Dr. Rajeev Fernando: Stop all wars! Fashion for humanity. ENG

Dr.Rajeev Fernando is a humanitarian physician that has volunteered all over the world including working with Doctors Without Borders. He completed his Disaster Medicine fellowship at BIDMC/Harvard Medical School.

During our interview he is frequently called with Infectious Diseases consultations but maintains his calm and poise, effortlessly switching between the interview and patient care. 

Cosmo Lady: Hello, Dr.Rajeev, and how have things been in the medical world? 

Rajeev: Thank you for having  me, Cosmo Lady. Please, call me Rajeev. I’m deeply troubled by conflicts in the world. 

Photo by Oleksiy Yeharmin

Cosmo Lady: You’ve been volunteering in Ukraine since the war began. What’s it like to volunteer here these  days?

Rajeev: it is truly an honor, Ukraine has embraced my presence here. Regrettably, the situation has gotten significantly worse and many of us in the medical field  are nervous. Through my charity, we continue to bring in medical supplies that are going to the frontlines in the East. Tourniquets, chest seals and decompression needles are always in demand. 

Cosmo Lady: I feel the Ukraine war has taken a back seat and many around have forgotten about the conflict here. 

Rajeev: Sadly humanity is facing numerous other conflicts around the world. A few months ago, I was able to organize an educational symposium with brilliant group of physicians/experts from the US and Europe with our local physicians. It was a great way for our Ukrainian physicians to present their challenges in the field and how they save lives  with limited resources. 

Cosmo Lady: Beyond inspiring in the medical world, Ukrainian fashion designers are still talking about the gala event you held for the fashion industry in Kiev last year. 

Rajeev: It was  an absolute pleasure, community resilience  and livelihood is something I focus on during disasters. We have wonderful and talented designers in the community and I hope 
The Svoe is my favorite brand here.

Cosmo Lady: I know you enjoy designing Indian fusion and contemporary leather but now we’re seeing a different side of your talents.

Rajeev: Humanizing fashion is a way to address critical issues facing humanity. 

Cosmo Lady: Tell us more about your charitable organization.

Rajeev: Sure, Chiraj was formed in 2016 with a focus on women health issues. Our first project was in South Africa to help mitigate the rape crisis. Sadly South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world. We continue our work with mothers and babies with Zika virus in Brazil who are lacking financial support. Children with Zika virus are needing more and more surgical procedures. We help support Syrian refugee girls in sports and lastly our psychology center in Kyiv offering counseling and support. 

Photo by Nikita Delukov

Cosmo Lady: Why did you decide to focus on women?

Rajeev: Empowering women and supporting equality is more critical than ever. Women’s voices need to heard in order to complete society. I grew up in a family with two sisters who inspired. 

Photo by Roman Zakrevskyi

Cosmo Lady: Tell us how you will use this energy in the fashion world?

Rajeev: Sure, part of my new collection is to humanize fashion. All net profits from my electric pink leather jacket will go to causes that champion women’s health issues, Breast cancer and gender based violence health issues. 

With all the conflicts in the world, I’ve also been able to design war related leather jackets. All net profits will go back into supporting Refugee medicine.

Photo by Roman Zakrevskyi

Cosmo Lady: I love your Ukraine inspired jacket. Can you tell us more about that?

Rajeev: Yes, it was inspired by Ukrainians volunteering on the frontlines, they are selfless and continue to serve the country with valor. I’ve used words like relentless, bravery and resilience on the jacket. I focus on Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine) which symbolizes Ukrainian sovereignty. 

Photo by Roman Zakrevskyi

Cosmo Lady: Brilliant, what is your vision for Ukraine as a doctor right now?

Rajeev: To continue to send medical supplies and work on our psychology center in Kyiv. Since the Kyiv clinic has been successful we are working on starting our second clinic in the East.


Interviewed by Tamara Zykova