“At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession, I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to the service of humanity,” a hundred voices chanted in unison. These were the graduating students of the Amrita School of Medicine, repeating the Geneva Oath after their Principal, Dr. Prathapan Nair. They read from their beautiful red scrolls, embossed with their individual names. Yesterday, they had traveled to Amritapuri to receive these scrolls from their Chancellor, Amma. Amma gave sweets to each one of them, remarking that these students would bring sweetness to the world.
At the graduation ceremony today, they marched down the central aisle of the new thousand-seater auditorium, packed to capacity with parents, faculty and students of junior batches. With beaming faces and clutching their precious scrolls, they took up their seats of honor in the front. The valedictory speech was delivered by Dr. Madhu Ravishankar. “Dear friends,” he remarked. “Our next step awaits us. Let us now go out there and apart from rendering professional help, try and spread the joy of love that Amma has taught us. This is the least that we can do.”
Amma’s message of love and compassion was underscored by Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri, one of Amma’s senior disciples, who delivered the benedictory address. It was highlighted yet again by the Pro-Chancellor, Brahmachari Abhayamrita Chaitanya, in his speech. Dr. Prem Nair, the campus Medical Director, who had welcomed the gathering, had also addressed the students with the same message. “Amma has lit the flame of love and compassion in your hearts; you will therefore always be able to spread this throughout your professional careers.”
Smt. P K Sreemathi Teacher, the State Minister for Health and Family Welfare was the distinguished guest of honor. She exhorted the young doctors to consider rural service, adding that mandatory rural posting was already implemented for government medical colleges. “You have channelised the vast resources available with you for the service of the people,” she said, addressing the entire Amrita fraternity. “I congratulate the young medical graduates passing out of this prestigious institution today.”
Dr. Viswas Mehta, IAS, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare also spoke. “We are indeed proud of this institution. We are proud because of the ethics and the morals which you preach and practice. Very rarely does one find an institution in which individuals talk of something and then practice it too,” he stated. Originally from Rajasthan, but now posted in Kerala for over two decades, Dr. Mehta reiterated the importance of service. “No person has been honored for what he received from society, but only for what he gave back,” he told the young graduates.
Dignitaries on the dais
Standing L to R – Dr. Prathapan Nair, Dr. Richard Lee, Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri, Smt. P K Sreemathi Teacher, Dr. Viswas Mehta, Br. Abhayamrita Chaithanya, Dr. Prem Nair
Dr. Richard Lee, a medical doctor and a distinguished academician in the US, who is part of the high-level delegation from State University of New York, Buffalo, currently visiting Amrita, also participated. When he met Amma a few days ago, he told her that his university would like to send medical students to study in Amrita. Brig. Dr. K J. Philipose, felicitated the new graduates on behalf of their faculty. Prizes were distributed to outstanding students in the fields of academics, arts, sports, social service and excellence in research. Doctors, students and staff who had rendered service in Bihar during the recent floods were also honored.
February 5, 2009
School of Medicine, Kochi