Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Remembering a lost brother.

Death be not proud, so had written the poet John Donne. What is death?the end of life?the ultimate destiny of man’s existence?we know all this, and yet does this knowledge not console us.
On the 4th of March, 2010, I lost my brother..........Dr.Shekhar Goswami left us all for his journey to the nether world. This loss was tragic: the family had lost a son,friends lost a great human being and society lost a talented individual who was sincerely dedicated to the social cause—particularly in the field of medical science and health care.
As a student Dr. Shekhar had remained a topper throughout his academic career. He completed his schooling from Don Bosco High School, Baghchung, Jorhat with flying colours. After this, he was admitted to prestigious Cotton College in the Science Stream, from which again he passed out with distinction. In 2000, he joined the M.B.B.S. course in Assam Medical College ; in 2005 he became a doctor.
But Dr. Shekhar Goswami was much more than that…
He represented his school in various competitions and was also a founding member of social service club. A keen sportsperson he was a member of AMC cricket team which successfully won the Inter-University Cricket Tournament for two consecutive years. He represented AMC in Table Tennis and badminton. He was also the Table Tennis champion of AMC for three years. He was actively involved in various cultural activities; he was a good singer, he played the guitar and was also a good Bihu dancer. He had amazing organizational and leadership capabilities, and this was manifest in the pivotal role he had played in different activities in Assam Medical College. He was the General Secretary of AMC.One of his biggest contributions towards AMC was the stellar role he had played in leading the movement to stall derecognition of AMC. Some of his other contributions include—
a) Operation ‘HOPE’—for improving AMC was started during his tenure as General Secretary.
b) He organized Voluntary blood donation camps among students to help poor and needy patients.
c) He organized and took part in Health camps and distribution of life saving medicines in various villages.
d)He was the spokesperson of Junior Doctors Association in 2005.
e) He was founder member of an NGO “Maitri Misil” which successfully completed a ‘bicycle rally’ from Dibrugarh to Delhi for improving rural health infrastructure.
f)He organized a National level ‘AIDS awareness campaign’ in Assam.

In 2007, Shekhar joined the prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai for a post graduate course in Health Administration. As part of his curriculum, he undertook projects in the slum areas at the Santa Cruz in Mumbai and also in Dhirubhai Ambani’s native village near Rajkot, Gujarat.
Thereafter, in February 2009 he joined Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) a Holland based organization working in several frontiers around the world.His initial deputation was in an interior area of Chattisgarh.He also undertook special projects in militant hit area of Manipur, Kashmir, and in the state of Delhi. He was specially interested in the areas of sanitary surveillance, malaria, leprosy, women’s health concerns, and tuberculosis. In fact, even when he was in AMC, he had wholeheartedly treated TB patients while the fear of infection was paramount. In fact, he himself had been infected by TB due to his untiring services to poor patients. In 2009,MSF India promoted him to the post of Assistant Country Coordinator and he shifted his base to New Delhi. In February 2010, Dr. Shekhar was selected by MSF and sent to European cities of Amsterdam and Barcelona for a month long training.
My brother, Dr. Shekhar was not only a great human being; he was an inspiration to many. He had a dream, a vision—for his society and his Country. He believed that to live, one has to love. He believed in winning the world, and all hatred through love. Probably, this was why he was liked by all; and probably this was why eventually he became dearer to God.Today, we can only reminisce his goodness, and virtues; and regret that, for the cold-bloodedness of people for whom probably he never mattered much, a talented young man lost his life.For, what has made this loss tragic has been the fact that this was no natural death. It was a death self inflicted.
 Time may elapse but my brother Dr. Shekhar will continue to live in all our hearts. We believe justice will be delivered and the wrong-doers punished for their sins.