The toppers, who were awarded gold medals at the 17th convocation of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), owed their success to their alma mater.

Dressed in their convocation robes, these bright young minds were enthusiastic about taking forward their skills to serve the community.

Manasi Oza, who bagged the Dr. M.V. Govindaswamy Memorial Prize for scoring the highest marks in M.Phil. Psychiatry Social work–2012, said her inspiration was her alma mater. “I always wanted to pursue higher studies in NIMHANS, and this is the culmination of my dream,” she said.

Patel Mehulkumar J., who was awarded the Silver Jubilee Award for the best outgoing student in D.M. (Neurology)–2012, said there should be more institutions like NIMHANS in the country to meet the shortage of neurologists.

Karthik N., who was awarded the Dr. Anisya Vasanth Memorial Award for the Best Postgraduate Resident in Neurology–2012, said although neurology is tough and challenging, the training that he got at NIMHANS had made him confident of serving the community.

“I was always interested in neurology as it is more patient-centric and not interventional-centric like other fields,” he said.

Mareena Susan Wesley said she was elated to receive the Dr. M.V. Govindaswamy Memorial prize for scoring the highest marks in M.Phil. Mental Health and Social Psychology–2012. “NIMHANS is the best institution to specialise in mental health. The training that I received her will help me achieve my goal,” she said.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who presented the awards and degree certificates to the outgoing candidates, extolled them to serve in the rural areas.

“More than 95 per cent of the students that I have awarded degrees in the last four years have told me they wanted to serve at the national-level. My earnest appeal to you all is to use your talents to serve the patients in rural areas,” he added.