Be a mentor, not just a member, of society

September 17, 2018 0 By CH Unnikrishnan


Founder and Chairman, Apollo Group of Hospitals


Doctors always enjoyed a credible position in the community as people listen to them with love and respect. But now, it is time for them to take on the additional role of mentors of the society to bring in the much needed change and groom the people to stay healthy. This is an urgent need now, as the entire world and India in particular, is under the serious threat of a rapidly advancing ‘tsunami’ called non-communicable diseases (NCDs). There are young people dying of heart attack, cancer and diabetes. India has already become the world capital of diabetes. Cardiovascular disease is the largest cause of death in India. Cancer is fast spreading across age groups. But, the fact remains that all  these diseases are preventable. What is immediately needed is a strong awareness among the public about how these diseases can be prevented, and the responsibility for that lies with the doctors, including myself. In other words, we are the best people who can take

this initiative effectively to drive society to a healthy living. This has happened in the developed world sometime ago and that is the reason they could control the vast spread of NCDs among the youth. So, the time has come in our part of the world to raise an army against NCDs, and the doctors should be the Commandant Generals of that army. I am doing this in my village, and I could mobilise a team of doctors to actually motivate people to stay healthy and avoid being a victim of life-style diseases. The doctors have got the power to make people practice what they say — provided they are sincere enough to bring the change — instead of getting them trapped in complex treatments, economic loss and finally, premature death.  So it’s the duty of the new-age doctor to  wear the helmet that says: “Yes, I can make a difference.”


— As told to CH Unnikrishnan