Ulhas Jajoo


Prof Ulhas Narayan Jajoo was born in 1951 in Wardha, Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, India. The seed to tread a path less known was sown in Prof Ulhas Jajoo early by none other than his paternal grandfather Shrikrishnadas Ji Jajoo.  After turning down the post of chief ministership of the erstwhile Central Province (currently Madhya Pradesh) and a cabinet post as the first finance minister of free India, his grandfather chose to function as a constructive grass root worker of Gandhian Movement in Wardha.


His father, Shri Narayan Ji Jajoo and his mother, Smt Yamunadevi Jajoo - both teachers by profession and samaritans for social causes, instituted the yearly Krishnadas Ji Jajoo oration to appreciate, acknowledge and felicitate the people who have devoted their life to cause of upliftment of the downtrodden in the society.  A tradition that continues to this day and religiously followed by the Jajoo family in Wardha.
Such influences were to chisel Prof Ulhas Jajoo into the focused, committed, highly motivated doctor that we alumni came to respect, admire and draw inspiration from. In 1980 he married Kiran Bhutada and in her Prof Jajoo has been fortunate to find his soul mate and an ideal foil for his philanthropic endeavors.  Mrs Kiran Jajoo is a teacher by profession and has been a source of support for both Prof Jajoo and all those who look up to him. As a doctor in rural India, through his inquisitive and enquiring mind, he developed the knack to reflect on his everyday ordinary experiences to turn each one into a candid narration that offers us a glimpse into the adversities and heart wrenching situations that teach all of us to stoically face life and to make do with less than nothing.


vinobavinobaAcharya Vinoba Bhave has been a source of profound influence in the life of Prof Ulhas Jajoo. Prof Jajoo’s ultimate vision for his various schemes stem from the concepts of the village republic and the concept of “Gramdan”. Gramdan is a unique and insightful gift from Vinobaji towards the evolution of an egalitarian society. There is so much written and so eloquently on Vinobaji that a direct access of original narratives and writings would be ideal for anyone seeking to learn more about the Acharya. Vinobaji believed that even one step in the direction of social transformation is enough for us and that the basic structure and soul of social transformation are goals for each one of us to be achieved (write up on Vinobaji).


jai prakashBesides Acharya Vinobaji, Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan was the other great external influence on Prof Ulhas Jajoo. As a young doctor working in rural with scare resources during the 1970s, Prof Jajoo was pulled to the loknayak’s socialist concept that "a society which denies man his freedom in truth denies his humanity, because if the freedom of the spirit is taken away, then man becomes only an animal. . . .We must have our bread to eat. But the bread must be not only for us; it must also be for others. If we are concerned with our own bread, then that is materialism. If we are concerned with other people's bread, then that is spiritualism”. (write up on Jay Prakash Narayan).
DR SUSHILA NAYAR (Also known fondly as Badi Bahenji, founder MGIMS)

Badi BahenjiBorn on 26 December 1914, in Kunjah, Gujarat (now in Pakistan), Badi Bahenji was highly influenced by Gandhi's ideology. In 1938, Dr Sushila Nayar, then a young medical graduate, came to Sevagram to meet her brother Pyarelal (Mahatma Gandhi's secretary) and thus were sown the seeds of a life long association with the Mahatma. In 1969, Dr Sushila Nayar founded a medical college (MGIMS) on the Gandhian values of ‘sarvodaya’ with the aim of delivering holistic medical teaching within the heartland of India’s rural, agriculture based economy in the Vidarbha (MGIMS). Several experiences along the way were to chisel her into the focused, committed, highly motivated public health doctor that we alumni came to respect and admire (MGIMS). From 1952 to 1955, and again from 1962 – 1967, she served in senior political offices including as Union Health Minister. She died on 3 January 2000.


Dr. Ulhas Jajoo, MD (Medicine) is Professor and Head, Department of Medicine (MGIMS). Following his graduation in 1972 and post-graduation in MD (Medicine) in 1976 from Government Medical College (GMC), Nagpur, he joined the faculty of medicine, MGIMS in 1977.  Professor Jajoo is a clinical trainer and has supervised over 30 post graduate doctors.  He is one of the founder members of Medico Friend Circle and the in-charge of Health Assurance Scheme of the hospital (Programmes). He is one of those teachers who have elevated the practice of bedside medicine from the level of mundane clinical signs and symptoms to a beautiful piece of an art.   He has successfully evolved a model of community based health assurance which facilitates all enrolled villagers access to healthcare in Kasturba Hospital, Sevagram .  

Prof Jajoo has published over 150 articles. His book titled ‘Towards Holistic Rural Health: A sarvodaya way’ is a personal account of his journey and was first published in 2012. It is also available on DVD. This book espouses the Gandhian philosophies of ‘Sarvodaya’ and ‘Antrodaya’ (About Us) and reignites, reminds the reader of the enduring relevance of Gandhiji’s beliefs on holistic rural healthcare to marginalised communities. The collection of ordinary, everyday incidents leave a profound impact on the reader.

Prof Jajoo has been the recipient of a number of awards. Key awards include Karmavir Dadasaheb Kannamwar award (2007), Dr. Wankar Memorial prize (2006), award for Social Work by Gandhi Trust (2002), and ‘Desasnehi’ award (1977).