Life at Sevagram
Welcome to Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences! Not the institute where doctors only serve to treat and cure the masses. But a place to learn and absorb for those young brains which tomorrow shall become their own versions of Charaka and Sushruta. In the outer, non-medical world, doctors have a very bad image of being compared to heavy laborers who have no option but to work all day without taking out time for a little bit of relaxation and leisure. There are also rumors that we take our books everywhere even when on our outings. Honestly this is simply not true! MGIMSonians believe that every single minute is worth the breath. We are budding doctors in the morning-rattling our minds, curious to know about every organ, its function, its system, the pathology and the cure. But in the evening-we range from being brilliant sportsmen to efficient movie critics and to equally good entertainers! We have our way of celebration. While most of the world celebrates with cakes and pastries, our emergency celebrations include goras pak and ambadi!!
You can easily recognize a MGIMS student in a random crowd- thanks to our swag dress code of khadi. Khadi is the one of the motivating elements that makes us creative. For those who do not know- medical students and faculty wear khadi or the handspun fabric on campus and we, the students, have our own innovative ideas of making a simple khadi fabric look designer!
The session starts at 8 am and continues up to 5 in the evening. We spend most of our college hours in the lecture theatres and the practical labs or the wards. We have roomy lecture halls with superb ventilation and I am not sure if we are fortunate or unfortunate but the seating arrangement is such that each and every student is visible to the teacher! Also each lecture theatre gives the teacher both options of the good-old chalk and board as well as PowerPoint, or may I add, keynote presentations! At a given time, a hundred of us can be accommodated with ease in the halls and labs. We have a great team of clinicians and teachers who make sure every hour of teaching becomes a great learning experience for the questioning minds who eons later shall be thankful to those golden hours spent in the wards.
Another aspect which is in the list of favorites is-patient based teaching and the stress laid on practical knowledge. Our teachers, strong believers in the technology of seeing, touching feeling and listening keep on surprising us by making accurate diagnoses using these priceless tools. A major stress is laid on history taking and rapport building with the patients - a process that helps us connect with those who come from nearby villages. As soon as they enter the portals of MGIMS, medical students begin to acquire- and over the years, polish- Marathi language. It is not uncommon to see students coming from Manipur speaking a better Marathi than one who was born and brought up in Maharashtra! Social Service Camps are yet another great way of teaching healthcare.
Our teachers also regularly use the latest teaching methodologies - group activities, video teachings, research projects and dummy teachings that makes us learn steps of surgery, physical examination skills, various procedures and even basic life support. Please do not go on the fact that we are a rural institute. Far from it. When it comes to technology it is hard to beat us as students. And to add up to our ease we have a completely Wi-Fi covered campus. The fun facts are that even a little distance away from the hostels and college on the roads can give you Wi-Fi connectivity on a lucky day.
A large library satisfies the needs of bibliophiles and fulfils their urge of learning. Come winter- and summer- you will find students occupying every seat that a library can provide. It’s hard for one to go without being answered considering the number of books - thousands of them- and variety of journals the library possesses. The reading room is a common place to study and share ideas which is as crowded during exam period.
Mahila Mandal and the Indian Coffee House (ICH) are two favorite spots- places where you might find more students than they are in the classrooms! The Mahila Mandal is a women-run-canteen serving and catering the culinary needs of most undergraduates, interns and post graduates. The ICH is a small meal eatery run by two south-Indians fondly called "Anna". They serve some of the most unusual combinations - gourmet meals- which can surely steal your heart. The special coffee they prepare and serve can beat one served at Starbucks!
As a community, we share a great camaraderie with our colleagues and quickly bridge the senior-junior gap. The seniors- many of them just a year older than you- take the roles of guardians- offering tips and tricks for preparing the examinations, sharing fancies and idiosyncrasies of their teachers, and telling us what to, what not to, read! And juniors are as responsive- they leave no stone unturned when it comes to supporting the seniors during exams, cultural gatherings, academic activities and sports. They happily run errands, act as volunteers the institute is really proud of, look after the guests well, take care of everything that a department or the institute or senior needs during activities that happen round the year.
Every student gets a single room- within a fortnight of joining MGIMS, a luxury which few medical students have, countrywide. We enjoy our share of privacy along with a great camaraderie amongst the hostilities. Holi or Diwali - the hostel is always abuzz with joyous and exciting events. Our hostels are like our homes away from home and have been a reason for bringing in us the understanding to adjust and share.
The volleyball ground, the badminton court and the table tennis courts, not to forget, gymnasium are always flooded with fitness freaks and sports lovers. No wonder MGIMS students keep on adding feathers to their caps and representing their alma mater in the state and national competitions.
Malgudi days? Not exactly! Had RK Narayan ever visited Sevagram, he surely would have penned a novel on MGIMS days! Away from the maddening crowd, so typical of a city, we have everyone who is just a call away. Whether it be movie theatres or daily needs or the lovely Gandhi and Pawnar ashram . We have the Sevagram departmental stores or locally referred to as ‘gulab singh ki dukaan’ where one can find stationary, items of daily need, confectionaries, cosmetics and of course, words of deep wisdom! It is our very own mini supermarkets which over the period of time has evolved as the students and their choices have changed.
And to any doctor whose alma mater has been this place, these few years at the college definitely make the best part of his or her memories ... And on that we cannot doubt for sure! They rightly say “teda hai par mera hai”!!