Questionnaire 1) How did you get connected with NDCHRC and how long have you been associated with it?
Ans. An accidental informal talk over a family lunch got me in touch with NDCHRC. My cousin, Nameesha Verma, who has been associated with this cause since its inception, introduced me to this wonderful initiative. I have been associated since a year and a half.
2) What motivates you to work with NDCHRC?
Ans. As educated, socially conscious individuals, I think we all feel the need to contribute to making a better society .However, paucity of time and lack of direction frequently limit us. As I learnt about the organisation, it seemed but natural to offer my services for this noble cause. Even if we can make a difference to 1 child, that is motivating enough!
3) How can you help NDCHRC to achieve their goal?
Ans. As i mentioned to Nameesha and Pratyush, I would love to be a part of any camps/school health checks /OPD services where i could contribute by doing a comprehensive eye examination. Also, health talks, whenever needed, can be done. Any patient needing a surgery can be operated at very nominal charges.
4) What are the common diseases/ problems found in kids during camps and what are the suggestive measures that can be taken against them?
Ans. The most common eye diseases found in children were Allergic conjunctivitis, Refractive errors, and infections.
5) Can you share any experience of treating any less privileged child ?
Ans. My Maid’s son was treated by me at an age of 8 years for very poor vision in one eye due to a high unrecognized eye power of +8D. After due diligence of over 3 years which included glasses, occlusion therapy, foveal stimulation exercises and counselling, the child recovered a vision of 6/9 with glasses. Presently he is studying in college. Every time i see him as a normal happy confident child, it gives me so much joy that i could make a difference.
6) Would you like to suggest some easy changes in lifestyle of such kids?
Ans. They could be taught basic hygiene practices such as frequent washing of hands. They could be taught about a healthy diet and some basic eye care.
7) What brings you here in such camps/clinics to work selflessly?
Ans. I think i have answered this earlier.
8) Would you like to suggest anything to NDCHRC for future camps/ clinic set ups?
Ans. I feel that doing sporadic camps may not really help except as a knee jerk reaction to the affected population. Rather, follow up camps must be organized to ensure that the children have indeed benefitted.
9) How can we keep learning and updating people about new ways of treating diseases? Ans. The internet is a huge source, but too much half baked knowledge may be dangerous. Hence, it would be best to let doctors provide frequent health talks about existing and new diseases and innovations.
10) How much time can you devote weekly or monthly to this cause? Do you think you can do that on a consistent basis?
Ans. I could give one day a month at least.
11) How can we help improving child health care status in India?
ans. The health care status of children will not improve unless their living conditions improve. Providing job opportunities, education, cleanliness, safe drinking water and easy access to free healthcare are key areas where the government must focus. If a family is barely surviving hand to mouth, it is impractical to think that they would pay attention to their children’s health problems unless life threatening.
12) Any inspirational message for people? What would you like to say to your fellow doctors who volunteer here?
Ans- Well, all I can say is that please use this forum to help build a healthier India. I can vouch that most of us want to serve the less privileged, so here is one such opportunity for us all.