The 49th orientation camp of MGIMS started on 31st August at Gandhi Ashram, Sevagram. The 2017 batch—100 students, with 36 girls and 64 boys—joined the institute in August and soon shifted to the Gandhi Ashram. The orientation camp for the batch was inaugurated by the Chief Guest Mrs. Nirmala Devi S, District Superintendent of Police, Wardha. Mr Dhirubhai Mehta, President of KHS Sewagram presided over the function. The program was attended by the management, faculty and few parents of the freshers. Shri Bharat Mohoday, Director, Institute of Gandhian Studies also graced the occasion.
The orientation camp for the newly admitted MBBS students is a unique feature of the institute. Beginning 1969, every year, students spend a fortnight in Gandhi’s ashram to learn the Gandhian values and ideology. The students not only get oriented in Sarvodaya Vichar, the code of conduct of the Institute, nutrition, self-help, spiritual health, nature cure and yoga and shramdan, but also develop a wonderful bond and a sense of camaraderie.
Dean Dr KR Patond welcomed the guests during the function and explained to the students that Khadi that they were to wear as long as they stayed in Sevagram was not just a cloth but a thought process. “You are honoring the spirit of patriotism that was created by this freedom fabric. You are discharging your social responsibility of helping all the workforce involved in making Khadi garments,” he added. Dr. AM Mehendale, Professor and Head, department of Community Medicine explained to the students what the camp was all about, and the dos and don'ts of the camp. “Twenty five years later, when you will come back for your silver jubilee, he said, “you would go down the memory lane and relive every moment you lived in the hallowed ashram. “I am very happy to see this batch of young students and hope that they would imbibe enough skills and knowledge during their training to enable them to function as doctors that the society needs today.”, said Mrs Nirmala Devi addressing the young crowd.
Mr. Dhirubhai Mehta in his presidential address told the institute that they are lucky to have picked up an institute that would turn them into doctors that the society will always be proud of. During one to one interaction students, Mr Dhirubhai discussed the validity of Gandhian thoughts, the relevance of Khadi and the importance of non-violence and vegetarianism in today’s life. He also answered the queries of students on Gandhi ideologies, Shramdan and human ethics.
Besides paying the visit to the historic Gandhi Ashram and enjoying their stints at sarva dharma prayers, shramdan and khadi, the new entrants also practiced yoga and participated in the sports session every day. The students combinedly spun close to 35,000 meters of khadi thread during their stay in the ashram. Rahul Beria (1200 meters), Suryadev (1100 m) and Abhishek Nandre (1000 m) contributed significantly.
Dr Patond introduced the students to the mission of the institute – the kind of teaching, ethics, professionalism and competence that MGIMS strives to offer to its students. “We, at MGIMS, aim to maintain the right balance in the eternal triangle of ‘quality, quantity and equity’, he added. Dr BS Garg, Secretary Kasturba Health Society introduced students with the heritage and history of the institute. “Kasturba Hospital has the distinction of being the only hospital in the country which was started by the Father of the Nation himself”, added Dr Garg with pride.
To orient the students on the principles led by Gandhiji and their relevance on today’s life, special sessions on Gandhian Thoughts were organized by the Institute of Gandhian Studies. Gandhian veterans like by Dr Anand Gokani (great grandson of Gandhiji), Dr Soham Pandya, Dr Bharat Mohodaya, Dr Siby Joseph, Dr Ramchandra Pradhan, Dr Satish Gogulwar, Shri Gautam Bajaj, Dr Pankaj Tiwari and Shri Surendra Kumar conducted these sessions.
Apart from taking their regular academic classes on Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology and Community Medicine, the students also appeared for BBL Mathur Essay Competition (on Gandhian philosophy), Nature Cure Exam (on Gandhian principle of using natural treatment options) and VIHASA Workshop (to imbibe values in healthcare by spiritual approach).
A cultural evening showcasing the various talents of students marked the end of the 10-days-long orientation camp. Traditional dances, songs and skits depicting the various cultures and traditions of our country were performed. The students put everyone at awe with their exuberance and perfection. Mr Girish Bhoware, Director, Physical Education and a stage-artist helped students bring out their hidden talents and perform on a platform together. Ms Pinky was adjudged as the best student of the camp.
As the students packed up their bags to move out of the ashram, one of them fondly shared her experience. “Anticipating the culture, place and the code of conduct, I was a bit nervous when I joined the institute. Orientation camp had always topped my list of anxieties. But little did I know that this camp was going to transform me so much. These 10 days have brought more confidence and enthusiasm in myself. The values which I have learnt here are going to last for life time”.
"I am reliving the moments I had in this ashram during my orientation days", said Dr Ashwini Kalantri, In-charge Orientation Camp. "These formative days have significantly contributed to what I am today", he added.