July 15, 2010
School of Dentistry, Kochi
Final-year BDS students of the Amrita School of Dentistry recently visited patients at the cancer and pain and palliative wards of the Government General Hospital in Ernakulam.
“Amma always inspires all to serve the poor and needy around the world,” stated Dr. Soumya, Assistant Professor at the Department of Periodontics who pioneered the Amrita Sahayam project that resulted in this visit.
“She provides guidance for many ventures towards the benefit of the needy. This was our source of motivation behind this project.”
All students in Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham attend mandatory classes in cultural education and as part of this, also participate in several field activities. Amrita Sahayam was begun to better enable graduating students and future dentists understand problems of patients and support them.
“A poster depicting the plight of the less fortunate was first displayed on the college notice board,” narrated Dr. Soumya, recalling how it all began. “The students then voluntarily started setting aside some money by restraining their desires and lavishness.”
“In this manner, within three months, they collected a sum of about Rs. 5000/-.”
With the money collected, the students procured 8 vials of Zolasta injections (4 mg Zoledronic acid, intravenous infusion) for several of the terminally ill cancer patients who could not afford this expensive medicine.
The team spent nearly two hours at the hospital. They gave the medicines to the hospital authorities to be used for the poorer patients. Students also distributed fruits and biscuits to patients and bystanders.
Students interacted with the patients, listening patiently listened to their heart-rending stories. “Learning of their suffering, one could not help but feel compassion towards them,” they stated later. “We felt satisfied that we could console them and provide affection to them.
When the students left, one could see bright and happy smiles that had lit up the faces of many of the patients and their relatives.
“Providing care for the sick and giving them some relief has always been very important to Amma,” stated Shri. Ramesh Sadasiva, In-Charge of Cultural Education at the Health Sciences campus in Kochi.
“Our students are happy that they contribute in this way to carrying out Amma’s mission.”