Kolkata-born Miss England Bhasha Mukherjee swaps crown for stethoscope to fight pandemic

Kolkata-born Miss England Bhasha Mukherjee swaps crown for stethoscope to fight pandemic

The trained doctor returned from overseas after hearing from former colleagues at an English hospital about the problems they’re facing.

Bhasha Mukherjee | Photo: Instagram

Bhasha Mukherjee | Photo: Instagram

New Delhi: Bhasha Mukherjee, who won the Miss England pageant in 2019, has swapped her sash and crown for a stethoscope as she decided to return to work as a doctor amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview to CNN, Mukherjee said that it would be wrong to still be wearing the crown during the pandemic. “When you are doing all this humanitarian work abroad, you’re still expected to put the crown on, get ready… look pretty. I wanted to come back home. I wanted to come and go straight to work. I really wanted to join the task force right away,” she said.

Born in Kolkata, Mukherjee and her family moved to Derby in England when she was nine-years-old. She graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in medical sciences and one in medicine and surgery. Before the Miss England pageant, she was a junior doctor specialising in respiratory medicine.

According to the CNN report, Mukherjee made the decision during her trip overseas, where she had been invited to be an ambassador for several charities. She had been visiting Kolkata and working for Coventry Mercia Lions Club, a community charity, when she started receiving messages from her former colleagues at Pilgrim Hospital in eastern England  about the mounting difficulties the hospital staff was facing because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mukherjee contacted the hospital’s management to inform them that she would be returning to work. The 24-year-old got in touch with the British High Commission in Kolkata to find a flight back, and returned to the UK on Monday. She will be in self-quarantine for two weeks before returning to work at Pilgrim Hospital.

The United Kingdom has so far recorded more than 60,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases, and more than 7,000 deaths.

Also read: PM Boris Johnson is improving in ICU but virus toll turns bleaker for Britain

Social media love

Bhasha Mukherjee’s gesture has been winning her praise on social media. “What a queen! Miss England, Bhasha Mukherjee, hangs up her crown, pauses her charity work and returns to UK to work as NHS doctor,” tweeted Canadian journalist Natasha Fatah.

Another Twitter user termed the gesture as a “good example” amid the pandemic. “Here is another good example in these hard times. Bhasha Mukherjee @ aka Miss England 2019 is returning to her true passion of being a doctor to help in the pandemic,” Jesse James Hunt tweeted.

Also read: ICMR studying BCG vaccine for Covid-19, won’t advise without enough evidence: Top scientist

Not the only one

Mukherjee isn’t the only one to rejoin the medical fraternity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, too, has rejoined the country’s medical register so that he can help ease some of the pressure on healthcare professionals at this time. Ireland’s youngest prime minister, who was a general practitioner for seven years, will do telephonic assessments of those who might have been exposed to the virus.

Interestingly, India’s first Miss World, Reita Faria, who won the title in 1966 when she was a student at Mumbai’s Grant Medical College, finished her year of pageant-related obligations, but then shunned the life of glamour and scrutiny and went on to complete her studies from King’s College, London and set up her own practice in Dublin.

Also read: After nearly 15,000 deaths, this is how Italy managed to bring its daily Covid-19 toll down