By Sreya Salim:
Bidding farewell to college life marks the beginning of a new era in life. 200 students in Calicut Medical college are making their last days in college memorable in a unique way. The 53rd batch of Calicut Medical college has made a checklist of things to be done in the last 53 days of college life, integrating them all into a program named ‘Graduation 53’.
It was in 2009 that 200 students from different parts of India enrolled themselves in Calicut Medical College constituting the 53rd batch. Those who walked in as medical students back then have now become doctors, about to complete their internship. “College life has given us all a number of good memories, hopes, dreams and lessons. We wanted our last days in college to be meaningful and reflective of all that we had learned over years,” said one of the doctors as he explained the story behind the birth of the event. The young doctors wanted a powerful message to be left behind for their juniors. Hence, a program encompassing duty, compassion and fun was framed.
“Of all the programs conducted under Graduation 53, the most overwhelming and memorable was the visit to old age home,” said Dr. Vipin Kalathil, another member of the 53rd batch. The doctors who visited Govt Old age home in Calicut not only conducted free health checkups for the inmates but also engaged in deep conversations with them, forming strong bonds. “The condition of many inmates was very pathetic. Most did not have easy access to healthcare. I believe our intervention has made a difference.” said said one of the team members, recalling the visit. The interns even developed a casebook all by themselves to help the inmates keep track of their health and donated glucometer and strips to help them monitor blood sugar levels. The interns were lauded by many, including the district collector and senior doctors in medical college. The doctors plan to continue extending their helping hands to the elders in the old age home even after graduation.
The second step of the program consisted of a blood donation camp, aptly titled ‘Drops of Hope’. Students turned up in groups to donate blood and volunteered to spread awareness about the same. The principal, Dr. P.V. Narayan described the venture as an appreciable attempt towards solving an important problem.” There are still a lot of misconceptions about blood donation. Once doctors themselves come forward to help those in need, more people will be ready to donate.” said one of the doctors excitedly, citing plans to take steps towards bettering the infrastructure of the hospital, helping more patients in need etc. The students also designed a logo for their batch and turned artists decorating the entire college with innovative artworks.
According to the interns, the philanthropic activities included in Graduation 53 are not only giving them memories to be treasured but also preparing them to be better doctors. “The way we all stood together to spread smiles among the patients, the blessings we got from the old age home, the support from our juniors…I think I am living through the best days of my life,” said an elated doctor as he strolled through the college garden with his batchmates. He believes it is the strong bond that exists between the 200 students that has made Graduation 53 possible and wants this message to be transcended into his juniors as well.
As 200 doctors graduate out into the real world, they are leaving behind footprints, guiding those who come behind. All the smiles spread by Graduation 53 mark the birth of a group of doctors who will give a lot more to patients than medicines. As Abraham Lincoln said, “in the end it is not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years.”
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