Friday, December 27, 2013

Charis' Paintings

Putting Shalom's paintings on the blog was quite an incentive for Charis also to be artistic. 

2 paintings from Charis . . .


The Cobra

And below are 2 drawings by Shalom . . . 

After watching 'How to train your dragon'

Shalom's obsession with police jeeps

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Madwa Kichdi

Below is the recipe for Madwa Kichdi . . . 


Finger millet flour: 1 cup
Lukewarm water: 2 cups
Black gram: Half Cup
Salt: To taste


1. Sift the millet flour with salt.

2. Make dough of average consistency by mixing the flour with water.

3. Cook the black gram with about 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker. Add salt to taste.

4. Once the pulse is cooked, add the dough in teaspoon sized portions to the cooked black gram.

5. Cook the pulse-dough mixture for another 5-7 minutes. Your ragi kichdi is ready.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


We had a young girl who came after eating the fruit of the plant which was locally called 'Kaner'. 

The relatives were kind enough to bring the fruit with a bunch of leaves.

As you can see from the snap above, it is basically - Yellow Oleander

Yes, as most of us know, it has compounds which cause cardiac toxicity. 

In Kerala, we are very familiar with Otholanga poisoning. I remember families taking it in suicide pacts . . .  Terrible stories of the entire family committing suicide after a curry made out of Otholanga is served. 

However, Otholanga is different from Yellow Oleander

And the Yellow Oleander is a total different species from the traditional Oleandar. I remember the Oleander as a shrub which is very popular for butterflies to lay their eggs on. 

The common factor to these three plants is the cardiac glycosides present in them which can be fatal. 

So, the 3 plants poisoning which many a time get written up as Otholanga poisoning get treated the same way. 

I wonder if there is a difference in the fatality between the 3 plants. 

By the way, the young girl responded well to treatment and has since been discharged from hospital. 

Madwa Anarsa

This is another sweet made out of Madwa. A sort of a soft biscuit, it tastes good . . . 

Anarsa is a traditional sweet in North India traditionally made of jaggery, rice, poppy seeds and ghee . . .


Finger millet flour: 2 cups
Sugar: 4 teaspoons
Salt: Half teaspoon
Lukewarm water: 3 cups
Oil to fry: Half a litre


1. Mix the sugar in 3 cups of lukewarm water.

2. Mix the salt with the finger millet flour.

3. Make dough of a medium consistency using the water and the finger millet flour.

4. From the dough, prepare approximately 2 inch round flat discs.

5. Heat the oil and fry these portions in the oil till well cooked.

Crocodile Tears

Yesterday, I happened to read an article about Antibiotic Resistance . . . 

Almost the same time, I also had one medical representative come to me to advertise rather 'teach' me on modern antibiotic usage. 

I had told our Medical Representatives about how we use Septran, Ampicillin and Gentamycin to amazing results. It was only because of rampant use of Ceftriaxone outside that we have been forced to use in our treatment. 

Now, he told me about the better antibiotics available which were sure shots at infection. 

The drugs he told me . . . 

1. Cefixime + Clavulanate Potassium

2. Cefixime + Ofloxacin

3. Cefixime + Azithromycin

4. Cefixime + Ornidazole

5. Cefotaxim + Sulbactum

I wonder if we will achieve quite with regard to antibiotic resistance if all these newer antibiotics are brought under some sort of government regulation. 

There is no point crying about antibiotic resistance if pharmaceutical companies go around advertising about the benefits of these new antibiotics. 

In disadvantaged communities and impoverished populations where quacks are more popular than doctors and even among doctors, those who practice evidence based medicine is a minority compared to those who believe that they should be writing the latest medicines available in the market, be it antibiotics or anything else . . . it would need a miracle to stop antibiotic resistance . . . 

And that could spell doom to many a poor family . . . 

Monday, December 23, 2013


The last Friday of every month, the staff at the hospital meets together for a whole day of prayer where we remember the blessings we had over the past month and put forward specific prayer requests. On 29th November we met, and had a wonderful time of sharing the blessing we enjoyed over 2013 and thanking the Lord for each of them. 
Apologies for the delay in sharing these with you all . . .

Please join us in thanking the Lord for each of the blessings. 

1. The hospital has been done well in 2013 in spite of major challenges. The absence of a surgeon was a major challenge as traditionally we are known as a surgical centre. We thank the Lord that the requirements in terms of finances and other requirements have been met so far especially in the light of a salary revision this year. 

2. Sampoorn Development India, one like-minded organisation has facilitated the construction of a water-tank in the campus. The Lord willing, the construction should be over very soon. 

3. The hospital has got an exclusive electricity connection to the campus and the electricity supply to the region has improved tremendously with us getting an average of 20-22 hours of electricity every day. 

4. There was a portion of land which was donated to us by one of our staff about 2 decades back. Unfortunately, few of the locals had been preventing us from taking occupation of the land. The Lord worked in the minds of these locals and has enabled us to take possession of the land. We could construct a boundary for this land and last week, the Maintenance Department started to cultivate on this land. 

5. Our Community Health Projects have been doing well so far. The impact made by the Climate Change Project, Community Based Rehabilitation Project is being slowly seen in the community. 

6. Our engagement with the government has increased over the last year. In the sphere of Tuberculosis Control, the Tuberculosis Unit caters to a population of over 750,000 population and the Global Fund Project increases awareness about the disease in the district. The UNICEF had requested us to oversee the mentoring of Labour Room facilities in Palamu and Latehar districts, thereby influencing Reproductive and Child Health in the region. Today, we were informed that we have been once more been authorized to disburse funds under the Janani Suraksha Yojana. This scheme was discontinued about 2 years back saying that we did not qualify as we did not have the requisite facilities in terms of personnel. 

7. We live in a region with tremendous amount of social unrest. We estimate that our hospital vehicles travels an average of 300 kilometers every day. We thank the Lord for safety and protection from accidents. 

8. We had some amazing stories of miraculous healing over the last year. We thank the Lord for each of these patients. Many of these patients had come to us as a last resort. 

9. There have been few constructions in the hospital. We thank the Lord for the funds that has enabled us to do these constructions. Please remember the burns unit, critical care unit, the sarai etc.  for which we need more funds. 

10. We thank the Lord for the new staff who joined in 2013. Dr. Roshine Mary Koshy (Medicine Consultant), Dr. Grace Mary George (Medical Officer), Dr. Aroma Tirkey (Dentist), Ms. Meghala Ramasamy, Mr. Jonathan Hongsha (IT Manager), Ms. Sheron Mathew (Physiotherapist), Mr. Asherush (Pharmacist) and Mrs. Tavitha, Ms. Priyanka, Ms. Premadini (Staff Nurses). 

These are the first ten items of thanks and praise which came. There were many more . . . 

Madwa Laddoo

Another one of the various local delicacies made from Ragi/Finger Millet/Madwa

Madwa Laddoo . . . This is the local name. 

I don’t know what it should be called in English. 




Finger millet flour: 2 cups
Lukewarm water: 3 cups
Cooking oil: 4 teaspoon
Salt: To taste
Diced medium sized onion

Make dough out of the finger millet flour, lukewarm water and salt. Make elongated balls of approximately half inch length as shown in the picture. 

Arrange sticks at the bottom of a wide mouthed vessel such that there is space for some amount of water below the sticks. See the snap. 

Lay a leaf (preferably banana leaf) or muslin cloth on the top of the twigs that are arranged. Ensure that the water do not touch the sticks. Boil the water inside the vessel.

Once the water is boiled, carefully arrange the elongated balls of the dough on the leaf or muslin cloth. Steam the dumplings for about 10-15 minutes. We had tried to do this with a idli cooker. Surprisingly, the results were quite different to the traditional method of steaming.

In another vessel, heat 4 teaspoons of oil. Put the diced onion and fry till golden brown.
Add the ragi balls to the onion and heat for about 3-4 minutes.

These dumplings taste well with tomato sauce.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Open spaces, Ranchi Zoo

One good thing about the Ranchi zoo was the spaces for walking. It was not too far like the Delhi zoo nor too congested. Snaps of the serene paths . . . 


The Dance

Snaps from our Hospital Christmas Dinner . . . the Bada Khaana . . .

The highlight of the program was the almost 2 hour Tribal Dance session by our students and staff . . .