Touching Lives: How ICMR touched mine and I became a ‘Doctor’
To begin from the very beginning, on my third day at Roli Books, I was asked to visit the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) office. We had been handed several gigabytes of visual data collected over the years by various ICMR institutes. I was asked to identify the relevant photographs with the help of the team leading the project at the ICMR. If only I knew that meeting was a precursor for me into becoming an honorary doctor!
This book was commissioned to highlight the efforts and the hard work of ICMR institutes across the country. Fifteen landmark achievements were chosen by ICMR. Consequently, we were asked to prepare visual stories into a coffee table book. Various teams from different ICMR institutes have put in years of work in finding the cures to combating life threatening diseases such as Tuberculosis, Japanese Encephalitis, and Dehydration amongst children, etc. Finding solutions to occupational hazards at workplaces, pertaining to unique working conditions for labourers exposed to silicosis, bringing the fatality rate down in cases with Kala-azar, and being affected by Leptospirosis in water-borne areas in India, are some of the unique examples of success stories that ICMR has helped facilitate.
In my last six months at Roli Books, the ICMR project has been the most challenging and exciting at the same time. From my inability to pronounce half the diseases, I’ve come close to reciting the symptoms and the treatment for each of those. Across the editorial floor, you can hear sentences that vaguely sound like-
Bad case of diarrhoea, could it be Rotavirus?
You look weak; can I interest you in some Balamrutham?
For what it’s worth, it’s been extremely inspiring to read and know about the perseverance and the dedication of the institutes affiliated under ICMR. Coming in contact with the respective centre heads and researchers was an experience not a lot can boast of having. The engagement between team Roli and various ICMR institutes has been a learning curve that all of us will remember for time to come.
– Anisha Saigal