It is believed that passion can often be a very powerful force in making a person work tirelessly. And that stands true, at least in the case of this wonder woman, Dr Hemlata Pandey Gala.
Any person who asks her what her profession is tends to look at her with a sense of awe and curiosity, once they know what she does.
“I am a forensic odontoligist who solves crime and other such cases by taking dental evidence,” said Dr Hemlata Pandey Gala. Simply put, this woman has been an inspiration for many since a long-time.
Going back to the time when she actually started her career in 2013, she reminisces that there was nobody to give her a job, so niche was her choice of profession.
“Nobody knew what I had studied. When you do your dentistry, one of the most neglected subjects is forensic dentistry. Curious to know about this subject, I started my own research in this subject that resulted me in going to United Kingdom for further studies. I came back and had to suffer to find a job as the field is very rare and so are the experts in the field! Lastly, I joined KEM Hospital in Parel in 2013.”
She added, “I owe a lot to my mentor and the head of the department of forensics at KEM, Dr Harish Pathak. Also special thanks to Dr Avinash Supe, the dean of the hospital. There are many others whom I must thank, but it’s a never-ending list.”
Ask her if she got any support from her family initially, she quipped and said, “My parents have been very supportive. Initially, they were a little worried about financial implications.”
She was very instrumental in solving various criminal cases in India. She works closely with the police to solve mysterious cases and is the top evidence provider in every case that requires bite marks as evidence.
“Whenever there are cases of gang rapes or such heinous crime, I work with the police to produce bite marks as evidence. The police are one of the greatest and the best acquaintances ever. They are very respectful and hardworking.”
Ethics is the key to excellence, she says. “Forensics is all about ethics. Honestly, what really works the best in the field, are principles and ethics. I don’t give up on my principles.”
Being a woman in a man’s world can get a bit too tough sometimes. However, Dr Gala says it is always about perceptions. “There are about 15 doctors in my department now and surprisingly, all of them are men. The point is that forensics in itself is a very niche profession. Women, in the field are very hard to find. But I must say that each person in the department is amazing.”