TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Dr Leela Joshi, Mother Teresa of Malwa

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Dr Leela Joshi

Dr Leela Joshi, affectionately known as the “Mother Teresa of The Malwa Region,” is an 85-year-old Padma Shri awardee, SilverWings Awardee, and esteemed gynecologist from Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh. Here, the noble Dr Leela Joshi tells TheGlitz why she opted for a selfless journey in giving back to the world.

Over to Dr Leela Joshi

Your journey has had many momentous milestones. Could you tell us about the life-changing milestones that have molded you to be what you are today?


My journey has been a tapestry woven with various milestones, each leaving an unforgettable mark on my path. The pivotal moment was transitioning from the role of Chief Medical Director in the Railways to dedicating my post-retirement years to serving tribal women and teenage girls in the Ratlam district. Inspired by a meeting with Mother Teresa during my time in Assam, this shift shaped my purpose, emphasizing the importance of compassion and service to humanity.


What are the setbacks you have faced? How did you tackle these setbacks or challenges? And what lesson have you learned from it?


Setbacks are an inevitable part of any journey. One significant challenge was combating health issues like anemia and pregnancy complications among tribal women. The key was to face these challenges with unwavering dedication, fuelled by a sense of duty to prevent women’s mortality due to preventable health issues. The lesson learned was the resilience born out of a deep commitment to the cause, ensuring setbacks become stepping stones toward a greater impact.


When you look back, what are the three qualities in you that have helped you become what you are today?


Reflecting on my journey, three qualities stand out – compassion, determination, and a profound sense of duty. Compassion has been the guiding force, determination fuelled the pursuit of my goals, and a sense of duty kept me committed to the cause of improving healthcare for tribal women and teenagers in rural areas. These qualities have been the pillars supporting my endeavours.


Who are the people who have been the wind behind your wings?


I owe much of my journey’s strength to the unwavering support of two incredible sources – my mother and Mother Teresa. Their inspiration and encouragement have been the driving force behind my efforts. They have been the wind beneath my wings, propelling me forward in my mission to serve humanity.


Lastly, if there was a quote to define you, what would it be?


“Service to humanity is the truest calling.”

Dr Leela Joshi

This quote encapsulates the essence of my lifelong commitment to uplifting tribal women and teenagers in rural areas. It reflects the core belief that our purpose lies in making a meaningful impact on the lives of others, especially those in remote rural communities.

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