I Didn't Expect to Become a Fellow

Submitted by: Ashoka 30th Birthday on 12/21/11

This story was submitted to the Ashoka 30th Birthday Card by A. K. Susheela, founder of the Fluorisis Research and Rural Development Foundation, and an Ashoka Fellow from India since 2003.


I was elected to the Fellowship in 2003. The rigorous scrutiny of my talents, capabilities, contributions were assessed, at regular intervals, for at least a year by Ashoka's staff in India. This was followed by a three-day selection process, an exercise which is unforgettable. There is no appropriate word in the English dictionary to describe the processes we waded through. It was simultaneously exhaustive, gruelling, and carried out with great ease.

But all along I had serious doubts of being elected. The simple reason was that I work in the field of Fluoride Poisoning. I oppose the “Fluoridation” Policy of U.S. Government, in every scientific meeting whether held in India or in any other part of the globe. Contrary to my apprehensions, I was elected to the prestigious Fellowship and supported financially for three long years, so that my work could continue uninterrupted.

Bill Drayton deserves all the compliments showered upon him. Such a great, unbiased organization, a global fraternity, growing from strength to strength. You can find Ashoka Fellows doing extremely well in serving their fellow citizens in every nook and corner of the world. I have met Ashoka Fellows in remote parts of Africa. The joy of meeting an Ashoka Fellow and the feeling of being a member of a Global Fraternity is beyond words can express.

I have continued my voyage in scientific research since 2003, serving the Indian community. It has given me and my team here in the Fluorosis Foundation of India the greatest joy and immense professional satisfaction.

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