ERNAKULAM: A family with three doctors may not be a novelty anymore. But everything is novel about this family of doctors, belonging to the Urali tribe from Elamplasseri, Mamalakandam, in Kuttampuzha panchayat of Ernakulam. Even more interestingly, the three siblings, two brothers and a sister, have qualified from different branches of medicine — homoeopathy, allopathy and ayurveda. The journey, however, has been a tough one.
“We were able to achieve success because of the dedication and hard work of our parents,” said Dr Pradeep KR, the eldest son of Raghavan KV and Pushpa. Life as such is tough in the forests. “The tribal people are accustomed to a nomadic style of living, moving from place to place in search of food,” he said.
But things changed with the government redrawing boundaries.
“Tribal settlements became the norm and it became tough to forage for food in the forests. Life was tough and existence became a fight. The entire scenario prompted our parents to do something to ensure that I and my siblings had a stable and secure future,” said Dr Pradeep, currently posted at the Government Homoeopathy Hospital, Kavalangad, in Ernakulam.
His sister, Dr Surya, is an assistant surgeon with the Family Health Centre at Chittarikkal in Kasaragod while the younger brother, Dr Sandeep, is doing house surgency in ayurveda at the Pariyaram Medical College.Their father Raghavan studied till Class 10. “In our tribe, kids never study beyond Class 10 and that too happens rarely. The usual norm is for boys to go foraging in the forests along with their fathers while the girls are married off at an early age, around 14 or 15,” said Dr Surya.
When Raghavan recognised that all his children were very good at studies, he decided to work harder and provide a better education for his kids. “Our father used to begin his day at 5am and finish only by midnight,” recalled Dr Pradeep, who passed MD with first rank. He is happy the three of them have been able to do justice to the struggles and sacrifices made by the parents.
Dr Pradeep said, while the government is providing facilities for tribal children, the number of people coming forward of their own free will to study and break away from the tribal way of life is less.
Though the children have moved away from the settlement, their parents continue to live in the ‘ooru’.
“They are happy in the forest. Right now, I too am living with them as I am posted nearby,” he said.