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The Journey Of A Young Doctor In Prosthodontics

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A broad mind, generous heart, unflinching will, quiet, steady determination, inexhaustible energy and total trust in one’s mission—this makes a perfect doctor. The chief role of the doctor is, by various means, to induce the body to recover. Their job is not just to treat their patients but also to give them the courage to recover.

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Dr Manish Goutam not only offers a medical remedy to his patients, but by all his heart, he instils the will to fight in them. He goes beyond his duties to share the same feelings, fears and happiness as his patients, often working for incredibly long hours, getting little rest to save lives.

Dr Goutam is an alumnus of Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir Barganda Giridih, where he studied till the 5th standard. He then shifted to BNS DAV Public School Giridih, where he passed out as topper of school in his 10th Board exam. Then he went to Kota for medical entrance coaching.

From Kota, he cleared the medical entrance and took admission in People’s College of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bhopal, to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Surgery. He then cleared the Madhya Pradesh Dental/Medical Admission Test (MP DMAT) and completed his Masters of Dental Surgery from Rishiraj College of Dental Sciences, Bhopal.

Dr Goutam has a specialisation in Maxillofacial Prosthodontics, a speciality of dentistry that deals with the rehabilitation of patients with acquired and congenital defects of the head and neck region. These range from minor to major functional disabilities combined with cosmetic disfigurement.

He currently works at RIMS (Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences) Medical College in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

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Often he has to deal with cancer patients who are in a very critical state.

“A cancer patient who had come to me was on a liquid diet for as long as 2 to 3 years. He had surgery done, after which he could only consume liquid food through a pipe inserted through his nose to his throat. We did a prosthetic surgery of his nose and mouth and he was able to consume solid food after so many years,” recalled Dr Goutam.

Dr Goutam also gets involved in several social activities. He runs regular medical camps in remote areas to help people quit smoking. “We organise health camps as well as run ‘no tobacco’ campaigns, tobacco cessation training, cancer awareness camps, general awareness campaigns on health and campaign on lady doctor security in remote areas,” mentioned Dr Goutam.

Tobacco is one of the main causes of cancer in India. Dr Goutam offers pharmacological treatment to help people quit smoking and does a lot of counselling, often by sharing live cases of cancer patients.

“When people see someone suffering, they quit smoking out of fear. This is helping people a lot to stay away from tobacco,” shared Dr Goutam. He also rehabilitated many patients who lost their jaws, tongue and facial parts due to surgical treatment with prosthetic replacement to make their quality of life better.

The COVID times have been very challenging for all. RIMS being one of the largest hospitals in Ranchi, has to deal with several COVID patients daily. These patients often come from remote villages and are almost always accompanied by their families.

Image provided by the author.

Dr Goutam saw that due to the lockdown, these people were not getting food. His deep empathy towards unprivileged sections of society led him to start a self-funded food distribution program throughout the lockdown for the families of patients admitted at RIMS.

This humanitarian service of Dr Goutam became so popular that he was appreciated and thanked by the Health Minister of Jharkhand on the social media platform Twitter.

Dr Goutam is also an accomplished researcher and has published numerous papers in the world’s top medical journals.

“Stepping ahead in Dental science I have accomplished academic research and published 30 international research papers till now in journals like Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry which is the official journal of American society of Prosthodontics,” mentioned Dr Goutam.

Dr Goutam is also the youngest doctor in India to date to have published a paper in the journal.

“I published a paper on a patient whom I had treated. A 15-year-old boy had come to me who in an accident had lost one of his eyes. I placed an artificial eye which would move, with the help of muscles, just like a normal eye,” recalled Dr Goutam, who is also the editor in chief of Journal of Applied Dental and Medical Sciences.

Dr Goutam also offers free treatment to people from a poor background or children and senior citizens who are not economically sound. He does all the treatment and bears the lab cost by himself to help unprivileged sections of society.

Further, he and his wife, Dr Madhavi Singh, organise free medical camps where they offer free medical checkups and distribute free medicines to the needy. Madhavi Singh is also a Dental Surgeon and owner of Dentica Dental clinic and Implant centre.


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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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