Have you heard of Sanjit Bunker Roy? NO? Of course. Your nose mjust have been buried in some rotten MCQ book like mine. Go read this then. STAT! One of the prestigious Time 100 in 2010, he is one rebel I would love to emulate.
Check out this TED talk of his. [Thanks to Dr. Rakesh Biswas for pointing it out]
I have a few concerns about using traditional healers for treating medical ailments, but that is a debate for another day. For now, the focus is on the how and the why of this system of Barefoot College and the emotions it evokes in me.
I was brought up in a residential school amongst monks who had dedicated their lives for the betterment of the world, the society at large. I would like to think that some of their philanthropy had rubbed off on me and was one of the driving motivations behind my early choice of Medicine as a career. I have always thought that some day I will put my knowledge and skills to use to make some difference at the levels that really need my help.
Unlike Roy, I have not been able to shove my decision in the face of society and my family and have been forced to conform but when I see people like him, and the achievements that have had, the difference that they have made in the lives of people, somewhere deep inside, I feel the stirrings of the old emotions.
It is a sad, sad thing that I have failed in my attempt to choose a different path. Two roads had clearly diverged in front of me in the woods of life, and though I always had fancied myself to be the one person who would rebel and walk the one less traveled on, I failed. I lacked the courage to make my own foray into the world and instead chose to walk the well worn road. With the well marked destination…
But some day, maybe in the future, life will present me with another fork in the road. Maybe I will get another chance to choose between the two roads. I just hope and pray that I have the courage and strength to make a different choice then…
NOTE: The title of this post is a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi.