The journey of Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj started many years back after shewas trained out of the country, in UK, and parts of GULF. In India working environment was very different. This change in background certainly presented itself as challenge. She embraced a different experience at these places, from locations to the mindset of people was very different. Today, when she recollects her own stint of practice, what she observes is an amalgamation of improvement and enrichment of experiences and the success rate improvement is into the bargain.
The journey was not easy it was a veritable roller coaster of sorts and like wading through emotional turmoil. Dr. Bajaj recalls it as a complete ecstasy when she ever saw a childless couple of 25 years getting their bundle of joy. No words can describe the great feeling swamping her. She explains that at the same time, one has to be ready to accept the failures and be part of the trauma that such failures entail for childless couples. This emotional element is always there, in every IVF case.
BUILDING ON SOLID BEDROCK
Dr. Bajaj considers herself to be fortunate enough for being brought up in an army background. Cantonment milieu instilled in her all the values that made her a better human. It provided her with a liberal, progressive, open and cosmopolitan environment that groomed her personality well. It further instilled her to learn how to integrate with all people around. She recalls, “In a cantonment template of living, one grows seeing that both happiness and grief are a collective event.” Sharing and caring is learning that she owes to her childhood environment. But she had also to live with the trauma of having a brother with Down syndrome and juvenile diabetes together.
Her father happened to be one of the most celebrated gynecologists of the time in army. Even today, he is remembered as a persona of excellence at his field of work. So in choosing her profession of a doctor, her father was a major influence. But her mother influenced her in equal measure. Her mother is an anesthetist and is working strong even today at 75. She has also earned a reputation as a great anesthetist. Her mother’s commitment filtered into her too. She was such an accomplished anesthetist that she would be like a homing bird in almost all the reputed hospitals of the city. From them, she inherited her moral gain. They taught her that morality was a non negotiable element in life.
Her greatest accomplishment is yet to come. But handing bundles of joys to childless couples losing all hope, she reckons, as the greatest accomplishment of hers.
BUILDING THE RIGHT CULTURE
Times are a changing as regards fertility in India. Taboo scenario is rapidly changing and is giving way to openness. There is no more element of cultural shock in fertility discourse. Fertility issues are now being openly discussed in the family, among friends and with doctors. Such scenario was missing five years back. People these days are more open to treating infertility as a medical disorder, not a curse and it can be medically treated like any other ailment.
Whatever be the kind of society childless couples happen to live in, the pressing need of having children has to be addressed religiously. That entailed the need to have some kind of facilities to cater to them. Raising IVF healthcare was a natural corollary.
To inculcate the correct kind of feeling in the strict mindset of the Indian fraternity was a task and many challenges that confronted Dr. Bajaj. The two major issues which were to be addressed by her are, infertility being a social taboo and to change the rigid ethos that only blamed wives are any infertility issues. Dr. Bajaj has successfully overcome the issue and now, men are open towards diagnosis. The treatment cost is yet another challenge. Lastly the availability of trained medical fertility centers were less.
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN INDIA & ABROAD
The difference was stark. While in UK, IVF is strictly regulated, in India there is even not a law in place. In UK, there would be lot of audit of fertility services and the need of transparency was paramount. Working under that kind of litany, she sometimes felt stuck in a difficult situation and wished to wriggle out of it.
But in India, that kind of regulation is missing. And she would say, it proved a better situation. Despite there being no regulator breathing over your necks and no ART law in place, India fertility practice is better regulated than in UK. Self regulation here is more effective than strict ART regimen in UK. And the icing on the cake is that despite being unregulated, we are giving globally best results.
One difference that puts Indian childless couple at great disadvantage is that in UK, NHS and insurances fund IVF unlike India. But despite this disadvantage, the need to have children is more pressing here. The childless couples here would leave no stone unturned to fulfil that end. They would sell their property, their jewelleries or try anything to get their bundles of joys.
THE NURTURING EFFECT
It should suffice to say that in Nurture everyone works from their heart. It is a great feeling being able to hand over bundle of joys to infertile couples. For every one of them Dr. Bajaj and her centre invest their passion.This intensity of feeling is the secret behind Nurture’s success. And this emotional quotient is what makes Nurture different from other fertility centers.
Nurture in its last few years of running has incorporated all the advancements and new techniques worth the name in the area of fertility treatment. Those advancements are of course difficult and complicated but very rewarding. The team is applying them with finesse and great success.
Nurture certainly wants to take fertility treatments to the door steps of childless couples in far flung areas by training local doctors in the nuances of fertility treatments.
They are continuing to render their services in Kashmir, Uttaranchal, Karnal, Rohtak with great success. The team travels to these areas and organizes clinics there and train local doctors in addressing local fertility patients. In Kashmir, Radio FM gives us opportunity to make people aware of fertility issues and
treatments. And the intent is purely altruism. The society has given me so much, now it is time to give back to society. Nurture’s future plans hinge on this intent of giving back.
NOTICEABLE CHANGE IN THE WAVE
There is a complete change in people’s approach towards fertility. But there is a binary situation regarding this. Indian urban society is now completely open towards this but rural areas are still stuck in stereotype of old mindset. Women unable to bear children are still looked down upon in rural areas as used to happen in past. They are still considered inauspicious and bad omen for fertility rituals, marriages or other gatherings.
It is with the endless efforts of Dr. Bajaj to make fertility patients so much comfortable that they reach the level of feeling that she am one of her own family members, a filial feeling like that of being their own mother, sister or some own dear ones. This is the best way for a doctor can elicit their
insecurities and anxieties and share them.
The process is very time consuming and is mind boggling. In the process, she knows so much about the patient even the patient’s own relatives are not privy to. In fact, without striking such good relationship, fertility practice is impossible. Fertility patients need to be convinced that the doctor understands their suffering. Dr. Bajaj addresses their sufferings within their means and limitations. This is exactly what carves a niche and makes her a leader par