Rita SahaSouth Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) is happening from 18 July until 17 August and the theme for 2022 is Journeys of Empire. SASH staff of South Asian heritage are taking part by sharing their case studies.



1. Why did you join the NHS?

I graduated while I was in India (Kolkata) and I received a PG degree in India too. I travelled thousands of miles to join the NHS and work with this skilled and professional group of people.

My other interest is history. I used to read all these place names - like Scotland or York etc for example - in books and now I have the opportunity to actually visit them.

Thanks to my job, I have worked different parts of UK and I took every chance to explore the country as much as possible.

2. Tell us about your NHS journey.

Like all over graduates from abroad, my journey was mixed with good and bad experiences. It’s a learning of life. During my first few years, I worked in Wales and then in Scotland, where I found it really har to understand their accents. Most of the time I felt so stupid, but now I have a specil appreciation for the Welsh accent, which sounds very musical.

3. Describe your proudest moment.

There are so many moments, but this one really meant to me something... During my first on-call as a consultant I was treating a 12-year-old child for an ENT procedure. At the end of the surgery I was not able to take the endotracheal tube out because the patient was not maintaining good oxygen saturation. My impression was that a mild respiratory tract infection was the cause his low oxygen saturation. I kept the child sedated with a breathing machine connected and explained the situation to their parents. The following week I received an excellent recommendation letter from them.

4. What does South Asian Heritage Month mean to you?

It’s been long time since I left my country, but try to connect myself with my culture by staying in touch with friends and family by messaging over WhatsApp or talking on the phone. Sadly, I am very rarely able to visit in person. The meaning of celebrating South Asian Heritage month is it is an excellent opportunity for me to share my culture to others.

5. What makes you proud about your culture and heritage?

At this point of my life I have realised that the basic nature of all cultures are same - the only differences is how they express it. The level of diversity in my culture is so fascinating that I cannot out it into words.

6. What is the one South Asian dish you cannot live without / what is your favourite South Asian food?

I love all kinds of food!

7. If you weren’t in your current job, what would you be doing?

Either a forensic archaeologist or a political historian.

For more activities, visit the South Asian Heritage Month website to discover a calendar of online events, or take a look at SASHnet to find out how we'll be celebrating at SASH.