A Tribute to Colleague & Friend, Prof Kailash Chand OBE
13 August 2021 in All, Blog.
We were greatly shocked and saddened by the passing of Prof Kailash Chand OBE on 26th July 2021. He served as a committed Trustee of the charity and will be greatly missed.
Not long prior to the sudden passing of Kailash, we were lucky to all be together. After months of remote working and endless video calls, it was a true pleasure to be able to all meet in person - trustees, team, patron and special people who have helped us from the sidelines in kind in recent times.
We did not know this would be the last time we saw Kailash alive. We did not know that this would be the last time he told us we were all "looking well" - which was the complement he so often greeted us all with. We could not have known that the the texts he sent so many of us with his now famous "lessons for life" would be soon to end. We are all so grateful for that evening.
Kailash became a trustee of Greater Manchester Mayor's Charity on 18th December 2018. He not only brought a wealth of knowledge of public health to the board, but a strong sense of the injustice of inequalities that exist in the UK today. He was a highly valued member of the Ethics Sub-Committee, to which he brought wisdom, logic and a strong sense of moral value. At main board meetings, Kailash was always looking for progress and consensus - he was a team player through and through. But when an issue fired him up, there was a fierce determination and a strength of voice that often helped us break new ground.
The work Kailash accomplished with GMMC was the tip of the iceberg in terms of his contribution to the nation. Attending his funeral, we were astounded by the number of stories of his impact, influence and encouragement of others.
He was a fierce defender of the NHS (which he truly loved) and a staunch advocate for race equality and the fight against poverty. He was a key figure in the British Medical Association - the first Asian to be elected as honorary vice-president and deputy chair of the council, which represents more than 150,000 doctors in the UK. He was also a much loved and award winning GP in his beloved Tameside.
On top of these accolades, it was clear from the speeches that day, that Kailash had touched many lives and persuaded many-a-person to stand up, step forward and be brave. He spoke truth to power and he emboldened other people to do so also. His impact is still with us, living on through those people lucky enough to have been "in his orbit" and this is indisputable.
Everyone at Greater Manchester Mayor's Charity was touched by the decision of Kailash's son, Dr Aseem Malhotra, to nominate us as the charity to receive donations in his memory. We intend to ringfence these donations and ensure to go to an appropriately special programme or place. Thank you.
Just days before he passed, Kailiash shared photos with several trustees and the team. He was proud of work he achieved with GMMC. He was clearly fond of the friendships that were here, particularly his closeness to Rev Ian Rutherford - the two of whom had become quite the double act!
Kailash described these photos as "priceless memories" ...and we all agree. We will hold him dear in our hearts and hope that his deep desire for change will continue to live through the work of the charity.
Please take time to read more about Prof Kailash Chand OBE. His story is one of strength, determination and incredible kindness. He will be missed.