To improve social and moral fabric of life

A call to allied health professionals to practise the hierarchy of loyalties to improve social, moral and ethical fabric of life was made by J. Gowrishankar, Director and Head, Laboratory of Bacterial Genetics, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad on Monday.

He was delivering the graduation address at the graduation ceremony of Allied Health Sciences of Christian Medical College on the CMC campus here.

Four levels

Dr. Gowrishankar said allied health professionals should practise four levels of loyalty in their life.

The first level of loyalty is to themselves and their families. “Certainly you should do those things that bring you success and comforts in life,” he said. The second level of loyalty is to the institution in which they work. The third level of loyalty is to their profession, and the fourth, to the country and society at large.

“Earning plenty of money by working hard is neither a crime nor should you feel guilty about it, which is the meaning of being loyal to yourself. But, this should not be done at the cost of your employer institution, or your professional ethics and values, or the larger good of our country. Similarly, don't engage in activities that may benefit you employer and yourself but are professionally questionable. All scams and scandals that we see, hear and read about as taking place around us are the result of a breakdown in the hierarchy of loyalties, where self-interest has been placed on a pedestal above the interests of our institutions, our professions and our country,” he said.

Dr. Gowrishankar called upon the allied health professionals to see education as a lifelong exercise. He reminded them of the famous Tamil saying, ‘Katradhu kaimman alavu, kalladhadhu ulagalavu' (What I have learnt is like a fistful of sand , and what I haven't is as big as the earth). “This idea that there is indeed so much for us to learn, is particularly true in the career of scientific research that I am a part of, but is also valid for every other profession as well. There are no hierarchies in the learning process. For example, there have been many occasions when I have myself learnt new facts from my students and junior colleagues,” he said.

Quoting P.M. Bhargava, former director of the research institute where he earlier worked, Dr. Gowrishankar said, “Education is what remains after you have forgotten all that you have been taught.” In other words, the facts which one has been taught so far are secondary, the purpose of education is to make one aware of the process by which he or she can learn by oneself from one's experiences and from those around oneself.

Dr. Gowrishankar urged the graduates of allied health sciences to remember that the profession they were entering now is one of caring, giving, curing, comforting, and compassion for the sick. “These are ideas and actions closely related to our understanding of God and of faith and spirituality, and these notions also form the very basis on which Ida Scudder set up this hospital and the college more than 100 years ago,” he said.

Suranjan Bhattacharjee, director, CMC Hospital, welcomed the gathering and introduced the chief guest. Dr. Gowrishankar distributed the general proficiency awards and prizes for the best outgoing candidates. Alfred Job Daniel, Principal, CMC, administered the pledge to graduates and presented diplomas and degree certificates. Renu Raju, Registrar, CMC, presented the general proficiency award winners to the chief guest, while Paul Ravindran, Vice-Principal, CMC, gave away prizes to winners.