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Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, founder of Serum Institute of India, was felicitated on by NCP chief Sharad Pawar

Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, founder of Serum Institute of India, was felicitated on Sunday by NCP chief Sharad Pawar, for being conferred with honorary ‘Doctor of Humane Letters’ degree by the University of Massachusetts recently. The event took place at the J W Marriot in Pune.

Poonawalla, fondly known as one of the ‘seven vaccine heroes of the world’, is the pioneer of vaccination in India. Among those present at the event were members of Poonawalla family, actors Sanjay Dutt, Sanjay Kapoor and Mallika Sherawat.

In his speech, Pawar spoke about his student days when he and Poonawalla were classmates at a city college. “Dr Poonawalla’s primary motto has been to produce life-saving drugs and vaccines,” said Pawar.

In his short speech, Poonawalla said he considered the awards and recognitions that came his way as god’s blessings. “Ever since the Serum Institute was established, our primary goal has been to make life saving vaccinations available at the most affordable costs to the masses,” he said.

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