DR.Vallalarpuram Sennimalai Natarajan is a renowned Geriatric Physician, Educationist, Author and a Social Worker. He is recognized as the Father of Geriatric Medicine in India as he introduced and popularized this discipline in the country.
Born on June 10, 1939, Dr.Natarajan received Bachelor of Medicine degree in 1965 and Master’s degree in Medicine in 1968 from the University of Madras. He underwent training in Geriatric Medicine in the U.K. as early as 1974 and after four years of specialization he received MRCP (UK) degree and attained accreditation as a specialist in Geriatric Medicine from Joint Committee on Higher Medical Training, U.K. The Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh awarded its Fellowship to him as FRCP (Edin) in 1987.
Dr.Natarajan has been associated with Government General Hospital, Madras as Physician since 1974. He established an out-patient wing in Geriatric Medicine in the Government General Hospital in 1978 and succeeded in developing this discipline further by opening a 10 bedded ward in 1988. He was appointed as the First Professor of Geriatric Medicine at Madras Medical College in 1986. He succeeded in establishing a Post-Graduate M.D. programme in Geriatrics in 1996. It is due to this efforts that India and Chennai found a place in the World map of Geriatrics.
Dr.Natarajan has consistently made efforts to educate the doctors and the patients on various aspects of health care of the aged. He has published several books in English and Tamil for the benefit of the elderly. He had a major role in the production of a documentary film “Senior Citizens“in 1981 by the Films Division of Government of India. A TV film entitled “wilight years” conveyed to the people his expert views. He has served for about 10 years as Chairman of Senior Citizens Bureau, Chennai, a registered NGO serving the cause of the elderly. He devised and successfully launched the “Geriatric Housecall Programme” in Chennai city in which Physicians visit the elderly patients in their houses for urgent medical attention. He is at present a member of NCOP (National Council for Older Persons) of the Government of India. His services for the elderly are continuing unabated.
Dr.Natarajan is the recipient of various awards and honours including Dr.B.C.Roy National Award in 1994; Gold Medal in 1997 by the British Geriatric Society on its 50th anniversary; Government of Tamil Nadu “Best Social Worker” Award in 2007; “Life Time Achievement Award” by the Indian Academy of Geriatrics in 2009 and “Life Time Achievement Award” by the Ministry of Social Justice and empowerment, Govt. of India in 2010. The Tamil Nadu Dr.M.G.R. Medical University conferred the “Life Time Achievement Award”, on him in 2010.
Padma Shri Award has been awarded for the year 2012 for the service rendering for the health care of the aged for more than three decades.