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The journey of faith

Dr. Aastha Gupta, advanced fertility & IVF consultant, and Gynaecologist at Delhi IVF and Fertility Centre.

I credit my journey of being a doctor to a path that is somewhat, contradictory to my profession. Where on one hand, science rules over anything for a medical professional, for me it was faith and spirituality that got me through my college years. I give a lot of credit to Nichiren Buddhism that I started practicing during my second year and continue to do so till now that gave me the confidence that I could sail through the difficult years of studying medicine.

Having been born in the family of doctors, and seeing closely happiness, cure and hope this profession had on offer, I was determined to follow the footsteps of my father. However, what I didn’t realize then was the thought that I had chosen a tougher than an expected path for myself. While finishing MBBS was one aspect of it, the harder part was of getting admission and specializing in a field of my choice. This required time to study which between our 36 hours of duty, every the third day seemed like an unattainable task. Having been a good student throughout my schooling, the self-inflicted pressure of excelling and getting admission in Delhi got onto me. This made me panic over little things, got me agitated and worry unnecessarily. During this time someone introduced me to Buddhism, a practice that focused on the inner transformation of a person. A chant that started with 5 min a day helped me to calm my nerves and make me tougher than my circumstances. It gave me faith and power to take on any situation head-on and deliver to perfection. Practicing religiously and working hard towards my goal of getting an admission in the best college throughout my four-year course, got me through to Maulana Azad Medical College which I topped and became a Gold Medalist.

Post it started a new life as a full-time doctor. A life that required a lot more work-life balance and even getting immune to the reality of the profession. From coming face-to-face with some immoral doctors who tried luring me into their scheme of things, to some patients ready to offer more money for the unethical act of delivering a baby boy. It was an eye-opener and a challenge I had to fight time and again.

However, the highlights of being a doctor were many, a reason that keeps me hooked to the profession till now. It offers empowerment of giving birth to a new life, or curing an existing life; it gives reasons to make people happy when they come with lost hope; and most importantly, it gives reasons to look at the twinkling eyes of the new parents especially when a baby girl is born.

Since I have always been the feminist kinds; I enjoyed seeing the birth of a girl more, not that I don’t of baby boys but the former may be slightly more. Since, in this profession, I get to work closely with women across social segments, educating them about their own health and guiding them to take the right fertility decision has been of the utmost importance to me. Therefore, counselling is one trait of being a doctor that I enjoy the most. I feel for a woman, it is important to work post marriage and even after having a baby as these things should be additions to your existence and add value to life.

As a young woman, I was taught by my parents to treat every human equally and thus, if I can give a piece of advice, I would say, give wings to the daughters and let them fly high. It is the 21st century where girls are no less than boys. Sania Mirza, SainaNehwal, Mary Kom, to Justice M. Fathima Beevi who became the first female judge; to Kalpana Chawla who was the first Indian woman to reach the space; Priyanka Chopra who is ruling Bollywood and Hollywood, and many more like them have put India on the global map, and there is no reason why others can’t.

Therefore, on International Women's Day let‘s take a pledge to offer sons and daughters the same schooling and opportunities and let them take their own decisions and excel in the field of their choice.