It was on the afternoon of 8th March 2013 that I received a call from The Cradle Hospital, Calicut informing that I won the award for the second best essay. I was informed that a Woman's Day Celebration Party is happening in The Cradle Hospital that evening. Now, 8th of March is women's day, and I had elaborate plans for the evening on Wikipedia. Nevertheless, I decided that I must go because I had never celebrated any occasion at a hospital, and the prospect of visiting a hospital with world-class facilities cheered me up. Being a medical student, I am always inclined to observe the functioning of hospitals, and now I have an awesome opportunity to meet some nice doctors and see a world-class hospital!
The hospital is conveniently located on the By-Pass connecting the city to the Airport. I was greeted at the reception, and when I told the receptionist that I had come for the Women's Day celebration, I was asked to wait for a while. I was then greeted by Dr. Vani, an alumnus of my medical college. She informed me that the celebration would begin in a few minutes, and led us to the Cafe. Dr. Vani made a lasting impression on me by speaking about the patient care facilities in the hospital. We also talked about the schedule of medical students and doctors, which both of us thought were very challenging.
The Cafe resembled the one I saw in the U.S. I was confused as to what to order, and finally settled for an ice cream. Afterwards, I paid a visit to the gift shop and found cute dresses and toys made for babies. The staff at the shop was extremely friendly.
I came to meet Ms. Sunitha Manikandan, the first prize winner for the essay. She is a teacher of English in a leading public school in Kozhikode. We discussed for about half an hour about the content of our essays, which were both about the topic : "Gender Agenda: Changing Momentum."
We were then led to the roomy hall on the top floor of the hospital building. The staff of the hospital, the patients and their relatives were all present! I got introduced to Mr. Laxman, the CEO of the hospital. He was kind enough to introduce me to many of the consultant doctors. The celebrations began with a quick introduction from Ms. Abitha, the counselor of the hospital. Later, in a pleasant chat, she told me that she loves her job at 'The Cradle' because she is flexible to do multiple roles, which she thinks brings the best out of her. I and Ms. Sunita were asked to speak a few words. I was overjoyed to be given an opportunity to speak! In my brief talk, I mentioned that "The Cradle is a house of joy because this is where the doctors give gentle care to the patients to help them ease the tension associated with labour and pregnancy, and to get them their precious baby in full health". I was moved by the way the audience appreciated my speech, all thanks to Dr. Vani who encouraged me to speak!
Next, we had the cake-cutting ceremony. I and Ms. Sunita cut the cake which had poetic verses about women written on it, and it was so informal that Ms. Sunita stuffed the first piece of cake into my mouth! The cake was then cut into pieces and distributed to all attendees.
|The cake-cutting. Courtesy : The Cradle facebook page|
The fun part was when a quiz contest was conducted. The quiz master would ask questions, and those who answered the question correctly would win a prize! All of us had fun finding the answers, and many of us won prizes too!
At the end of the function, I asked Dr. Laxman if it was okay for me to visit the labour suites and operation theaters of the hospital. He was quite happy to let me visit the hospital facilities. I walked in to one of the labour suites, and found full-fledged facilities! The reclining bed could at once be converted into a labour coat at the pressing of a button on its handrest. The room was beautifully decorated and clean. There was a television set and a couch. The couch was for the mother and husband of the woman in labour. They would sit along with her and give her emotional support. The soothing music, the ambient temperature and the presence of her near and dear ones was intended to make the labour a smooth process.
I had a glimpse of the operation theatres through the glass shield on its door. Needless to say, it was full fledged with all modern equipment. I also had a look at the baby-room and the intensive care unit. I was impressed by the cutting edge technology and the world class facilities offered by The Cradle. You can have a quick tour of the hospital on Youtube here.
The Cradle also conducted a grant celebration on Mother's day, the 11th of May at Calicut Beach. Unfortunately, I could not attend the function, and sent my mother instead. The memorable moments of the event are collected in a collage here :
|Memorable moments. Courtesy: The Cradle, Calicut|
* Additional images of the event can be found on Flickr here.
* My prize-winning essay can be downloaded here.
* You can follow the news from The Cradle Hospital via their facebook page here.