The government of India honored former Los Alamos scientist and Laboratory Fellow Mudundi Raju with a Padma Shri award this year for his distinguished service in science and engineering, providing cancer radiation treatment to the poor of rural India.
“The aim of science is to improve the human condition,” said Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine, and Raju has taken this statement to heart. Raju works “with a hope to build a small bridge between rapid developments in medical advances and the life of a common man,” he said, and he is an internationally known scientist in the field of radiation treatments for cancer. He retired from the laboratory in 1994 to devote himself to providing appropriate cancer radiation treatment to residents of rural India.
The Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan, given by the Indian government at the Rashtrapati Bhavra in New Delhi.
The scientist now serves as managing trustee of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical Trust, dedicated to serving the needs of the rural poor in the West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh, India.
In the cancer radiation treatment center, 2,788 patients, 65 percent of them women, have been registered between 2004 and 2012.