Journal of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry

: 2015  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 368--369

Hon. Gen. Secretary's message

MB Aswath Narayanan 
 Hon. Gen. Secretary, IAPHD, Mathuram, Plot No. 161, Door No. 5, Murugu Nagar, 5th Street, Velachery, Chennai - 600 042, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
M B Aswath Narayanan
Hon. Gen. Secretary, IAPHD, Mathuram, Plot No. 161, Door No. 5, Murugu Nagar, 5th Street, Velachery, Chennai - 600 042, Tamil Nadu

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Aswath Narayanan M B. Hon. Gen. Secretary's message.J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2015;13:368-369

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Aswath Narayanan M B. Hon. Gen. Secretary's message. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Jan 20 ];13:368-369
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Full Text

Hearty wishes from the Head Office,

I still remember the 1st day when I joined my postgraduation at the Government Dental College, Bengaluru in September 1992. I had just discontinued my postgraduation in pedodontics at Government Dental College, Amritsar to join this novel specialty, in which none had qualified before in Tamil Nadu. It was a totally new subject to me, as Preventive and Social Dentistry as it was called then, was taught only in Karnataka those days under the disciplinarian - Dr. M. R. Shankar Aradhya.

In the course of the first few days I found that all that was required of us was - be always punctual, finish our work (seminars, journal clubs, library dissertation, term paper, dissertation, and pedagogy classes) always on time, visit Bangalore Medical College for basic sciences, public health classes and biostatistics always without applying leave, visit all the libraries in Bengaluru and Karnataka always on schedule, be a postgraduate student 24 h a day and most importantly never to perform any of his personal work - all for a period of only 2 years!!! I am what I am today - thanks for being under Dr. M. R. Shankar Aradhya.

During one of those days, he suddenly called my co-postgraduate Dr. B. K. Srivastava and myself 1 day and asked us to take steps to form and register an association for our specialty, informing us that a few of our seniors had met informally in 1991 at Mangalore and mooted a similar idea earlier. We went about the job and many a meeting was held and our association Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry (IAPHD) was born in December 1993 with Dr. R. K. Bali as the founder President and Dr. M. R. Shankar Aradhya as the founder Hon. Gen. Secretary-cum-Treasurer. The logo of our association was designed and created by my senior Dr. C. L. Dileep. The first National Conference was held in Bengaluru in 1994 with 28 delegates!! What a euphoric beginning.

I still remember those days, when Dr. Aradhya used to sit and type in the old typewriter he had, asking all our specialty people to become members and all intimation used to be hand typed, photocopied and sent by regular post. It used to take days for one to become a member - receive an application form with check/demand draft, wait for encashment, allot numbers and post a personalized letter thanking them for becoming members - all done by himself.

On completion, I came to Chennai and joined Government Service in 1994, was promptly allotted a chair in prosthetics as there was no separate department!! With the kind help of all the Principals of GDC, Chennai, today 21 years later it is a postgraduate and Doctoral Department. However, the initial few years required all my courage and conviction to stay and fight for the rights of my department and myself.

During the early years, every conference used to be a much anticipated event of the small family of IAPHD members and bonding with the families of all the members. How I miss those years!! Our subject was still not really recognized, lot of difficulties faced to establish our credentials, but we worked with grit and did whatever feasible to exhibit our department activities. Pedagogy used to be a compulsory undergraduate examination exercise!!!

Years passed and I was entrusted with the job of starting the journal of the IAPHD in 2003 by the Head Office. We were low on funds as the total number of members (life and student) even in 2003 was around only 75. Dr. Bali's contribution as the seed money for the journal set the ball rolling. I used to regularly request our members to send articles!! Vicco Laboratories sponsored the first four issues, and I used to carry the journals by hand to all conferences and distribute it by hand to save money. In 2007, I was entrusted with the editorship for 4 more years. By this time, because of the large financial contribution made by Dr. Bali after the Delhi Conference, the journal was principally sponsored by the Head Office and few other sponsors added their bit. Hard copies were regularly couriered to all members. During the course of those 8 years, 18 issues with multiple supplements were printed. A total of 597 articles have been published during that period. Now Dr. Manjunath Puranik has taken the journal to greater heights, it has become totally online and professional, and we are on the threshold of getting our journal indexed.

By 2011, our association had grown to 745 members (498 life and 253 student) and was a vibrant democracy with all the inbuilt default features and multiple upgrades!!! I was elected as Hon. Gen. Secretary in 2011 and have had a satisfying time during the past 4 years, strengthening the work of all my predecessors. During all these years the unflinching guidance of Dr. R. K. Bali and Dr. M. R. Shankar Aradhya, the support of all the previous office bearers and Executive Committee members have made the following things possible.

The administrative sphere has been strengthened:

Membership directory - membership number, name, receipt number, and date have been put on the websiteThe bye - laws and memorandum of the association has been amended and updated version is on websiteProtocols - formation of state/local chapters, Conference/Convention protocols, Council of Dental Education Health/Continuing Dental Education (CDE) protocols have been formed and put on websiteRegistration of new members has been made totally online Barcoded cards have been issued to all membersJournal made totally online Mails sent on every decision taken by the association, leading to 100% transparency.

Regarding the academic front:

Both the Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) and Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum has been updated. Activity for the Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship during the 3 months posting has been outlined clearlyThe Inspection proformas for both BDS and MDS has been updated General body meeting of Dental Council of India held on 20th and 21st December 2014 instructed that:Every Dental Institution must have a separate Department of Public Health DentistryTeaching of the specialty must be done only by the specialists in Public Health DentistryBoth the examiners must be from the specialty of Public Health DentistryStaff pattern can be either Professor/Reader/two Senior Lecturers.

Association work:

All mails are acted on immediatelyNotifications of any CDE programs/Dental Council of India workshops/job opportunity circulated to all members.

Looking back on these 22 years the following are the achievements of the association:

Until date 19 National Conferences, nine Post Graduate Conventions and innumerable CDE programs have been conductedA National Oral Health Survey and Fluoride Mapping was done in 2004The association encourages both undergraduate and postgraduate students by granting them with the following awards: Dr. C. V. K. Reddy Endowment award for postgraduate students (essay)Dr. S. S. Hiremath Endowment award for postgraduate students (subject topper)Arya publishers endowment award for undergraduate students (subject topper)Dr. Mohandas Bhat Endowment award for the best outreach programIAPHD endowment award undergraduate (essay and subject topper).

The association appreciates and encourages both undergraduate and postgraduate students, conducting research work by offering them research grants up to Rs. 75,000/-Deceased members' families are given Rs. 2 lakhs ex-gratiaThe "National tooth brushing day" celebrated every year on 7th November and National Public Health Dentistry day celebrated on June 19th every yearThe IAPHD has eight state chapters at Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and one local chapter at BengaluruSeventy-three postgraduate centers are available all over the country producing around 210 postgraduates every year.

Today, I am humbled by the trust placed in me by all the members. I shall strive, with the blessings of my parents, teachers and seniors, support of my colleagues and postgraduates, to take it to greater heights.

Jai Hind.

Wishing all everlasting health