Published – NOVEMBER 4, 2015

Violence against doctors in India is at all time high. There have been protests, strikes, dharnas and petitions signed but not to much avail. Every other day, there is a case of an attack on a doctor and it has been noted that 75% of doctors have been attacked of which 48% occur in ICUs. How does one do something about this?

Enter – Doctor Naveen Koval, who is an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics. He has decided to counter ‘violence against doctors’ by putting together a painting titled ‘Ray of Hope’ created by 1 lakh finger impressions of 10,000 doctors across Kerala. He  describes his work of art via these lines-

“I know i am walking through a tight rope..

But I will move on and won’t stop..

Because I can see the Ray Of Hope….I can see the Ray Of Hope…

The Motivation behind ‘Ray of Hope’

Dr. Koval says this about his work titled ‘Ray of Hope’ – “This is perhaps the most significant one that I have made so far. The Bhagavad Gita says ‘It is a sin to commit injustice but it is a greater sin to tolerate injustice.Its very sad that inspite of sacrificing so much for this noble profession a doctor has to go through all these. When our silence is taken as our weakness,when our inaction is considered as lack of unity its time to unite and express ourselves more clearly and fight this violence against doctors.

He goes on to say, “Its time to fight the injustice done to our profession.Its time to move beyond open letters , blame games and angry debates on social media platforms. Its time to move beyond shouting slogans,stopping work and candle marches. It is time to use the power of art to express our views and concerns

The Effort

Dr. Koval is looking to make the world’s largest painting using finger prints or impressions of all the doctors of Kerala. He wants to break the existing Guinness world record of 228 square meters held by China by making a 345.6 square meters (approx 24 m x 14.4 m) sized canvas painting using the finger prints of all the doctors of Kerala (more than 10,000 doctors and more than 1 lakh finger impressions). Its a combined effort that will take at least 3 more weeks.

Work on the painting has already started and is scheduled to be completed by the last week of November. Dr. Koval is thankful to the students of Kannur Medical College where he is an Assistant Professor. The students have shown enormous support in getting the work started and making ‘Ray of Hope’ possible.

Dr. Koval explains what the painting means, ” The painting is a creative expression of what I feel is the current situation of doctors in this country.It is an effort to non-violently raise our voice against the various kinds of violence that a doctor has to face in his daily life. No one wants to take up this profession anymore. A doctor is shown in the dark for the same reason, with the wounds given by public and the media (seen on his back as the red lashes) but he can’t protest because his hands are tied by his profession (shown by the stethoscope). The people and the media are shown as dark shadows pointing fingers at the doctor and waiting to attack the doctor even without verifying whether the doctor is at fault or not.

The only hope for the doctor is the bright ray of light (ray of hope shown above the doctor’s head) that represents our future where we all (doctors,public ,media and government) will be much more responsible and work together to help humanity and not be against each other. This is not the time to blame each other but a time to come together and take some positive actions. Lets all think about what could be done to change this.

How you can help

On being asked how doctors can participate, Dr. Koval says, “The white margins of this painting will be filled with signatures and suggestions given by each doctor contributing towards this artwork. For the first time in history, doctors would come together for a single cause. It would help us inspire one another and stand up for each other.” Doctors who want to participate can reach out to him on his Facebook page. Sharing this post with other doctors who are in Kerala will also help him complete the painting.

He urges fellow doctors to unite together for this important cause and revive the lost faith in the noble profession of medicine. He wants the world to watch and understand the current situation and introspect.This will help the ‘Ray of Hope’ a meaningful piece of art become the ‘new weapon’ to counter violence against doctors and unite the medical community.

Courtesy: DailyRounds


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