Dr Vinay Raniga, 30, has hit the campaign trail after being selected as the Conservative Party candidate from the Oxford West and Abindgon constituency.
The National Health Service (NHS) dental surgeon who lives and works in the area says that he hopes to continue to build on his work for the health service.
Dr Raniga said: “Public service is an honour and a serious responsibility. I deliver for my NHS patients; now it's time to deliver for Oxford West & Abingdon.
“I am honoured to be trusted by local residents to fight for the place I live, work and studied in. I look forward to meeting, listening to and serving many more of you.”
The Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, where Raniga completed a Master of Public Policy (MPP) two years ago – a module created for applicants who are motivated to run for elected office at the local or national level in the UK or Ireland – congratulated their former student.
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“Vinay is a believer in the power of community cohesion. As such, feeling a connection to the community he would be representing is an essential prerequisite for him when choosing where to run for office. Among his other main policy interests are healthcare and empowering people to become independent through entrepreneurial opportunities,” the school notes in a profile on Raniga.
A graduate of Barts and the London School of Dentistry, Raniga trained as a junior head and neck surgeon at Northwick Park Hospital in London and went on to found Dentify – an educational company which has trained several dentists in clinical governance, situational judgement and leadership.
It is when undertaking a gap year in India a few years ago, volunteering and learning about his heritage, that Raniga says he found himself in something of a crisis. He was torn between going down a more traditional route into politics by studying a subject like Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE), and going into dentistry. After seeking advice from a range of people, he made his decision.
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“My intuition guided me to do a degree that would allow me to directly help people in society and to deeply understand communities. The GP, the dentist, the local coffee shop owner – all of them sit at the heart of the community. They get to know people from a very young age, see people grow up and really understand their local area,” he told the Blavatnik School of Government.