Visually impaired doctor imparts 'vision and light' through Ayurveda
“A lot of people still ask me how a visually impaired person work as a doctor and treat her patients” says Dr. Reshmi Pramod while sitting in her office at Jeevaniyam Ayurveda Hospital and Research Centre. Losing her eye sight at an early age did not deter Dr. Reshmi from pursuing the career that she always dreamed of, but she used it as a stimulant for her success and sored into newer terrains. Today, Dr Reshmi Pramod is the CEO and Founder of ‘Jeevaniyam’ Ayurveda Hospital and Research Centre, which specializes on children with autism and cerebral palsy.
“I lost my eye sight in 2004 due to health reasons. Even as a kid, I suffered from high myopia and photophobia. My biggest dream was to be a doctor and to impart my knowledge to the society. My father was a doctor and he is my guru. But with my condition, I was not sure whether I would be able to work or not. It was then that, through my contacts, I happened to get in touch with a visually impaired doctor from United States who was an expert in Endoscopy. This interaction inspired me and boosted my confidence to venture into Ayurveda.”
Social Commitment, Ayurveda and Autism care
These words, in a way, defines Reshmi Pramod’s professional life. In her own words, it was her commitment towards the society that spurred her desire to specialize on autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions in children through Ayurveda. To get to where she is today, there was an enormous amount of work that she had to be put in. For more than 10 years, she focused on acquiring new skills, like learning various computer applications., that would enable her to improve the proficiency over her subject.
After learning Ayurveda, Reshmi started working at Bolgatty in 2006 and in her free time, she used to indulge in writing articles online. That’s how ‘Jeevaniyam’ was born. It started out as a small website which Reshmi later developed as a platform for online consultations. Over the next few years, she nurtured this idea and made it into a multi-faceted institution. In addition to being a hospital and a research center, ‘Jeevaniyam’ also focuses on skill development of young men and women which would boost their prospects of finding a suitable job.
Reshmi reiterates that it was her commitment to society that made her venture in to the world of pediatrics and neurodevelopmental care. “We don’t limit ourselves to just being a treatment center, rather it is more like a large family that helps each other. In fact, we take great joy in spending quality time with these children and their parents on different occasions such as festival days. It is a liberating experience for me personally as well because spending time with these children makes me forget my own disabilities.”
With years of experience now behind her, Reshmi feels that the most important point to remember while interacting with autistic children is that it is only a condition and that it is not a disease. And so they have to be treated like any other ‘normal’ child. Often, a lot of parents shower these children with excess love and care, which does not help the case at all. The challenge, Reshmi feels, is to overcome their sensory processing issues. Once that is achieved, we can comfortably lead the child.
‘Parents have to be guided as much as the children’
As much as being empathetic to the child is important to Doctor Reshmi, she vehemently feels that it is important to help their parents also. She has reiterated the role her father played in inspiring her to become a doctor. This could be why she understands how good parenting can help the children rise beyong their limitations.
“We are committed to providing the mental support to parents and to educate them on how the children with special needs can be guided, especially with the help of technology.”
The parents can be under enormous amount of pressure while dealing with their child’s condition, but it is the parent who holds most influence over their kid, more than any other center or institute. Hence they have to be guided with the right advice and information.
The vision going forward
As the Founder and CEO of Jeevaniyam, Reshmi has a clear vision for the future. She wants to develop the treatment center to a world class rehabilitation center.
“I am not saying that from a business aspect alone. This should be a place that offers the best of facilities such sensory parks, retreat center and swimming pools to the children who needs extra care and help along with an atmosphere that makes them feel as if they are home. A lot of parents are worried about what their children would do after their life. Rehabilitation centers such as this can accommodate them and provide relief to the parents.”
When asked how she manages to make those who seek help from her to look past her disability and trust her, she smiled and replied that the only thing that matters is if the doctor can cater to the needs of his/ her patients and make them satisfied.
Her life and work provide relief to a lot of people who needs help and inspires even more people around her. She is someone who is hard to define in a few words as she has transcended her disabilities and even her profession. There are many professionals out there who finds satisfaction in doing their duties and drawing out good salaries, Reshmi Pramod stands apart from all of them as she imparts vison and light to this world.