From a teashop in Alappuzha to Oxford


Thiruvananthapuram: Dr. Ajikumar Kavidasan, 43,  a  product of TD Medical College, Alappuzha, climbed the success ladder from a humble background braving hunger while helping his parents in their teashop. 
The first non-European director of training programme in respiratory medicine at the prestigious Oxford University of higher special medical training, Dr. Kavidasan feels that there are no protocols or guidelines here when it comes to medical treatment.
Dr. Kavidasan, who is also the president of World Malayali Council (UK chapter), visits his widowed mother every year.  He  was shocked to realise that  the health care in his  home state, which once boasted of an efficient health public model, is in the doldrums now.
“There is  need for formal diagnosis prior to starting treatment. A policy should be formed at the national level so that everybody gets the same standard of care. An integrated body should be there to look into this aspect,”  said Dr. Kavidasan, who was recently awarded the  Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
A young Kavidasan’s day began at 3 a.m. during his school days at Mangalam Government High School at Arattupuzha, where he had to run back and forth to the public tap dozens of times from his parents’ wayside teashop. After filling all the tubs with water, he helped his parents, Kavidasan and Tulasi Bai, to prepare steam cake (puttu) and chickpeas curry near the TD Medical College.
Armed with his hard-earned MBBS degree and one year experience from TD Medical College, he went to the British High Commission in Chennai hoping to get a visa to UK when it was the first time he wore a trouser. Dr. Kavidasan got a rude jolt when a British man ridiculed him there.
“I can’t see any fortune for you in the UK as a doctor,”  the Britisher told  Dr. Kavidasan,  and he  would love to meet him after all these years to share his success.
“Even this moment, I still can’t believe that I am one amongst the creme de la creme in the medical fraternity as Oxford Deanery Specialist Training Committee member for specialist registrar in respiratory and general medicine,”  added Dr. Kavidasan.

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