Surgical gastroenterologist M. Ahmed Ali, who was recently selected for the Padma Shri award, was felicitated by colleagues, students and friends at a function organised by Dr. Mehta's Hospitals here on Saturday.

Dilip Mehta, executive director of the hospital, led the felicitations. “Dr. Mehta's Hospital is a recognised centre for various postgraduation courses. Dr. Ali has been associated with the hospital for over four decades. Mehta Hospitals is immensely proud of his achievements. It is an honour long overdue,” he said, describing Dr. Ali as having “inborn leadership qualities [and one who] created generations of competent medical professionals.”

Sameer Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, who presented a memento to Dr.Ali, said that at the 77-year-old hospital, the doctor had kept everyone smiling even during the toughest of times.

Members of the Dr. Mehta's Hospitals, including his students, recalled their association with him, be it in classroom or hospital and praised him for his efficiency and diligence as a teacher.

Dr. Ali, in his address, recalled his work in Thanjavur Medical College and said he had listened to the “sound advice” of his teachers who told him to not run after money and instead serve people. Paying attention to the advice given to him helped him work for middle class patients. He said that during a cholera epidemic, he did not have enough bottles of intravenous fluid and had to depend on tender coconut water. He had read about the therapy and used it to save patients.

Recalling the benevolence of the Mehtas, the owners of the hospital, he said the hospital was now a 250-bed institution.