Loving tributes paid to popular Bilston doctor
A beloved Black Country doctor and devoted member of the Wolverhampton Buddhist community, who once succeeded in arranging for an Indian prime minister to visit the city, has died at the age of 65.
The family of Dr Chaman Lal, who ran Bradley Medical Centre in Bilston for more than 20 years, have paid tribute to their 'amazing father, grandfather and friend'.
Dr Lal, who lived in Penn, died on December 22 following a three-year cancer battle.
His youngest son Rishi said he 'lived life to the full' and always saw his patients 'as friends'.
Rishi said: "Dad was extremely well known in the area, at one point having one of the highest patient lists in the country for a single-handed GP.
"He always saw his patients as friends and worked alongside them in the community for various charitable causes. Dad worked closely with Labour leaders and local councillors to better the community and improve healthcare facilities to the fine people of Bradley."
Dr Lal was born in India in August 1953 and moved to Wolverhampton at the age of 14, attending the local Graiseley School.
He went on to study medicine at Birmingham University, completing his training at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
Having qualified as a doctor in 1978, specialising in general practice, Dr Lal worked in and around Wolverhampton, eventually opening up his own practice, Bradley Medical Centre, in 1995. He worked there until his death in 2018.
Dr Lal was a prominent member of the Buddhist community in Wolverhampton, and worked tirelessly to organise conferences with esteemed leaders in India.
A proud moment for his family, he once organised for Vishwanath Pratap Singh, the former Prime Minister of India to come to Wolverhampton and speak to the community, with the help of Scotland Yard. He loved music and writing poetry - even seeing a few of his books and poems published around the world.
Rishi added: "Dad was an amazing father but even more an amazing friend. He was never one to shy away from taboo topics with his family, sometimes rare for an Asian father. As children we could talk to dad about anything and everything and we knew his advice would be for our benefit.
"Dad and Mom are not religious and did not raise us kids to be, but they did instil in us that 'you are never above anyone but you are never below anyone either'. We were also taught from a young age that 'it’s nice to be nice'.
"Dad loved life and lived it to the full, he always put others in front of himself and was a key member of the community. Since he passed we have had over 2,500 visitors at the family home to pay their respects which shows how loved he was.
"Dad will be greatly missed. He never felt sorry for himself throughout all the illnesses and always went through everything for his family and loved ones.
"As a family we would like to thank everyone for all the love and support, especially the people of Bradley, Bilston, who have sent over 400 cards to Dad. We like to thank everyone for their kindness and respect at this time and we will ensure that the name Dr Chaman Lal is not forgotten."
Dr Lal was married to his wife of 40 years Kamlesh Maman, who worked as a practice nurse. The couple had three children; a daughter Ramneek Maman, age 35, who has a masters in biomedical science, son Rahul Maman, aged 33, who studied law, and 27-year-old Rishi Maman, who is a fourth year medical student at Charles First Faculty of Medicine in Prague - one of Europe's finest medical schools.
Ramneek and Rahul own and operate Wolverhampton Cosmetic Clinic in Dudley Road.
Dr Lal was also a grandfather of 10 month old twin boys, Kayson and Rahul, whom he would spend hours playing with and reading books to.
He died on December 22 peacefully and surrounded by family. He was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in November 2015, and then un-related primary colon cancer in November 2016. He went through a total of 24 chemotherapies, 16 radiotherapies and five operations in the last three year, but his family said he never gave up home.
His funeral will be held on Friday, January 11, at Bushbury Crematorium, with the service starting at 3:15pm. After the service at the crematorium there will be a late lunch served at the Buddhist Temple on Upper Zoar Street for all to attend.