March 12th, 2006
Today was a great day, The Echo Club members (we), about 20 of them spent time with children of an orphanage named Karunai Illam. This home is located in Madambakkam, about 5 Km from Raja Kilpakkam, near Tambaram. Before i continue, let me give a hearty hug to Mrs. Amritha Rajagopalan, a very famous social worker who is one of the supporters for the home and the doctors, Dr. Jayachandran and Dr.Mrs.Parveen who took all the pain to come to the place and serve the children. Mr. Power Singam, who runs the home, had everything in place when we arrived.
It was certainly awesome fun being with the children, their max age being 12. When Mrs. Amritha arrived at the home, the children greeted her unanimously saying, “Good Morning! Aunty“. She became very happy at such a enthusiastic response. We arranged for a free medical camp. Things rolled well and we were on schedule. We reached the place by 8.30AM. The medical checkup started by 9.30AM. Dr. Jayachandran started by addressing the small gathering of students by telling them a story. Every single child listened with utmost patience and it was pin-drop silence when the doctor was talking (something that we college guys should learn). Every child was bubbling with enthusiam. It was a pleasure !!
All the boys were examined by Dr. Jayachandran and girls by Dr. Mrs. Parveen. The checkup began by stripping the boys naked. One of us measured the height, another one weighed the kid and then was sent to the doctor. Some kids got so shy that they started doing brake dance ha ha! It was funny. All the children were physically very fit. Thanks to Mr.Power Singam who is running the home. The children are provided good food.
As the doc was examining the children, he was telling some medical terms that needed to be recorded.
1. CVS RS NAD (Cardio Vascular System, Respiratory System – No Abnormality Detected)
2. Genitals NAD
3. Liver Spleen Normal
4. Tonsils (+) – for those who had tonsils
5. Ears NAD or Ear wax or Ear fungus (if they needed to be cleaned)
6. Spine normal
7. Tooth normal or Tooth Cavity (+) and the no. of teeth that had cavity
Some children (about 3 or 4) had a small swelling on their neck, for which they needed to be tested for Primary Complex. Some other children who were hard of hearing due to ear wax or ear fungus needed to be taken to ENT specialists. Everyone was given Zentel (1 tab), Trifer syrup (iron tonic), MVTs (Multi Vitamin Tablets) and Vitamin A tablets.
We learnt how to recognise tonsils, abnormalities in the male genitalia, vitamin A deficiency, B-complex deficiency, abnormalities in spinal cord, liver and spleen abnormalities and problems in ear, tooth and nose. It was a very good experience by becoming doctors for 2 hours ;), an opportunity that can’t be missed for a lifetime :D.
One of the symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency was rashes on the elbow, just above the joint. For B-complex deficiency, there would be miniature wounds on the edges of lips, that look like rashes. Those who look very dull or their bottom eyelid is pale white or pale pink, they have iron deficiency. Of the 86 children that were examined, only about 1% of them had some deficiencies. Rest of them are 100% normal and very healthy. Every child was advised to take half tea spoon of Trifer syrup and dates (they have high iron content) for normal iron in the blood. They were advised to drink a lot of milk, a tea spoon of butter and vitamin A tablets daily so that there would be no vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is 1 of the major problems faced in our country. Even though 99% of them were completely normal and since most of them are aged below 12, they were advised for daily intake of dates and butter so that they would grow into super healthy humans 😀 😀
We played with them
As the camp was going on, a small crowd began forming around the tables where the doctors were seated. They were the children for whom the checkup was over and they wanted to understand what was going on. So, 5 of us engaged them by taking them over to a nearby ground, forming teams of 6 each and played cricket for the next hour.
Those kids taught us the long forgotten street game of Goli :). Ismail and Abdul did a really cool job of calling groups of children in turn to clear their doubts of what was going on in the camp. Many of them came to ask us vidu-kadhais. We even took small group photos. This excited them very much and they crowded around the digital camera to see their faces :). Prashant was patiently explaining how the cam worked, and they did listen to him. Good job dude!
Encounter with a Snake
We had two digital cameras whose silly batteries kept running out. So myself and Arun decided to go to Tambaram to buy duracel batteries. I was riding Abdul’s pulsar (150 cc). On the way back, the roads were free and i was going at a speed of 70 kmph. About 100 m ahead of me, a TVS 50 biker was wiggling with his bike. I was wondering what he was doing in the middle of the road and within a second, i was just 10 m behind him.
A huge snake was lying along the width of the road with its raised hood. I was terrified at such a sight. I was going at 70kmph. Stopping the bike suddenly spelled danger of skidding as the road was a bit sandy. I also had the fear of the snake striking me. Closing my eyes and raising my legs, i let “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!” and ran over the snake !! Without even pausing to see what happened to the snake, i turned the bend at 70 kmph, something that i had never done before. A few minutes later, i was back at Karunai Illam.
Hopefully, the snake shouldn’t have died.
Lunch at the Illam
The medical camp was over by now. We thanked the doctors, gave them a small gift and they left with their heart and soul very contented. They rang a bell to signal lunch. All the children stood in queue with their plates to get the lunch. They stood in height order with no pushing or pulling and shouting. They behaved very decently. After getting their food, they settled with a glass of water at their table. What surprised me was, even the smallest kid hadn’t spilled a bit of food on the floor. They were very clean.
We also had our lunch along with them. After the lunch, we looked thro’ the prescriptions that the doctors had given us, split the tablets for each of them and gave them to Mr.Singam so that he can give them to the kids.
We took a big family photo with the kids and left Karunai Illam by 3pm. It was a very nice heart-warming experience today.
Here is the list of people who made it to Karunai Illam. Aarthi Sarma, Abdul, Anusha, Arun, Balaji B, Dilli Boy (actually she is a girl 😉 ), Ismail, Mangai, Nachal, Prasanth, Rajeev, Saranya Ranganathan, Senthil, Sriram Nishwanth, Uma and myself. If you had seen clearly, half of the team were girls. A wake up call to all the hyper-conservative dads !!
On the whole, it is NOT a great job done by great people, it is a small deed done by ordinary people to make this world a better place to live in.
I have posted the photos here. Have a look at them.
Thanks! for dropping by