Friday, May 28, 2010

Spirituality at the Workplace


Recently I got this forward to my email. Really I enjoyed and thought of sharing with you all. Based on a real life incident shared by the Ex-VC of Mumbai University Dr. Snehlata Deshmukh at ORF - Observer Research Foundation)
Long back when Dr. Deshmukh was still the Dean at Nair Hospital, and a practicing surgeon, once elections happened to take place. And as is the usual practice, government deputed people from various departments for election duty. One of Dr. Deshmukhs’ colleagues too got the job of being a polling booth officer. She was given the job of applying the ink mark on people’s index finger. She even got trained for it. Take ink marker, start applying on the index finger a little above the base of the nail, continue till you reach the middle of the nail. That was the recommended procedure. People in her department found the situation rather demeaning. You’re a Ph.D, a surgeon and the government asks you to do this!!!
Apply ink on people’s fingers?? A Ph.D!!

Well, she didn’t take personal offence to the smallness of the task assigned. Her election day duty turned out to be in a school in Dharavi. The day of election came and she faithfully kept applying ink on people’s fingers all day long. At the end of the day Dr. Deshmukh asked her how the experience had turned out. She said “While applying ink on the people’s fingers I noticed that among the women voters more than 50% did not have pink but white nails. And I suspect their hemoglobin count in blood is possibly lower than 10 grams”. She suggested they carry out a diagnostic camp immediately in the area.

Dr. Deshmukh arranged for a camp immediately. And what they found was alarming. More than 70% women of the area had a hemoglobin count of less than 10 grams. This meant that when these women became pregnant, the foetus they would carry would not get sufficient nutrition and would be often born with birth deformities, which would turn into cases that would then come to Dr. Deskhmukh and her team for surgical correction.  So then began a program of pre pregnancy intervention, based in diet and health awareness.

Over the next few years they brought down the percentage of women with hemoglobin count less than 10 grams to about 10% of population. Which coming from 70% prevalence earlier was an incredible achievement? But most importantly that meant that thousands of new born deformed cases which would have otherwise come to Dr. Deshmukh for surgery were now being born as God’s own perfect creations.

All this because someone did not consider a simple looking job...demeaning.

So when the world points the finger towards you…remember it could well mean…you are the one.