In Honor of Family’s Work in India, Alumni Establishes Scholarship

Volunteers on a dental mission to India pose with village girls during a trip led by alumnus Dr. Narpat Jain.

The small clinic in India that Dr. Shanti Jain established in her rural home town grew to a 100-bed hospital before she passed away in 1993, when her sister, Kanti, began leading the facility.

Jain family members helped institute vaccination programs, clean water efforts, trash removal and basic health and hygiene education. As a result, infections decreased and the infant mortality rate dropped from 90 percent to zero, said Dr. Narpat Jain, an RSDM alumnus and the nephew of Drs. Shanti and Khanti Jain.

To honor them, Jain (Class of ’95) established a scholarship in his family members’ name, which will be awarded to help fund an individual student’s dental mission trip. His hope is that recipients might some day join him on his own mission to the facility, in Khichan India, where he has also volunteered. “We treated about 130 people in three days,’’ says Jain. “Mostly basic dentistry—cleanings, fillings and extractions.’’

Having his gift triple-matched as part of the Chancellor’s Scholarship Challenge this year also encouraged Jain to help establish a second scholarship as president of the New Jersey Academy of General Dentistry (NJAGD). The academy promotes learning and expanded opportunities among general dentists and advocates for their input on policy and regulations. That scholarship will be awarded to a fourth-year student or general practice resident who who is a student leader within  NJAGD, which has a strong membership at RSDM.