Topiwala National Medical College (TNMC) and B.Y.L. Nair Charitable Hospital is one of the premier medical institutes in the country. While the college is well known for healthcare services it has come in limelight for other reason now. Since its foundation in 1921, for the first time in its history, the college has a women general secretary, a coveted student representative authority of the college. Sandnya Sukhatme who is currently, in the 5th semester of MBBS course, has made her way to this position which needs exceptional leadership qualities and a vision for change.
In a conversation with My Medical Mantra, Sandnya shared her journey to this position and changes she wants to make healthcare system.
General Secretary is a coveted position. How did you manage to reach here?
Standing for this post surely required determination, vision for the betterment of the college and moral support. It was initially just a seed of thought which slowly culminated into a whole tree. The candidature for the position and then eventually winning this prestigious responsibility of the General Secretary required strong moral support. If it weren’t for my family and my friends who helped me throughout the selection process, it would not have been possible at all. They were extremely supportive and that is exactly what I needed.
You are the first woman General Secretary of the college. How did you fight to make your way to this position which had been male dominated so far?
It was a male dominated position because no female student ever stood for the post. There was no woman candidature and that’s why it remained in the hands of men. There is no rule as such that only men can become the General Secretary. Women need to show will power. I am glad that I became instrumental in changing this scene now.
According to you what changes should be made in the healthcare system?
Though India is progressing in preventive as well as curative treatment problems arise because of lack of awareness in masses. Common people don’t know about the solutions and preventive measures. That is why my aim for healthcare sector is reducing the communication gap between experts and the masses. I would like to make them aware of the basic preventive regimens and beneficial health practices that would prevent the future fatalities.
Which policies do you have in mind as the General Secretary?
I plan to expand the horizons of our events from the basic walls of a recreational intercollegiate program to a pan-Maharashtra event. It would provide a bigger and a better platform for the talent of students of TNMC. Also, I aim to address the common but usually neglected issues of the students regarding hostels, canteen etc. by having interactive sessions with them.
How are you managing your studies and the responsibilities which come along with this position?
My mother is my inspiration and an idol in managing of the responsibilities. She efficiently and effortlessly looked after her family and her career. The challenges before me are relatively less. I plan my day keeping important things to be done in mind. It is indeed hectic but I manage both by planning the day properly.
You have made history by becoming the first woman General Secretary in Nair Hospital. What message would you like to give to other female students?
My message to all the girls would be to aim higher and never doubt yourself. If you have faith and confidence in your abilities then no person or petty reason can stop you.