One of the foremost experts in Cancer Research with global affiliations passed away last month, leaving the world poorer and almost unequalled in his field of work.
Dr Balkrishna Yeole died in Mumbai on January 18, following a massive heart attack. He was 71 and left behind his wife, three daughters, their spouses and two grandchildren.
He was due to arrive in New Zealand shortly on a visit, which would have included a series of lectures on Cancer research.
Born and raised in a poor family with a meagre income, he educated himself, reading under streetlights.
A brilliant student, Mr Yeole completed his postgraduate (MSc) from the Pune University and obtained his Doctorate (PhD) in Epidemiology from the University of Tempere in Finland.
His expertise in Cancer took him to heights of fame. He joined the Indian Cancer Society in 1973, where he undertook a number of assignments. He was its Director until the time of his sudden death.
He was a speaker at several international conferences and a regular contributor to medical journals on Cancer Research.
The Indian Government honoured him with the Rashtriya Gaurav Award in 2002. Among the other accolades that he received during his lifetime included the Sandoz Oration Award (Indian Government) and the Docentship Award (University of Tempere, Finland).
Mr Yeole was affiliated with a number of professional organisations and Government bodies related to Cancer Research. They included Training Programme in Human Resources for National Cancer Registry Project (Course Director), Indian Science Congress, Kolkata (Life Member), Indian Association for the Study of Population, New Delhi (Member), International Association of Cancer Registries, France, International Association of Epidemiology Finland (Voting Member) AND Project Advisory Committee on Bhopal Gas Disaster Research Project, New Delhi (Member).
Indian Newslink offers its condolences to his family.