KOLKATA: A West Bengal doctor, her husband and their six-year-old daughter will undertake a 40,000-km road trip covering 30 countries to make people aware of the new medical concept of ‘pain as a disease’.On August 17, Dr Debanjali Roy, her businessman husband Kausik and their daughter Diyasinee will drive their Toyota SUV from Chandannagar in the state to travel through Nepal, central Asia and then to Europe, right up to the UK, before returning to Mumbai.
Automobile Association of Eastern India president and former transport minister Madan Mitra, French consul general in Kolkata Damien Syed and Federation of Indian Automobile Association president Nitin Dossa will flag off the transcontinental journey of the Roys. Tour costs are staggering, and the couple is raising money through crowd-funding. “The tour costs may reach `40 lakh. Though we have not yet found any sponsor. We hope to raise a portion of the amount through crowd-funding. Once we have started this tour, there will be no looking back,” says Kausik.
It is Debanjali’s desire to spread public awareness about the concept of ‘pain as a disease’ that led to the Roy family plan the grand trip. An International Association for Study of Pain (IASP) fellow, Debanjali says the Association declared 2018 as the global year for excellence in pain education.“We tend to suppress pain by taking medicines and forget it. But research has shown that pain is not just a symptom but ultimately it’s a disease,” Debanjali says. “So, instead of suppressing it with medicines, we need to find out the source of the pain which is why pain has become a separate subject now. All over the world, pain subject may soon be taught as professional medical degree.”
The RG Kar Medical College alumnus says the IASP is urging doctors to make the people aware on pain education. “As a pain physician, I have to work hard to establish this subject. I plan to use the IASP guidelines of factsheets and lectures to make the people aware of ‘pain as a disease’,”Debanjali asserts.