meant to me in all these years. I must also mention the FOGSI friend Facebook group and if you are a FOGSI member not yet a part of the group, please join and if you face any problem joining the group please reach out to the admins Narendra, Alpeshbhai, Hrishikesh, Sudhirbhai, Dipakbhai Yashodhara Pallamreddy madam and others.

I would like to end this part of the presentation by expressing my gratitude and thanks to the three persons who have taken me under their wings and given me sage and wise advise over the last so many years.

Dr. Rohana has been a pillar of support and sagacity. He is extremely astute and his insight into situations has been enlightening and a guiding light for me. A part of our family since a long time, He and Chandrika Aunty are also the most wonderful, kind and generous hosts.

Prof Anibal Faundes has shared so much of his wisdom with me and I am constantly in awe of his commitment, his drive and his desire to make the world a better and safer place for women. He is also very pragmatic and one thing I always carry with me is something he said in the first meeting which I attended with him, it is important to make plans which are doable and not simply good intentions.

Prof Arulkumaran has so many things to learn from that I and I suspect everyone who meets him, end up learning something every time one meets him. He is gracious in conversation, correspondence, compliments, and accomplishments. I am sure that all of us who are fortunate enough to know Prof Arul come away after meeting him feeling better about ourselves and I am always eager to meet him and learn more from him.

I am so delighted that Dr. Rohana, Chandrika aunty and Prof Arul, have all taken time out to be here and I am missing Prof Faundes’s presence.

I have a firm and longstanding belief that the narratives which stigmatise legitimate medical procedures do a great disservice not only to us as healthcare providers to women but also to the community at large.

As I had tweeted several years back Rhetoric has replaced—sometimes even dangerously—what is best for the woman, her baby and the family, a rational evidence based approach to this issue is vital rather than the lazy narrative of the commercialisation of medicine in general and birthing in particular.

I don’t know how many of you know but Sir Issac Newton actually had a fourth law which has been recently discovered which says For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; plus a Social Media Overreaction. It is true that these kind of over reactions are driven by misplaced narratives and I believe There is an urgent need to Identify narratives, research on how they were formed, validate or invalidate the narrative and then suggest interventions. In the end what drives us forward in my view is the altruistic gene inherent in all those who chose Medicine as a profession. This altruistic gene is what gives us a burning desire to do good.

In conclusion as President of FOGSI I have this to say- You know, I have always felt we don’t appreciate ourselves enough. In all modesty but with equal pride let us learn to embrace ourselves, our vibrant and amazing FOGSI. Let metell you why I am proud of FOGSI.

For me FOGSI is a Federation which represents women Health, we are fervent advocates for women health and above all we save umpteen lives and bring happiness to so many women, men and create family units which are the driving force of today’s society.

For me, FOGSI Means Resilience, advocacy, the premier source of professional education and community awareness and Fellowship, friendship’s forged in the crucible of organising conferences and meetings.

For me FOGSI represents what is best in us in our unique privilege as health care providers for women.

For me FOGSI represents a road to the ideals that we strive for—ideals which would result in a world where no woman needs to die from unsafe abortion, a world where no woman has an unmet reproductive need and above all a world where no woman needs to die in childbirth—a function she did not choose to have but was thrust upon her by biology and the fact that she was born a woman.

After all, History is Her story too.