Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
                                                   Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons                           
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

Braving the Odds during the Pandemic - Lessons Learnt

Ramesh Santhanakrishnan1, Antony Robert Charles2,  
1 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, South Hospital Complex, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Consultant Pediatric Surgeon, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ramesh Santhanakrishnan
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, South Hospital Complex, Bengaluru - 560 085, Karnataka

How to cite this article:
Santhanakrishnan R, Charles AR. Braving the Odds during the Pandemic - Lessons Learnt.J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2021;26:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Santhanakrishnan R, Charles AR. Braving the Odds during the Pandemic - Lessons Learnt. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Jun 9 ];26:1-2
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Full Text


Dear Friends,

It has been an incredible year so far!

None of us, even in our wildest dreams, could have visualized the misfortune that the whole world would undergo. A tiny bit of rogue RNA virus that would hold the entire world to ransom. We would have scoffed if someone had even remotely suggested that the whole world would be locked down and our travels would be restricted for months at a time or for that matter that all our conferences and academic events will be cancelled.

Such are the strange vicissitudes of nature that the most unbelievable things do happen, and we are forced to face a paradigm shift. The word “Corona” has traditionally meant different things to many of us, and none of us could even imagine the sinister connotation that it has taken in this tumultuous year of 2020. What was thought to be a problem in a marketplace in China, has ground the entire world into its path of disaster.

Our branch was no exception. Professionally, it looked like it would be a “Zero Year.” All elective surgeries, academic activities, social activities, and fun came to a grinding halt. Despair and despondency set in, and it appeared that we would be robbed of the whole year. The Pandemic certainly disrupted our professional workings. It has also thrown our lives and the lives of our families and loved ones into a tailspin. Many have lost loved ones, many of us know at least someone we lost, gladly we have some of our own who fought this virus and emerged victorious, but the cost has been tremendous.

However, the human spirit never dies, and it has indeed sprung back through innovative means. Indeed, our brethren across the country rose to the occasion and joined hands with the other “Corona Warriors” to provide relief to the needy with diligence and valor. There are scores of inspiring accounts of the efforts of our members. The most incredible aspect that impressed us all was the “Zero” year was turned around to become a “Hero” year.

This year saw an unprecedented number of firsts.

Allaying the fear of reduced academic events when the pandemic started, the number of academic events of the IAPS on the virtual platform actually exceeded that of any normal year. The number of webinars which saw acclaimed international- and national-level stalwarts coming right to our drawing rooms to interact with us, was unbelievable and indeed a blessing.

For the first time in history, we had an “e-IAPSCON,” which was a tremendous hit. The academic feast which spread over 5 days witnessed a record participation. Never in the history of our association have more than 500 presentations of posters and papers been presented in a single conference. The youngsters were really fortunate to have such an opportunity. The orations, the quiz, the prize sessions, and all the other sessions were deftly executed and saw very enthusiastic participation.

The conference was flawlessly executed thanks to the principal office bearers Dr. Parthapratim Gupta, Dr. Ravi Kanojia, Dr. Amar Shah, and Dr. Ravindra Ramadwar along with the entire executive committee.

The eSPUCON was no different. This was also very meticulously organised by Dr. Ramesh Babu, Dr. Virendar Shekhon, Dr. M. Srinivas Rao and Dr. Vikesh Agarwal. The participation was very enthusiastic.

The whole new experiences of e-IAPSCON and e -SPUCON are something to be cherished for a long time and are certainly posed to be the game changers in academics. With the convenience of participating in the conference from the comforts of our homes or office, monetary savings, and the ability to still connect with so many, the e-conference scored very well on all counts. The only missing aspect was the socializing and the bonhomie that our members share at our meetings. That reminds me of what my mentor Dr. Srimurthy said almost 20 years ago that it is high time to use electronic means to have a conference to increase the convenience of all and save costs, and socializing can be done anytime with your chosen few. His prophetic words have indeed come true, but under unfortunate circumstances.

Long-standing relationships among our professional colleagues from various corners of the country have been traditionally forged at our face to face meetings during conferences and will continue to be important to all of us.

It is indeed sobering that there is so much uncertainty about how long this pandemic will last and what havoc it will wreck in the long term. What is certain though, is that it has shown us all what innovative solutions the human mind can think of, when faced with adversity.

Is the “e-academics” platform here to stay for eternity? Will this be the future or as they say “the new normal” ? I have no definite answers, but that is the other thing this pandemic has taught us, no one has the answers sometimes. We improvise, we learn, we innovate, and we come out stronger, together.

I am indeed proud of the way our association and our members have risen to the occasion amidst all the adversities and made huge strides forward. As we look forward to the coming year, my prayer is that the coming generations will look to this pandemic year as a turning point in their personal and professional lives, in drawing our attention to what's truly important, in bringing us closer to those around us and to inspire a sense of awe and gratitude to life itself.

Long live IAPS and its members.