Medical graduate receives humanitarian award

13 July 2022

Sai Ram Pillarisetti recognised with The Diana Award

A new University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts.

Sai Ram Pillarisetti, who has just graduated from UCLan’s Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree has received The Diana Award.

The 23-year-old, who is about to start work as a junior doctor at Royal Stoke Hospital, was honoured for going above and beyond in his daily life to create and sustain positive change.

Whilst studying medicine in the UK, Sai recognised a gap in the representation of international medical students like him and founded the British International Doctors Association (BIDA) Student Wing– the first organisation to represent international medical students studying in the UK.

In less than two years, the BIDA Student Wing has grown into an organisation with hundreds of student members studying medicine in the UK and who come from more than 38 different countries.

He said: "I feel humbled and honoured to have been chosen for this prestigious award and would like to sincerely thank my team at the BIDA Student Wing and the executive committee of BIDA for giving me the opportunity and the platform to start the Student Wing. This award will serve as a great motivation for me and equally, I hope it inspires other young people to take up initiatives to support and empower others."

"I feel humbled and honoured to have been chosen for this prestigious award"

Sai Ram Pillarisetti, new UCLan medicine graduate

As Founder-President of this organisation, Sai and his team have facilitated free educational webinars, career guidance and mental health support for his fellow international origin medical students.

Sai was also recognised for his work with Indian-based Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation in developing South Asia’s first mobile app on breast health in English and 11 commonly spoken Indian languages.

The ABCs of Breast Health app, which is freely downloadable on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store, recorded more than 9,000 downloads in its first month and aims to empower women all over India with accurate information about every aspect of breast cancer and non-cancerous benign breast health issues in a simple, easy to understand, format.

He emphasised the impact the app has created when he was invited to interact with MPs at the UK Houses of Parliament earlier this year.

Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, HRH Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge and Harry, the Duke of Sussex. The award was launched by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and current patrons include former Prime Minister David Cameron.

Dr Chandra Kanneganti, BIDA National President & Lord Mayor Stoke on Trent, added: "All of us at BIDA are extremely proud of Sai for being recognised with this high honour and for all the work he has done in establishing the BIDA Student Wing which has attracted members from over 38 different nationalities. Sai is a fine example of a young leader and we look forward to working with him more closely in the coming years to promote equality and diversity in medicine and support international doctors in the UK.”