Described as “an outstanding professional, a man of integrity and an unbelievable human being”, Mr Datta was keen from an early age to enter the medical profession.
Born in Calcutta (now Kolkata), he arrived in the UK in 1967 with £1 and 10 shillings in his pocket and had spells in various parts of the country before taking a job at the Bignold – despite having no idea where it was when he applied in 1980.
In 2008 he was made an MBE for his work in advancing the careers of doctors throughout the world for which he also received the Farquharson Award from the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.
In retirement, he continued to teach and gave his fees to Macmillan Cancer Support, Save the Children, and Women in Need.
Mr Datta suffered a life-changing stroke in 2017 at his home in Newton Avenue, Wick. In 2020 he published his memoirs, entitled The Naked Mountain Lands, a detailed and often humorous account of his life in the 50-plus years after he left his native India. Sales of the book have raised thousands of pounds for his three chosen charities.
Mr Datta died in March aged of 81, following which tributes have poured in from around the world to honour this remarkable man. In a social media post, the British International Doctors Association referred to Mr Datta as "an outstanding surgeon and educator" whose books and courses had helped thousands of young surgeons pass their exams. In an interview last August for Wick Voices, the online oral history project of the Wick Society, Mr Datta spoke with great humility and passion about his admiration for the NHS, "the greatest service given to this country".
We are beyond grateful to Mr Pradip Datta for his incredible generosity in helping Indian women from low-income backgrounds accesses the health care they would otherwise be denied. He, more than most understood the socio-economic barriers that existed in preventing such women from getting the services they deserve.
Our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this very difficult time