Prayaas Day – An effort to make the difference

Nine-year old girl Ayesha has come from Bijapur with her parents to this camp. As she was walking back after getting the calipers, she was literally running. I saw glitter in her eye and her happiness was there to see. Alternatively, take the case of 30-year-old Rajanna from Tumkur who went with a belief that now he can go back and support his family again. At the eye camp on other corner, many patients would get treatment for cataract soon and would be able to work. These are some of the moments that made us believe that we did our bit and made the difference.

EPGP students at IIMB started Prayaas initiative 4–years ago and its activities are synonymous with its tagline, let’s do our bit.  As part of its  annual event, Prayaas Day, it organized two medical camps in the institute on 27th Oct 2013. One camp was to provide artificial limb or the famed Jaipur Foot for amputees and callipers for Polio ridden patients or those with weak limbs. The other was to diagnose and treat eye related ailments ranging from simple vision defects such as refractive problems to cataract and optical nerve damages. The camp was a major success and attracted participants from people as far as Bellary. Fifty patients will get benefit from Jaipur Foot Camp of which 41 were beneficiary on the spot. The daylong eye camp benefited 130 patients of which 26 patients will be treated for cataract and 31 will be provided glasses. The complete cost for camp and treatment will be borne by Prayaas (T) that runs mainly with contributions from EPGP students.

Our Director and Dean (Academic) Professor Devanath Tirupati inaugurated the event in a traditional way by lighting the lamp and handing over the first Jaipur Foot, calipers and crutches. He congratulated the EPGP students for continuing with the tradition and finding ways to expand the volume and scope of its activities in providing ground level help to the needy.

T S Guruprasad visited the camp from Bellary; he had lost his limb in an accident 2 years back and he had come to the camp back for a limb replacement. Story of his will power and the transformation in life brought by prosthetic limb was a source of inspiration to the students as well as other patients.

All IIMB community supported the camp with volunteers from every program of the Institute. Everyone including Professors, students of EPGP, PGP, FPM, PGPPM, exchange-program, spouses of students, EPGP office and staff, contributed towards making this camp hugely successful. Kajal, wife of an EPGP student and a physiotherapist, helped lot of people with medical advice.

PGP students said that it is a small industry that has been set-up in campus for this camp and was a good learning experience too. For Valentin, Alice and Johanna, who are here from universities in Europe on exchange-program, this was a unique experience. Alice, student from Italy, was amazed with scale of camp and said, “It’s good to see people walking on new leg and the way you are putting effort to provide this for free to them”. In my words, “The joy and satisfaction you get when you bring smile to someone cannot be expressed through words. You have to feel it when people who came to camp on wheelchair, walk back on their own”.

Truly, sometimes the little tears of joy make a difference!!!

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