Breaking the Ice
The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved….
This is uncanny… because it was just yesterday that I shot the video for my 15 year old daughters Ice Bucket Challenge. Its done to promote awareness about this rare disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) You can watch the video here Apoorva’s #ALSIceBucketChallenge As mentioned in the prompt, its an awareness program that has taken the world by storm and it took my 15 year old daughter to enlighten me about this despite my being a doctor. As I am unlikely to take the challenge, I guess I can do my bit by blogging about it.
ALS is the most common degenerative motor neuron disease and it is as yet, incurable. All one can do is improve the quality of life of the person suffering from it. It is a potentially fatal disease with progressive involvement of nerves and possibly requiring assisted ventilation at the end.
I am not for all the challenges that come up on Facebook ,as I am not sure whether they actually help the people afflicted from the various diseases. But yes, I do feel it increases the awareness and so may improve funding the research activities associated with such rare and yet debilitating diseases. I too have been part of the Breast Awareness campaigns on Facebook for 2-3 years. But then discontinued this year as I was not really convinced how much the previous ones had helped.
As a kid, I have walked 14 -15 kms to raise funds for flood victims. I have collected old clothes, sold fundraising tickets and gone to Old Age homes and Orphanages at Christmas and New Year in attempt to bring some cheer to the people living there.
As a doctor and a Gynecologist, I have given awareness and health lectures to various audiences from patients to professionals regarding early detection of Cervical cancer, the vaccines available, PCOD, HIV and its prevention, Menopause and its problems, Female foeticide and infanticide, importance of limiting one’s family and so on, all in my professional capacity. I have conducted several PAP Smear camps for hundreds of ladies and maybe that is why I feel that is a more constructive way of doing things. I see a lot of ladies during my OPD interactions and find it an excellent place to spread awareness.
I firmly believe that
“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”
Quote unquote Brigham Young. And my OPD chamber is the best place to do that as far as I am concerned.
Having said that I would not discourage today’s youth in their taking a step forward to spread awareness about a particular problem. It may not amount to as great a change as we expect, but it is a step in the right direction. At least their heart is in the right place. It was the same fervor with which my daughter became part of an organisation called Make a Difference at the age of 14 to teach English to underprivileged children in our city. She made it a point to go every week to do her bit on a Saturday afternoon for over 4 hours. No mean task for a 14 year old. And she did it cheerfully and happily for a year plus till we moved out.
To each his or her own. Doing a tiny bit is better than doing nothing at all.