The Advanced Pediatrics Centre at PGIMER kickstarted its golden jubilee celebrations. In a glittering function held at the institute yesterday; alumni pediatrcians from PGI who are now all over the country and abroad, gathered together to meet each other and participate in a two-day academic CME programme.
The ceremony was presided over by Prof. Y K Chawla, the Director of PGI. In his inaugural address, Prof. Chawla stressed that the Pediatrics department has achieved heights of excellence in clinical work, research, and postgraduate training. He emphasized that this is because the Department rests on two important pillars which are its people and its philosophy. Paying glowing tributes to Prof. B N S Walia, the founding father of the Advanced Pediatrics Centre, Prof. Chawla said that the vision and dedication of people like Prof. Walia have established a solid foundation for the Centre to flourish. Prof. Chawla explained that the Department that started with just one pediatrician; has now grown to a large tree with 36 Faculty members, 150 postgraduate students, 4 DM programmes besides the MD Programme; and great heights of excellence in child health.
Prof. Sunit Singhi, the current Head of Pediatrics at PGI outlined the programme for the Golden jubilee celebrations of the department. He said that the next two days would be a home-coming for all alumni to meet each other formally; and also gain from the scientific content of the CME. He lauded the alumni for travelling long distances from all over India; and also countries as far as the United States, United Kingdom; and even Africa. It is significant to mention that this Alumni meet is being attended by stalwarts like Prof. O N Bhakoo, who started the pediatric services in PGI way back in 1962, and developed the Neonatology Division. Dr. Raj Kumar Gupta, a leading pediatrician from Chandigarh, who is from the very first batch of MD Pediatrics; was also present at the occasion.
The show-stopper at the function was Prof. B N S Walia, whose wit and wisdom have not dimmed despite his advanced years. He is widely regarded as the father of the Advanced Pediatrics Centre; and respected as an excellent Pediatrcian and administrator who guided the Department of Pediatrics and the PGI itself for many years. Prof. Walia spoke from his heart on a topic dear to him which is Happiness and Success. In his address to a packed auditorium, he said that “happiness comes from doing what you love; and success comes from loving what you do”. In his inimitable style laced with quotations from religious texts, famous poets and shayars, Prof. Walia kept the audience spell-bound as he summarized his life’s journey over the past 50 years. He rued that hectic work schedules of the modern day often leave little time and opportunity for Pediatricians to spend with their families. He exhorted young Pediatrcians to strike the right balance between professional and personal lives. Prof. Walia also added that the keys to success are hard work, diligence, perseverance, and honesty- these keys can never be replaced by any other methods.
A highlight of the Pediatrics Golden Jubilee Inaugural function was the felicitation ceremony of all the alumni. Starting from the 1970s, the Department journeyed through the years felicitating and honoring each member, until the recent times. Former Heads of Department including Prof. ON Bhakoo, Prof. Lata Kumar and Prof. Anil Narang presented gifts and souvenirs to the former students and staff of the Department of Pediatrics.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Dr. Deepak Bansal, the organizing secretary explained that the Alumni CME has over 300 registered delegates, and will be a scientific feast to deliberate upon the latest advances in child health, in India and globally. An eminent galaxy of Alumni speakers from all over the world will present their research to the audience.