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Child's health, The nation's wealth
(Medical camp for living Gopalas on Janmashtami)


The day was Janmashtami. All households arranged for the puja, with glimpses of our cute, plump, and adorable Gopalas, all adorned with new clothes and ornaments, surrounded by different varieties of delicious delicacies. Even social media had turned into a temple. All this paraphernalia aroused the “bhakti bhava” in us all. Engrossed in the festivities, we have forgotten the fact that kids may be the most affected by the impeding COVID 3rd wave, which has remained just another news article in the newspaper and on TV screens.
We have the usual excuse of blaming others while overlooking our own faults. Only a medical professional has the eagerness and motivation to fight at the forefront, without any conditions. Only a doctor can ascertain the health status of the gopal—the living one, not the well-decorated stone one, for which we have darshan in temples.

Today, many living Gopalas are leading their lives in very dire situations due to poverty and illness, and a lack of awareness adds to their miserable conditions. How many poverty-stricken parents can afford to visit a child specialist for their kid’s health checkup?
What if one eminent child specialist reached out to these needy kids? It’s tale-like, but true. On the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami on August 30, 2021, with the assistance of the Petals family, Dr. Suman Poddar, with all his love and medical support, reached out to 120 such kids. A medical camp was organised with the help of Mr. Choton Dutta at Pandua, Hooghly’s Panchgara Sishu Bikash Seva Niketan, under the able guidance of Dr. Suman Poddar. The medical support was not meant for a single day alone but for the whole year.
Along with medical supplies, Krishna’s most loved “Noni handi,” containing all sorts of goodies from butter to cholocates, was gifted to the little Krishnas. It was an attempt to bring cheer and provide a healthy foundation for these kids. Dr. Poddar’s sincere dedication has awed us as always and inspired us to march ahead in our endeavours. This is the real “Ishwar Darshan”. Decked-up Krishnas are found in all houses; rarely do we come across such human beings who intend to spend the whole day of a holiday in service to many needy kids on the outskirts of Kolkata. We felt the presence of Krishna among these kids. Janmashtami is well celebrated.
Stay blessed.

Dr. Sudha Mallareddy

Health is Wealth


After the demise of Sri Sri Thakur RamKrishna Parmahansa, Swami Vivekananda travelled the lengths of India to evaluate the economic situation. He also set foot on different foreign soils to participate in religious gatherings. He lived the life of a monk: seeking alms, wearing saffron robes, and walking barefoot. He understood that one has to love humans to understand humanity. He mixed and mingled with all without any discrimination based on race or religion. His teachings have enlightened many.
Are we able to understand and instill his true teachings in our lives?
12.01.21, the birth anniversary of this great lover of humanity, sees many programmes being organised with bright lighting, expensive garlands, and his statues getting a coat of fresh paint.
But have these lights lit up our inner conscience? Have his teachings penetrated our selfish mindset?
2020 witnessed tough times and much loss. We have not been able to defeat death in spite of the development of technology. Those of us who are still alive have understood the beauty of life. We are all still fighting to live a healthy and peaceful life. But is this fight meant only for a specific group of highly educated people who can afford their family’s well-being?
The ones who have seen only the ugly side of life—who find themselves feeding on leftovers, who live in the dingy corners of society, kids born behind the dustbins or railway station bathrooms, who learn only the alphabet and numbers in the name of education—don’t they deserve to live life to the fullest?
Have we given them the courage and opportunity to go forward?
We handed over some cakes and biscuits and clicked some snaps. Did we ever have the willingness to see through their suffering and wounds? Have we ever been sympathetic enough to fix an appointment with a doctor for them? Have we not stopped our kids from mingling with them in fear of infection? We have instilled this discrimination in the minds of the kids since childhood.
Don’t we have an iota of interest in their treatment? This has to be given some thought. Our responsibility is not over if we just give them some cakes and biscuits. Did they ever receive any empathy from us?
There are still some people in our society who are inspired enough to come forward and contribute generously and to take up the responsibility of the health and medical needs of some such kids, not for a day alone but for every day. Some super souls like Dr. Sumon Poddar, Dr. Mandira Roy, and Mr. Ashis Dutta have yet again extended their hands of support for the kids from the underprivileged sections of society. On
12.01.21 PETALS could organise a medical health check-up camp at Shobha Bazar Haatkhola Medical Bank with medical support and space provided by the doctors and Mr. D. Ashish. We could accomplish this task by keeping our noble intention in front of us, as inspired by Swami Vivekananda, a great son of India.

Thank you all for your constant well-wishes and blessings.

Dr. Sudha Mallareddy