Private Dentistry Awards winners – Ajay Mehta
Ajay Mehta discusses how the Private Dentistry Awards have helped grow the profile of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.
How does it feel to have won an award?
It feels great and has been a real benefit to the charity. We have so far adopted 17 schools in India with DFT charity courses and helped nearly 5,000 children.
The awards from the Private Dentistry Awards have been great for me to get in touch with sponsors. Most importantly, it has meant that the dental community know about The Akshaya Patra Foundation.
Did you enjoy the awards evening?
I didn’t go to them last year because it was my aunt’s birthday. However, I did drop in and I have to say it looked like the dental oscars! A very glamorous evening with a great venue.
Why did you choose to enter the awards?
To raise awareness about the charity and spread the message of what we are doing. The DFT charity course has also been great for students helping nearly 300 students get their first job. We have fantastic testimonials and support from our sponsors.
What do you think the awards are doing to the standards within the profession?
I think awards will always give people something to aspire for and chase towards. Aspirations and accolades are important for some clinicians and awards generally improve the quality of work across any profession.
Take the Ballon d’Or for example, and the battle between Ronaldo and Messi in the last decade. Both are once-in-a-generation footballers, chasing accolades which the other might beat the previous month.
Healthy competition always improves standards in a positive way. Draconian regulation can have the opposite effect. Again, have a look at how Pogba played when Mourinho left – sorry, that’s the last football analogy!
Why do you think you won?
I’d like to think it’s because the DFT charity course holds a unique place in dentistry. We help educate students and have been successful in doing so with great respect from students. All proceeds go to charity, so it also ensures that kids who are poorest in India get an education.
It was a project set up by me on the train journey home and I am grateful I have been able to help so many individuals.
Have you noticed a difference in patient numbers/in the practice since winning the award?
Not with the Best Charity Project, but being a finalist for Best Young Dentist has.
Will you be entering the awards again this year?
Yes, definitely! I think it is the most prestigious awards ceremony in dentistry and FMC has been fantastic. The awards have helped the charity massively and increased the profile of Akshaya Patra.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just a thank you for your support! Special shout out to Dental Focus who helped me with my website!