Evolution of Indomitable spirit in youth by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

Evolution of Indomitable spirit in youth

Great books ignite imagination,

Imagination leads to creativity,

Creativity blossoms thinking,

Thinking provides knowledge,

Knowledge makes you great.

 

Criteria for achievement for youth

Dear friends, When I see you young friends, I thought of sharing an ancient

poem and modified to suit the occasion.

Can you all repeat with me?

Wings to Fly

“I am born with potential.

I am born with goodness and trust.

I am born with ideas and dreams.

I am born with greatness.

I am born with confidence.

I am born with wings.

I am not meant for crawling,

So I won’t, I have wings,

I will fly, fly and fly”

My message to you, young friends, is that

education gives you wings to fly.

Achievement comes out of fire in our sub- conscious mind that

“I will win”

So, each one of you assembled here and elsewhere, will have

“Wings of Fire”

The Wing of Fire will indeed lead to knowledge which will make you to fly as a Doctor, or

an Engineer, or a teacher, or a political leader, or a bureaucrat or a scientist or anything

you want to be.

Unique You

Dear friends, look up, what do you see, the light, the electric bulbs. Immediately, our

thoughts go to the inventor

Thomas Alva Edison,

 

for his unique contribution towards the invention of electric bulb and his  electrical lighting system. Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed as “The Wizard of Menlo Park”.

When you hear the sound of aeroplane going over your house, whom do you think of?

Wright Brothers

proved that man could fly of course at heavy risk and cost.

  • The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who are credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1904-1905 the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

    File:Orville Wright Signature.svgFile:Wilbur Wright Signature.svg

File:Orville Wright 1905-crop.jpgFile:Wilbur Wright-crop.jpg

Image Source

Whom does the telephone remind you of?

Of course,

Alexander Graham Bell

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Graham_Bell

 

When everybody considered a sea travel as an experience or a voyage, a unique person

questioned during his sea travel from United Kingdom to India.

During a voyage to Europe in 1921, he noticed the blue colour of glaciers and the

Mediterranean sea.[http://www.iacs.res.in/noble-lecture_sir_cv_raman.pdf]

He was motivated to discover the reason for the blue colour.

He carried out experiments regarding the scattering of light by water and transparent

blocks of ice which explained the phenomenon. He discovered that when light traverses a

transparent material, some of the deflected light changes in wavelength. This

phenomenon, subsequently known as Raman scattering, results from the Raman effect.

In 1954 India honoured him with its highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.

Of course,

Sir C.V. Raman

was awarded, 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics.

For further details kindly read “The Raman Effect”.

Do you know an Indian Mathematician who did not have formal higher education but had inexhaustible spirit and love for mathematics which took him to contribute to the treasure houses of mathematical research – some of which are still under serious study and engaging all-available world mathematicians’ efforts to establish formal proofs. He was a unique Indian genius who could melt the heart of the most hardened and outstanding Cambridge mathematician Prof G H Hardy. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that it was Prof. Hardy who discovered a great mathematician for the world. This mathematician was of-course

Srinivasa Ramanujan

File:Srinivasa Ramanujan - OPC - 1.jpgFile:Srinivasa Ramanujan signature.gifImage Source

for whom every number was a divine manifestation.

He often said,

“An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God.”   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinivasa_Ramanujan 

Do you know about a great human being with a spirit of service, who also won a 1979 Nobel

Peace Prize for her contributions?

She said and practiced, Give give and give, until it hurts“.

She is

Mother Teresa

Friends, there was a great scientific lady who is known for discovering radiation. She won not one, but two Nobel prizes, one for physics and another for chemistry. 

She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Who is she?

She is Madam Curie.

Madam Curie discovered radium and she was doing research on the effect of radiation on human system. The same radiation which she discovered, affected her and she sacrificed her life for removing the pain of human life.

Friends, I have, so far, met 18 million youth in a decade’s time. I learnt,

“every youth wants to be unique, that is, YOU!

But the world all around you, is doing its best, day and night, to make you just

“everybody else”.

In the  home, dear young fellows you are asked by your parents to be like neighours children for scoring good  marks. When you go to school, your teachers says

“why not you become like the first five rankers in the  class”.

Wherever you go, they are saying “you have to somebody else or everybody else”. Now dear young friends, how many of you would like to be unique yourself. The challenge, my young friends, is that you have to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can ever imagine to fight; and never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place, that is,

a UNIQUE YOU!

Friends what will be your tools to fight this battle, what are they: have a great aim in

life, continuously acquire the knowledge, work hard and persevere to realize the great

achievement.

How to make impossible possible?

Dear students, it is said,

History has proven that those who dare to imagine the impossible are the ones who break all human limitations. In every field of human endeavor, whether science, medicine, sports, the arts, or technology, the names of the people who imagined the impossible and achieved are engraved in our history. By breaking the limits of their imagination, they changed the world.”

Let us see a few creative minds who made impossible possible by their indomitable (impossible to subdue) spirit.

Human flight is nothing but creativity of human mind and it undergoes several struggles to achieve excellence.

In 1895, a great well-known scientist

Lord Kelvin,

who was the President of Royal Society of London said, “anything heavier than air cannot fly, and cannot be  flown.”

Within a decade, Wright Brothers proved man could fly in 1903.

On the successful completion of Moon Mission in 1969,

Von Braun,

a very famous rocket designer, who built Saturn-V, to launch the capsule with astronauts and made moon walk a reality, in 1975 said

“If I am authorized, I will remove the word impossible”.

In ancient days, Ptolemaic astronomy

is a widely used system in calculating the dynamics of various stars and planets.

Assumption by then was that the earth is flat. What a scientific struggle had to take place to prove that the earth is spherical in shape orbiting around the sun. The three great astronomers

Copernicus,

Galileo

and

Kepler

had to give a new dimension to the world of astronomy. Today we take it for granted that

earth is a globe, orbiting around the sun, and the sun orbits in the Milky Way.

All the technological advancements we have today are the outcome of scientific

exploration of scientists of earlier centuries.

At no time, man was beaten by problems.

He strives continuously to subjugate impossibility and then succeeds.

Dear friends, what lessons do we learn from all these achievements?

According to the laws of aerodynamics the

Bumble bee

should never be able to fly. Because of the size, weight, and shape of its body in relationship to the total wing span, flying is scientifically impossible. The bumble bee, being ignorant of scientific theory, goes ahead and flies anyway. Because it wants to fly and it is flying. I would like the youth assembled here to take a lesson from these examples and work to make everything possible, because they are unique.

  • Explained: The Physics-Defying Flight of the Bumblebee – The fluid dynamics behind bumblebees’ flight are different from those that allow a plane to fly. An airplane’s wing forces air down, which in turn pushes the wing (and the plane it’s attached to) upward. For bugs, it isn’t so simple. The wing sweeping is a bit like a partial spin of a “somewhat crappy” helicopter propeller, Dickinson said, but the angle to the wing also creates vortices in the airlike small hurricanes. The eyes of those mini-hurricanes have lower pressure than the surrounding air, so, keeping those eddies of air above its wings helps the bee stay aloft.

Will-power can defeat any problem.

Friends, recently I visited a village called Harali in Kolhapur District of Maharashtra, where I met over 2000 of students hailing from different schools. When I was about to get down from the stage after finishing my lecture and interaction, a young boy about 18 years of age, held in the arms of his mother cried to meet me. I called both of them on to the stage. The polio affected boy could not walk, but he was strong in will power. He told me,

“My name is Shailesh and I  am from this village Harali. You told us to have a dream. I am here to tell you my dream. I am a chess player. I will  work very hard and someday I will become a Grand Master”.

I wished Shailesh all the best, who has a strong will power and said,

“You will succeed. Definitely, God is with you.? Dear friends, the message is the ‘Will power can  defeat any problem’.”

Knowledge equation

Dear students, what you will acquire during your studies in your schools, a great friend is accompanying you.

Who is that friend?

That friend is – knowledge. Now, I am going to give the knowledge equation.

Knowledge = Creativity + Righteousness + Courage

Creativity

“Learning gives creativity

Creativity leads to thinking

Thinking provides knowledge

Knowledge makes you great”

The next component of knowledge is righteousness.

Righteousness is described in a divine hymn.

Righteousness

Where there is righteousness in the heart

There is beauty in the character.

When there is beauty in the character,

there is harmony in the home.

When there is harmony in the home.

There is an order in the nation.

When there is order in the nation,

There is peace in the world.

Now the question is:

How do we inculcate the righteousness in the heart?

In my opinion, there are three sources which can build a youth with righteousness in the

heart.

One is mother,

second is father in a spiritual environment and the

third and the most important is the teacher, particularly primary school teacher.

The third component is courage, which is defined as follows:

Courage

Courage to think different,

Courage to invent,

Courage to travel into an unexplored path,

Courage to discover the impossible,

Courage to combat the problems and succeed,

are the unique qualities of the youth.

As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all the missions.

Where from you will acquire knowledge?

Home, good books, teachers and teaching environment, coming into contact with good human beings, teaching websites in internet. When the schools teach the students to use the knowledge with creativity, righteousness and courage, nation will have large number of empowered and enlightened citizens, which is vital for the growth of the individual, growth of the family, growth of nation and promotion of peace in the world.

What can I do for you? – The Leadership quality

Every one of us has gone through the various phases of education from childhood to profession. Please visualize a scene – a child, a teenager, an adult and a leader. How does each one react to a particular situation? The situation is human need.

The child asks,

“What can you do for me?”

The teenager says, “I want to do it alone”.

The young person proclaims,

“let us do it together”.

The leader offers, “What can I do for you”.

So, the teachers have got a tremendous responsibility to transform a child into a leader ? the transformation of ‘what can you do for me’ to ‘what can I do for you’. That will demand a teacher to be a visionary with an inspiring capability. Also, the teacher has to ensure that they impart learning to the children in such a way as to bring out the best in them and for this, he or she has to be a good teacher himself/herself. I am sure, the best of creativity among the students will emerge by integrated influence of teachers and parents.

Young Innovators

As a fellow teacher, I can state that the teachers are the backbone of any country- a pillar upon which all aspirations of the country are built to become realities. Education is the learning process and leads to creativity. The creativity is indeed the result of the education process and the environment of the school and above all the teachers’ capability igniting the minds of the students.

The essence of it can be seen in the following verses:

Learning gives creativity

Creativity leads to thinking,

Thinking provides knowledge

Knowledge makes you great.

Conclusion: Oath for the Youth

  1. I will have a goal and work hard to achieve that goal. I realize that small aim is a crime.
  2. I will be a good member of my family, a good member of the society, a good member of the nation and a good member of the world.
  3. I will work with integrity and succeed with integrity
  4.  I will always try to save or better someone’s life, without any discrimination of caste, creed, language religion or state.
  5. I will always protect and enhance the dignity of every human life without any bias.
  6. I will always remember the importance of time. My motto will be “Let not my winged days, be spent in vain”.
  7. I will always work for clean planet Earth and clean energy.
  8. As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all my tasks and enjoy the success of others.
  9. My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my nation.

My best wishes to all of you success in educational missions.

By,

Dr. A.P.J Abdulkalam

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

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Great Teachers inspire the youth….by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

May I be a protector for those without one,
A guide for all travellers on the way;
May I be a bridge, a boat and a ship
For all who wish to cross (the water).

….. by Acharya Shantideva,
a Buddhist Master of 8th century
(Nalanda University)

When I see you all teacher friends, I see in front of me a source of creativity.

What is creativity?

Creativity

“Learning gives creativity

Creativity leads to thinking

Thinking provides knowledge

Knowledge makes you great”

How many great people for the planet earth, the great teachers have created.

Friends, you are the creators of creativity.

My greetings to all of you.

Friends, teachers create beautiful minds. Beautiful minds are creative and many times with indomitable (impossible to subdue) spirit. Our nation was fortunate to have beautiful minds in science, humanities, law, industry and political leadership right from our pre- independent period who were created by great teachers and due to whose efforts, we are experiencing the freedom and growth of our country today. I was also enriched by my teachers at various phases of my life. When I am in this atmosphere of great givers, I would like to talk on the topicGreat teachers inspire the youth.

My perceptions of teachers with myself as a student and teacher

Friends, the relationship between teacher and student is very unique. A teacher lives through the entire life journey of a student. A teacher inspires students by his role model behaviour. A teacher enjoys the success of the student even more than his own. A teacher is inspired by the curiosity and creativity of the student and learns more and more to help the student.

Teacher Muthu Iyer: It was the year 1936, I recall my initiation of education at the age of 5 years in Rameswaram (a city in southern India)  Panchayat elementary school. I had a Teacher Muthu Iyer who took special interest to me mainly because I performed very well in a class exercise which he gave to all the students. He was impressed and next day he came to my house to tell my father that I was a very good student. My parents were happy and got my favourite sweet from my mother.

Another important event while I was in first class which I can not forget. One day I did not turn up to my school. Teacher Muthu Iyer noticed my absence and same evening he came to my father to ask what the problem was and why did I not go to school and whether he can do anything to help me. On that day, I was having a fever. Another important thing, which he noticed was my handwriting was very poor. He gave a three-page writing exercise and told my father that he should ensure that I do the exercise every day regularly. By these actions of my teacher Muthu Iyer, my father told me in later years that teacher Muthu Iyer is not only a good teacher to me in teaching but he influenced and shaped me with good habits.

My another teacher in the primary school, Shri Sivasubramania Iyer not only taught me about bird flight but also put the spark of a mission in life of pursuing a career in flight. My college lecturer Prof. Thothari Iyenger was not only an expert teacher but also introduced me to great people like ancient astronomer Aryabhata, inspired me for life. My teacher Rev Iyyadurai Solomon focused importance purity in life through his life and lifestyle. Rev Fr. Chinnathurai taught me nuclear physics. They way he taught, I loved the subject and later it has become a passion. Now he lives in Dindigal, India. I am meeting quite often and give my respect. A few days back, I was very happy to see my teacher’s best wishes on my birthday on 15 October 2010. These teachers and others come in front of me whenever I have to deal with some practical and sometimes difficult problems in life. When I was teaching Societal Transformation in Anna University, I realised the power of youth to inspire a teacher. Their attention, their questions, their aspirations and above all their affection, motivate a teacher to excel. When I have been with the I.I.M ( Indian Institute of Management) Ahmedabad students or with students of Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, U.S.A or when I field questions of several from the 17 million students I have addressed, I realize how the combined power of students and teachers can make a difference to society.

‘Teachers’ who love teaching, teach children to love ‘Learning’.

Friends, I just see a scene in a school having about 50 teachers and 750 students headed by a Principal. It is simply a place of beauty for creativity and learning.

How is it possible?

It is because the school management and the Principal selected the teachers who love teaching, who treat the students as their sons, grandsons or granddaughters. The children see the teacher, as a role model in teaching and how always they look pious through their daily way of life.

Above all, I see an environment in which there is nothing like a good student, average student or poor student. The whole school and the teacher system is involved in generating students who perform the best. As I said about my primary school teacher Shri Sivasubramania Iyer, who taught me, when I was a ten-year-old boy, how the birds fly, in the classroom, and later by taking us to the seashore to give a practical example. The way he taught, gave me what to dream of life and what should be the pattern of education which I have to follow. And above all what should be the traits, I should possess based on teachers life both inside the classroom and in the village. When my classroom students in primary school and secondary school observed and learn a unique experience. When certain teachers walk, students saw the radiation of knowledge of the teachers and the purity life from the teachers’ lives. This race of teachers should multiply.

Teacher as a facilitator of innovation

Friends, teachers have to emerge as a facilitator of new ideas and lead to lifelong innovative thinking in the young minds.

This reminds me of a poem “The Student’s Prayer” by a Chilean biologist Maturana. I will narrate a few lines from the poem.

The Student’s Prayer

Show me so that I can stand

On your shoulders.

Reveal yourself so that I can be

Something different.

Don’t impose on me what you know,

I want to explore the unknown

And be the source of my own discoveries.

Let the known be my liberation, not my slavery.

I am sure, the teachers assembled here would be a great facilitator of learning and innovation. Now I would like to talk about creative teachers.

Creative teachers

During my visit to Singapore and Finland, I have seen that there are exclusive schools for teaching primary school teachers. The curriculum is rigorous (painstakingly careful and accurate) and the students have to qualify with distinction before being appointed as primary school teachers. This type of capacity building may be taking place in our country in certain places. It has to spread all over the country; so that, all our rural schools also have high-quality teachers, who are equipped to build creative capacity among the children. These aspects may be taken into account while teachers go for training.

The traits of Nobel minds

When I am in the midst of great teachers, I thought of sharing with you an incident about Sir CV Raman, a Nobel Laureate in Physics for discovering Raman Effect. Raman scattering or the Raman effect is the inelastic scattering of a photon. It was discovered by C. V. Raman and K. S. Krishnan in liquids, and by G. Landsberg and L. I. Mandelstam in crystals. The effect had been predicted theoretically by Adolf Smekal in 1923.

  • When photons are scattered from an atom or molecule, most photons are elastically scattered (Rayleigh scattering), such that the scattered photons have the same energy (frequency and wavelength) as the incident photons. A small fraction of the scattered photons (approximately 1 in 10 million) are scattered by an excitation, with the scattered photons having a frequency different from, and usually lower than, that of the incident photons. In a gas, Raman scattering can occur with a change in energy of a molecule due to a transition to another (usually higher) energy level. Raman Scattering

Sir C.V. Raman was in the first batch of Bharat Ratna Award winners. Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian honour, conferred for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of public service of the highest order by the Government of India. The award ceremony was to take place in the last week of January, soon after the Republic Day celebrations of 1954. The then President Dr. Rajendra Prasad wrote to  Sir C. V. Raman inviting him to be the personal guest in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, India, when Raman comes to Delhi for the award ceremony.

Sir CV Raman wrote a polite letter, regretting his inability to go. Raman had a noble reason for his inability to attend the investiture ceremony. He explained to the President that he was guiding a Ph.D. student and that thesis was positively due by the last day of January. The student was valiantly trying to wrap it all up and Raman felt, he had to be by the side of the research student, see that the thesis was finished, sign the thesis as the guide and then have it submitted. Here was a scientist who gave up the pomp of a glittering ceremony associated with the highest honour, because he felt that his duty required him to be by the side of the student. It is this unique trait of giving value to science that builds science.

An ideal Teacher

An ideal teacher is the one, who visualises every student to be having unlimited potential, without any kind of bias, for or against anyone.

Some time back, I met a teacher who has become a role model to all his students. I asked him what was the secret of his success. He told me the following:

  1. He has been able to adapt himself to the age of the student.
  2. He practices everything he expects his students to do.
  3. He ensures transparency in all his transactions and treats all students alike, irrespective of their religion, caste, language and economic status.
  4. He has a foresight and visualises the student’s growth in long-term perspective.
  5. During the 11 years of his tenure, he has ensured that at least 2000 students who were average performers have been groomed to excel in their studies.

I am sure many educationists and teachers assembled here would reflect these characteristics and also add few more important traits.

Dynamics of Smile

When we see a child, we see the innocent smile of the child. When we come across, the child in the Primary School, the smile is reduced, since the child has to carry a heavy school bag. When we see the child in their teens, their smile slowly fades away and the sign of concern appears. This is because of the anxiety about the future. When they complete their education, the question uppermost in their mind is,

What will I do with my education?

Will I get an employment?

Will I get a proper employment?

Can the Principals and teachers see this dynamics of smiles of the child and preserve the smile in their faces when they complete their school education. The Student should be confident that “he can do it”, he should have the self-esteem and the capability to become an employment generator rather being an employment seeker. The management of education and a leader in education have to facilitate such type of creative teacher in large numbers in primary school and then the secondary school. This transformation can only be brought about by a teacher who has a vision to transform, who has the ability to take risk against all challenges, who is a good listener, who is a good innovator, who maintains a cordial interpersonal or intrapersonal relationship, and who has the ability to carry the parents, community, media and the teachers for accomplishing the vision of generating an enlightened citizen of the nation.

Generosity in making his students Nobel laureate

Chandrasekhar Subramanyan’s most famous discovery was the astrophysical Chandrasekhar limit. The limit describes the maximum mass (~1.44 solar masses) of a white dwarf star, or equivalently, the minimum mass for which a star will ultimately collapse into a neutron star or black hole following a supernova. The limit was first calculated by Chandrasekhar while on a ship from India to Cambridge, England. The Chandrasekhar Limit led to the determination of how long a star of particular mass will shine. In 1983, Chandrasekhar Subramanyan got the Nobel Prize for this discovery. Two of Chandrasekhar’s students in 1947 were the doctoral candidates Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang in Particle Physics research. Even though Chandrasekhar Subramanyan maintained his office at the Yerkes Observatory in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, he would regularly drive the one hundred miles to Chicago to guide and teach Lee and Yang and others many a time in difficult weather conditions. In 1957, these two of his students won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in particle physics research. This also brings out Chandrasekhar Subramanyan’s commitment to science and thereby to his students. Science indeed is a lifetime mission for Chandrasekhar. It is this characteristic which makes youth to become passionate towards science.

Mission of Teaching

When I look at you dear friends, I see one integrated system of education, the system of learning and system of knowledge.

The seeds of peace in the world have their origin in the righteousness in the heart of every individual. Such righteous citizens lead to the evolution of enlightened society. Education with value system has to be so designed that the righteousness in the heart is developed in young minds. That should be the mission of education. The prime learning environment is five to seventeen years of age for over 25,000 hours. This reminds me of an ancient Greek teacher’s saying,

Give me a child for seven years; afterwards, let God or devil take the child. They cannot change the child“.

This indicates the power of great teachers. True education is the acquisition of enlightened feelings and enlightened powers to understand daily events and to understand the permanent truth by linking citizen, to his environment, human and planet we live. I would like to quote from the great philosopher Dr. S. Radhakrishnan particularly for the benefit of students and teachers –

“The sense of human need is there and the teacher can satisfy it by giving to the youth an idea of the fundamental power and worth of a man, his spiritual dignity as a man, a supra-national culture and an all-embracing humanity.”

My best wishes to all the teachers assembled here for success in your mission of developing enlightened citizens through good educational practices and purity in life.

May God Bless you.

Eleven Point Oath for Teachers

I have designed an eleven-point oath for the teachers which I would like to administer to this important gathering of teachers.

  1.  First and foremost, I will love teaching. Teaching will be my soul.
  2. I realise that I am responsible for shaping not just students but ignited youths who are the most powerful resource under the earth, on the earth and above the earth. I will be fully committed to the great mission of teaching.
  3. I will consider myself to be a great teacher for I can lift the average to the best performance by way of my special teaching.
  4. All my actions with my students will be with kindness and affection like a mother, sister, father or brother.
  5. I will organise and conduct my life, in such a way that my life itself is a message for my students.
  6. I will encourage my students to ask questions and develop the spirit of enquiry so that they blossom into creative enlightened citizens.
  7. I will treat all the students equally and will not support any differentiation on account of religion, community or language.
  8. I will continuously build the capacities in teaching so that I can impart quality education to my students.
  9. I will celebrate the success of my students, with great happiness.
  10. I realise by being a teacher, I am making an important contribution to all the national development initiatives.
  11. I will constantly endeavour to fill my mind with great thoughts and spread the nobility in thinking and action.

Dr. A.P.J Abdulkalam

An Open Letter to ‘The Director’ of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Respected Sir (Dr. M. C. Misra),

I read your vision statement SIR at the following web address http://www.aiims.edu/images/vision-statement.pdf. Most humbly, although would look a bit absurd: I, Jeevanshu Dhawan being an independent citizen of a democratic country would like to provide you with few inputs regarding the future of healthcare and premier medical institutions in India; which I think is very important for every citizen, who truly believes India has every right to become a knowledge and research powerhouse for the entire world, as it did many centuries ago. This quote aptly describes my endeavour.

“Every heart that has beat strong and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

Future_directions_Image

Sir, you start your vision statement with the following lines “AIIMS has become a household name in India and abroad with people from all strata of society looking up to it to provide unbiased, affordable and quality healthcare. This stature and trust from fellow citizens have not come overnight. It has taken decades of extreme hard work, by our founding fathers, to reach to this level. I believe that there is immense untapped potential in AIIMS which with the proper nurturing can make AIIMS a truly global brand.”

Medical-Tourism-Destination-India

Indeed what you said is true, but a lot of credit for the success of ‘AIIMS’ as a brand, also goes to the public in general, who let go of a few thousand schools that could provide their children world-class education and other basic amenities like toilets, which they forgo, and provided you with a budget which surpasses the best in the world

[around ₹11.24 billion (US$180 million) per annum; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_India_Institute_of_Medical_Sciences_Delhi].They also provided you with a vast gene pool, from amongst whom, you could find the best talent currently available in the world. They also provided you with rarest of rare diseases, providing the basis on which to perform your research, and a vast population of diseased patients, on whom you could practice your talents, eventually realising your true potential. AIIMS that you envision should keep the betterment of the 125 crore population of India and that of neighbouring countries, and not just a select few. One should work with the aim of service to these citizens of the country, not as masters with a thought of having a firm grip on their future, rather, as servants with care and compassion.

Righteousness

Where there is righteousness in the heart

There is beauty in the character.

When there is beauty in the character,

there is harmony in the home.

When there is harmony in the home.

There is an order in the nation.

When there is order in the nation,

There is peace in the world.

————Dr. APJ Abdul kalam

These are the excerpts from the Inaugural Address at the ILLUMINATI 2014 Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, September 15, 2014.

Culture of Excellence

Excellence in thinking and action is the foundation for any mission.

What is excellence?

Friends, you all belong to a youth community, which should stand for a culture of excellence. Moreover, excellence is not by accident.

It is a process, where an individual, organization, or nation continuously strives to better oneself.

The performance standards are set by themselves, they work on their dreams with focus, and are prepared to take calculated risks, and do not be deterred by failures as they move towards their dreams. Then they step up their dreams, as they tend to reach the original targets. They strive to work to their potential, in the process, they increase their performance thereby multiplying further their potential, and this is an unending life cycle phenomenon. They are not in competition with anyone else, but themselves.

That is the culture of excellence.

I am sure; each one of you will aspire to become unique with culture of excellence. Now, let me visualize how a dynamic healthcare centre or a hospital should be.

My visualization of great Healthcare centers

Dear friends, I visualize a great healthcare center with the following characteristics where:

1]. Patient is the most important person in the hospital. When the patient enters, the hospital presents an angelic look and all the team members of the hospital always wear smiles. The patient feels that “I am going to get cured”.

2]. The hospital consumes less electricity and less water by adopting green building for all modernization tasks. The choice of the power source is solar and wind.

3]. The hospital premises are totally noise free.

4]. All the test reports and treatment schedule are attached to the database of the patient through Electronic Medical Record without the need of the patient or the relatives to search for the reports. The data-base is updated and authenticated every hour.

5]. Maintain the database of all the cases treated by the hospital in the past, which are easily retrievable.

6]. Patient is not subjected to diagnostic pain.

7]. The surroundings of the hospital are green with full of trees with seasonal flowers and pleasant wall paintings.

8]. Further expansion of the hospital is in vertical mode leading to fast movement of the patient and doctors for medical treatment.

9]. There is no case of hospital-induced infection to the patients due to bio-contamination.

10]. The patients feel that this is the best place to get treated.

11]. The hospital is fully IT enabled leading to virtual connectivity of the patient to the doctor, nurse and the chief of the hospital 24×7. Hospital is also networked with other hospitals nationally and internationally for seeking expert medical advice on unique cases.

12]. The daily medical conference, attended by the Chief of the hospital, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and relatives of patients of unique cases, reviews problems of the patient and find integrated solutions.

Biology of Beliefs

Now friends, I was asking myself, is there any inputs and research which is coming from both, physio-psycho and brain researches, because of the advent of neuro-sciences coupled with quantum theory. I was reading a book, “The Secret Path” by Paul Brunton.

According to the author, the conscience is explained scientifically for the reason that the thinking process and biological processes converge through quantum mechanics. He says, that Physics and Biology are interlinked and that “At atomic level matter doesn’t even exist, it only has a tendency to exist”.

Recently, a friend of mine, who is a scientist sent me a book “Biology of Beliefs” by Dr. Bruce Lipton. The author is one of the greatest scientists in the bio-science and after 20 years of research he attributes the origin of human diseases and their cure have a basis on our intrinsic thinking and the relationship with our bio cells. The book talks about a new approach which highlights the importance of placebo effect and how it is actually a powerful belief effect. The author says “Doctors should not regard the power of belief as something inferior to the power of chemicals and scalpel. They should let go of the belief that the body and its parts are essentially stupid”.

Brainstorming in John Hopkins Hospital

Friends, Institute of Health in the US, in a survey found that 95,000 deaths every year occur in the United States due to medical errors. Though this information can be debated, this information was found to be very disturbing. It was recognized that there is a need for change in approach in medicare to improve the safety and quality of care to patients. In this connection, it was felt that it is important to train the doctors, nurses, paramedics, technicians and everyone connected with medicare the need to follow the treatment line meticulously. Modern hospital is a very complex organization and there are challenges ahead to improve the safety of the patients. Quality medicare is possible only when people work together as a team. I am told, that a seminar was conducted at Johns Hopkins Hospital where there was a brainstorming session between the doctors, medicare personnel, patients and the relatives of the patients, which brought out all these factors very clearly. I will be very happy if our super specialty hospitals conduct such type of review periodically in the combined meeting of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff. I am sharing this to the medical community, because this type of integrated conference has been conducted after the occurrence of tragic incident in Johns Hopkins Hospital. A child’s life was lost because of poor judgment in the diagnosis. The mother of the child briefed the whole incident to the combined gathering of the hospital team. It was a moving experience of the mother. I would like to share with you, particularly while attending the cardiac patients in pre operative, operative, post operative and recovery period, large number of sophisticated instruments and monitoring systems are used. In this scenario, experience of treatment profile and the problems have to be shared together on fixed days of the week and the results documented. It will become a teaching wealth for cardiac care specialists. pill-india3

Six virtues a care giver must possess

Friends, in conclusion, I would like to share my experiences with Choakyi Nyima Rinpoche, the Chief Monk in Kathmandu and a medical researcher. After nearly a kilometer of walk, I reached the white Kumbha where the chief Monk and his disciples were waiting to receive me. After reception the Chief Monk said, let us go to our study room and I followed him. He climbed the first floor, the second floor, the third floor, the four floor and the fifth floor, just like a young boy. Probably the life style has a positive impact on the mind and body. All along I was following and following. When I reached his chamber, I saw a laboratory and a spiritual environment over-looking the Himalayas. What surprised me was, his research students come from different parts of the world. Particularly he introduced me to his co-author David R Shlim, MD who is working on a research area, Medicine and Compassion. The Chief Monk Choakyi Nyima Rinpoche and myself exchanged few books. The Monk has written with Dr. David R. Shlim a book titled “Medicine and Compassion”. I liked this book and read it during my journey from Kathmandu to Delhi. This book gives six important virtues which a medical practitioner has to possess towards their patients.

First virtue is generosity;

the second virtue is pure ethics;

third is tolerance,

fourth is perseverance,

fifth is cultivating pure concentration

and the

sixth virtue is to be intelligent.

These virtues will empower the care givers with a humane heart. I am sure, the medical community assembled here, practice all these six virtues as a habit while dealing with the needy patients. This itself is a great example of synergy between mind, body and medicine.

Conclusion

Friends, I want to leave you all with a thought today.

What is the one action, which will make you great?

Every one of you has a page in the history of the world?

What is that page?

How do you make that page which is going to be referred by the posterity?

There is a need to give a vision to your ambitions.

What is that mantra?

Yes, the mantra is the following:

“What I will be remembered for?”

If you find an answer for this question in a few lines, that out-of-the-box idea will drive you for the rest of the life. You will be definitely thinking something different ?

an out of box mission, what are they?

Can I visualize along with you?

Each one of you will derive your own vision.

1]. Will you be remembered for bringing smiles of health and joy to all the patients?

2]. Will you be remembered for helping create a unique, cost effective vaccine against malaria and thereby saving more than one million people, mostly children who lose their lives due to the disease?

3]. Will you be remembered for creating a roadmap for reviving the 23,000 Primary Healthcare Centres, across the nation, which would enable them to deliver the much needed primary health facilities to the remote regions?

4]. Will you be remembered as a champion of preventive healthcare in the areas of cardiology, diabetic and infectious diseases?

5]. Will you be remembered as a great teacher in preventive care for the disease to the families of patients?

6]. Will you be remembered for contributing in a unique way in finding a cure for diseases such as cancer and HIV?

My best wishes to all the participants of ILLUMINATI 2014 for their deliberations and success of AFMC in the mission of providing quality and research oriented medical education. May God bless you.

Oath for medical professionals

  1. I love my medical profession- a noble mission.
  2. I will follow the motto “Let my care, remove the pain and bring smiles”.
  3. I will always radiate cheer to give confidence to patients and their families.
  4. I will be a life-long learner, I will practice what I learn and I will train my team to be competent.
  5. I will deliver quality care with high standards irrespective of whom I am treating.
  6. I will not introduce any diagnostic pain.
  7. I will work with integrity and succeed with integrity.
  8. My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my nation.

Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam

Let me close my letter with these famous lines by H.W. Longfellow:

“So let us be up and going, With a heart for any fate, Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labour and to wait.”

Thanking You,

Yours faithfully,

Jeevanshu Dhawan.