In 1936, under Bapu’s directive, a small hospital was started in Sevagram to cater to the needs of children and mothers. Early in her career, she realized that medicine taught in the colleges was shallow and superficial and health care seldom percolated to the grass roots. It was this vision that made her crystallize her dream into reality, when she donned the mantle of Union Health Minister.
Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences Sevagram is her vision of an Institute that produces doctors trained in a rural hospital. She developed this Institute from its infancy with her labour of love and indefatigable energy. Now, students from all corners of the country converge every year in the Gandhi Ashram, for the initial few weeks before they begin their formal training. With lessons of dedication and dignity of labour ingrained into them, they are nurtured till they blossom into a force which effectively soothes the suffering of people in remote villages of India. Every batch of students adopts a village during their training and tries to bring succour and healthcare to the doorsteps of rural India
Dr. Sushila Nayar was a crusader for causes she strongly believed in. She was one who never wavered from walking alone. And by the sheer strength of her conviction she always had admirers who followed her in hundreds with awe, with approval and with affection.
She did not believe in treading the beaten path, but made a trail for herself. We are lucky to have that trail to tread on, while we work towards accomplishing her lifetime’s vision. With her, the spirit of ‘seva’ stayed in Sevagram, and has perhaps rubbed off a little on everyone who has had an opportunity to stay here for a while.
(The article is written by Dr Anshu, Professor, Dept of Pathology)