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Amrita Diabetic Welfare Association (ADWA) marked the World Diabetes Day by organizing a month-long “Diafest” from 3rd to 30th November 2014, consisting of educational and entertainment programs aimed at spreading the awareness and control of diabetes which is fast becoming a universal scourge. This year it was organized with the co-operation of the Department of Ophthalmology and the focus was on ocular problems associated with diabetes.

This year’s month-long programme, covering an exhibition for promotion of awareness of diabetes and the associated Poster Show, was inaugurated by Mrs. Shahina Pradhan (Anglia Ruskin University). Bri. Karunamrita garlanded Amma’s photograph and lighted the inaugural lamp to mark the start of the programmes. Dr. Harish Kumar (Head of the Department of Endocrinology), Dr. Gopal S. Pillai (Head of the Department of Ophthalmology) and Dr. Prathapan Nair (Principal, Amrita School of Medicine) spoke on the occasion. The street-play, put up on the occasion by the Department of Ophthalmology was very informative to all viewers. Over the period of one month, about 200 people received the benefits of free screening and treatment of retinopathy which results from diabetes.

On November 14th, World Diabetes Day, the staff and doctors of the Department of Endocrinology put up the skit entitled “Awareness is Power”, an informative discourse against diabetes, in various departments. To an extent, this served to uproot the misconceptions regarding diabetes, its treatment and its medication, which were harbored in the minds of the general public. The conference and free medical checkup camp organized in the Brahmasthanam Auditorium was attended by specialists in different medical fields from Amrita Hospital and over 400 participants benefited from it. Dr.Harish Kumar, Dr. Usha Menon, Dr.Gopal S.Pillai, Dr. Priya Vijayakumar, Dr. Anil Mathew and Dr.Jagadish were among the speakers on the various related topics.

The Cycle Rally and Walkathon from IMA Stadium, organized on the occasion, was flagged off by Shri Hibi Eden, MLA, and Ernakulum. More than five hundred people, as well as the Doctors, and Medical/Paramedical staff of Amrita Hospital, participated in these events. The same afternoon, the free diabetes and eye checkup camps and the classes on relevant topics, conducted at the Lulu Mall, Edapally, were well attended and a large number of people benefited from them. Viewers were enthralled by the “flash mob” presented by the Medical students.

There was a very good participation from many teams in the South India Quiz organized for Medical students and the team consisting of Niranjan Nair and Aashique Shar won the trophy. In the School Quiz on ocular issues, organized on 21st November in the Amri-ta Vidyalayam, Kunnumpuram, teams from about 20 schools participated and Rajagiri School, Kalamassery were declared winners. Shri S.N.Swamy, the well-known film producer, lit the inaugural lamp for Film Festival centering on “Diabetes and the Eyes” which was organized for the Visual Media students of Amrita School of Arts and Sciences on 24th November 2014.

We consider our efforts a success and are thankful for it if the month long Diafest has provided not only awareness and entertainment to the participants, but also provided the guidance for the detection and control of diabetes and to enable the diabetics to minimize their problems on this account, even if only a few of the participants reap the benefits of such participation. We anticipate continued cooperation and support from all in the years to come.