He has also studied introductory macro-economics at London School of Economics – LSE. Anbumani always had a longing to take quality healthcare to the rural masses. This prompted him to spend one and a half years of his initial career serving as a medical practitioner in Nallalam, a small village near Tindivanam.
Anbumani chose politics as an active career that brought him laurels and international acclaim for his impeccable accomplishments as the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister of India (2004- 2009).
Awe-stuck by the efficiency of 911, the ambulance emergency service at New York, Anbumani vowed to see it as his dream for India and that’s how 108 ambulance service was born. Notwithstanding the immense pessimism, he went on to successfully implement his dream project of the ‘108 ambulance service’ across 20 states, including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This service has proven to have saved millions of lives in India of which nearly 24% of the calls were for maternity services and 21% for road accidents.
Anbumani is a crusader against the evils of alcohol and tobacco. His signature contribution towards stringent controls on tobacco and alcohol were the ban on smoking in public places (including work places), ban on tobacco advertising, ban on sale of tobacco products to minors and ban on sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions.
Undeterred of his efforts to take on the liquor lobby, Anbumani travelled unscathed in his journey and made it mandatory to show warning messages while smoking and drinking scenes were depicted in movies and television shows. He also implemented pictorial warning on all tobacco products. Alcohol is a state subject as per the constitution of India. But, Anbumani initiated a ‘National Alcohol Policy’ for the first time in India and forcefully put forth his arguments at the World Health Organization and advocated for the 2nd of October, the birthday of Gandhiji to be observed as World No-Alcohol day.
As the Union Health Minister, he took major steps to eradicate polio from India which was commended when the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee who presented him with a memento of appreciation on March 29, 2014 at the inauguration of Rotary International’s Polio-Free Conclave 2014, in New Delhi. His untiring efforts saw a steep reduction of 50% in the prevalence of HIV AIDS in India.
Anbumani was instrumental in the expansion of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. He also launched the National Program for Control of Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease and Stroke. He was responsible for setting up the Public Health Foundation of India, Department of Health Research (DHR), the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, the Food Safety and Standards Authority and the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library. At a time when Indian citizens were diagnosed iodine deficient, he made consumption of iodised salt compulsory and introduced the ‘Auto Disposable Syringe’. The National Institute of Siddha was set up by him in Chennai on September 3, 2005 during his tenure.
Post a successful central stint at the central government, Anbumani currently serves as a member of parliament from Dharmapuri constituency in Tamil Nadu which he won with a thumbing victory against the massive money and state muscle power of the ruling party. He also serves as the president of the youth wing of PMK having been unanimously elected in 2006. With an impeccable track record of governance at the centre as Union Health Minister and a crusading force in the state fighting against corruption, liquor menace and freebie culture, Anbumani is all set to make a mark in the upcoming assembly elections for Tamil Nadu in 2015/16 as a chief ministerial candidate.
After a few years of practicing medicine in the rural parts of TN, Anbumani returned to Chennai to lead a green NGO called ‘Pasumai Thayagam’ founded in 1995 by Dr. S. Ramadoss. During his tenure, he organized to plant over 25 lakh trees and desilted more than 1000 lakes and built about 50 check dams to conserve water. He led a number of protests to highlight environmental degradation thereby facilitating access for Pasumai Thayagam to ECOSOC (United Nations Economic and Social Council), the United Nations’ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development. He also got Pasumai Thayagam a special consultative status with the United Nations Human Rights Council General Debate in 2013. The organization witnessed incredible recognition worldwide under his exemplary leadership to an extent that Pasumai Thayagam is today accredited to being the lone member from TN to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Anbumani’s participation at global conferences and summits broadened his vision of a green nation. He took part in the Hannover Conference 2000 in Germany, the “World Earth Summit” at Johannesburg, South Africa in September, 2002 and “World Water Forum” at Kyoto, Japan in February, 2003. He also attended the Copenhagen Global Earth Summit 2012 in Denmark.