A young doctor from the holy city Dr Harmandeep Singh Boparai, has made it to the prestigious Columbia University in New York for Master of Science degree in the Centennial Class of the Journalism school.
Harman Boparai is the first doctor from India to have been admitted to Columbia University’s Journalism School. Columbia University is known around the world for being a distinguished Ivy League University that has in its alumni three Presidents of the United States of America including current President Barack Obama, 26 other Heads of State of various nations and 40 Nobel Prize winners. According to Harman, “My aim is to integrate medicine and journalism. I think all over the world news related to trauma, natural disasters and conflict zones requires a background in medicine to do justice to the issues and to communicate those and other healthcare related stories to the people. Using journalism hand in hand with medicine you can reach out to millions in your country and the world about subjects which directly impact their lives.”
While doing his MBBS at Govt. Medical College Amritsar he did clinical rotations in USA at the reputed Harvard Medical School, Boston, received Honors grade at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven and at Cornell University School of Medicine in New York. At Harvard Harman had the chance to interact with distinguished doctors who had helped in the relief efforts for the Haiti earthquake in 2010. Their anecdote of the grossly negligent coverage by the media of people’s suffering and the ground realities of the relief efforts, particularly medical, inspired him to take up the challenge of integrating comprehensive journalism with authentic medical awareness.
Columbia University Journalism school is the number 1 Graduate Journalism college in USA and has illustrious alumni heading news organisations across the world. The school was started a 100 years ago in 1912 by the world renowned Joseph Pulitzer and has had a reputation of excellence in having distinguished alumni in many countries, including in India like N. Ram, Editor-in-chief of The Hindu, and Miss Barkha Dutt of NDTV.
Harman has had an excellent academic record, topping the state of Punjab in 2003 10th CBSE board exams securing 94.8%, for which he was honoured at a state function on Independence Day 2003 by Dr Kewal Krishan, the then Speaker of Punjab Assembly. He was also awarded a gold medal by the then Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. Harman Boparai has had a passion for writing since school when he was selected for an Editor’s choice award by the International Library of Poetry in New York. During medical college he has been the captain of the college basketball team for 3 years, won the award of Mr. Stimulus at Stimulus festival at Medical College Shimla, and has done volunteer work with the Punjab Rural Education Promotion Council as core committee member since 2009.
He is the son of Nishan-e-Khalsa recipient and Punjab state Parman Patra awardee Dr. RPS Boparai, who has been Medical Superintendent and Head of Orthopaedics at Govt. Medical College, Amritsar. A renowned Gynaecologist and Obstetrician of Amritsar, Late Dr. Gian Boparai was Harman’s mother. After finishing the Journalism degree and his post-graduation in medicine in USA, Harmandeep intends coming back to India to serve the motherland with his vision.