Title and Organization:
Dr. Prasad Raj Dandekar is an oncologist based in Mumbai. He currently heads the department of Radiation Oncology at the Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital. He was trained at the premier oncology institutes viz, Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, and The Royal Marsden NHS Trust in London. In addition to MD and DNB in Radiation Oncology, Prasad has an Executive Post Graduate Diploma Hospital Administration from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He has the unique experience of setting up three new departments of radiation oncology at a young age, and is a sought after speaker in various oncology conferences across India. He is an advocate of precision oncology and holistic care, and is involved in training of oncologists across India on the latest updates in Radiation Oncology. He is an executive committee member of the Foundation for Head and Neck Oncology (FHNO), India, one of the largest Oncologist bodies in India actively involved in the education and advocacy. Prasad creates awareness regarding cancers through his social media initiatives. He is the founder of “Health Professionals for Queer Indians” (HPQI) which is focussed on sensitising healthcare professionals to the healthcare needs of the LGBTQ community by organising trainings, conferences and online educational material. Through HPQI, he was instrumental in organising a formal statement by the Indian Psychiatric Society, which for the first time stated that homosexuality is a not a mental illness and it should be decriminalised. This letter was placed before the Supreme Court constitution bench, and quoted in the landmark judgement which recently decriminalised homosexuality in India. Prasad is also a co-founder of Seenagers GupShup Group, a support group for gay men older than 50. In addition to these structured initiatives, Prasad is also actively involved in creating awareness regarding homosexuality by being vocal on various media platforms. He is an art connoisseur, follower of classical dance forms and Hindustani classical music. He lives with his partner in Mumbai and enjoys travelling and reading. He is a Fellow of the seventh class of the Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.