A Charming and Compassionate Lady

By Mei Kuan

The biography of Malaysia’s first lady dermatologist, Dato’ Dr Madhuri Majumder, was launched on Monday, March 13 during a meeting of the Rotary Club of Greentown at Syeun Hotel.

“When I think of Dato’ Majumder, the words of Mark Twain come to mind, ‘Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see’. Just as Dato’ has always inspired me, this book will go a long way in inspiring future generations as they read about her,” said Mrs Sivaprasanna Chandra, retired principal and close friend of Dr Majumder.

“Majumder needs no introduction to us here but Alexandra Wong brings to life many anecdotes that allow us to understand how someone with such unfailing drive and stamina can keep on going and helping others. Read the book and you’ll be struck just like how I was by the parallels between the events that shaped her life and the events that shaped the history of India and Malaya,” she exclaimed during the introduction of the book.

“Whenever she looks at anyone she meets, I can almost hear her asking herself, ‘What can I bring into this person’s life?’ Like great architecture, a great person leaves us with a feeling of awe and wonder. So it’s with the awesome Majumder,” she added.

It was a double celebration as the book launch came on the heels of the good doctor’s birthday just a week earlier.

The social activist extraordinaire is involved deeply in countless organisations. To name just a few, she is an appeal patron of the Salvation Army, founder member of the Ipoh Fine Arts Society, past president of Ipoh’s Orchid Society and vice president of the Ipoh Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In October 1969, she set up Luther Clinic with a consultant psychiatrist.

The humble clinic became the first real breakthrough that mental patients ever had in this country and the first of many steps towards breaking down the public apathy and prejudice against cured mental patients. Klinik Kulit Majumder, established in 1991 in Fair Park is one of our neighbourhood’s most prominent landmarks.

The book titled, “Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep” was compiled by Ipoh-born Alexandra Wong, an ex-patient of Majumder. Alexandra is also the writer for the “Navel Gazer” column in The Star and also the book, “Made in Malaysia: Stories of Hometown Heroes and Hidden Gems”.

“I wish to thank Alexandra Wong. It’s so well-written. Now you know whom to seek to write your biography,” said Majumder.

A stalwart of Rotary Club of Greentown, Majumder was one of the founding members of the club when it was established in 1994. She became the first lady president of the club in 1995.

To honour her contributions, the club established the Majumder Humanitarian Fund last year to support the less fortunate in the community, similar to what she has been doing all this while. Hence, copies of her biography are not for sale but free-of-charge for readers who can opt to contribute any amount towards the fund.

A must-read, the pages of the biography are wonderfully graced by photos of this great, charming and compassionate lady.

For information on the fund and the book, call the club’s community service director, Nagalingam, at 019 575 1322.

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