A SHALINI DAGA
Dreamy skies, animated toys, googly eyes, cartoons larger than life; of course they speak of children, but would they ever paint a picture of a hospital? Well, now they do with the new makeover given to the Paediatric block of Government Stanley Medical Hospital by students of M.O.P. Vaishnav College.
The only images that come to our mind when thinking about hospitals would be of monotone walls, medicines and syringes, impatient crowd, wounded people moaning in pain, or doctors and nurses running around. It overall gives a very dull, gloomy kind of a vibe, and that’s also why no one likes going to a hospital. However, that’s a place you can’t avoid for long. And when the patient is a child, it is even more difficult to get through the check up without any hassle, peacefully. Children in general require special care and attention for everything. And when they are particularly unwell, they tend to easily lose their calm and become restless. “We constantly need to get them engaged in things that grab their attention and distract them so they don’t feel the pain of a syringe or do not cause a hindrance in their check up,” says, B Saranya, a practicing nursing student at the Paediatric wing of Government Stanley Medical Hospital.
It was pondering over this thought when Dr M Manoj Kumar, Assistant Professor at the Paediatric Department of the Government Stanley Medical Hospital, came up with this brilliant idea of inviting college students to paint the walls of their block with colors and characters and everything catchy that will interest the kids coming to the hospital and will make the place look less scary, sad and more likeable.
The Paediatric block of Stanley Medical Hospital, takes care of children from 0-12 years of age, and sees around 400-500 out-patients everyday and about 100 in-patients on a daily basis. The ground floor is for out-patients, which is jam-packed in the mornings everyday and only begins to clear as the day is about to end. He felt it was very important that the children who come to the hospital regularly feel comfortable for the period they are within the premises.
When the Visual communication students of M.O.P. Vaishnav College for women came to the hospital, all they wanted was to take away the gloomy environment and make the kids feel cheerful and optimistic. “When we first came, the hospital looked so plain. We tried to include every possible thing that would attract the children” says Raksha S Jain of III B.Sc. Viscom.
It took a group effort of about 35-40 students of Viscom from all three years and a time span of a month to paint the walls of the block with new stories, all of this done under an initiative called ‘Pagir’ which translates to share, of the NSS department of M.O.P. Vaishnav college in collaboration with Stanley hospital.
“It makes us feel so good that we are able to make these children happy when they need it the most,” Raksha added.
Speaking about the impact of this change, Dr Manoj says, “It’s a very nice initiative by the visual communication students of M.O.P. Vaishnav College. I myself saw children enjoying these paintings and also learning from them. Once the kids come in, they see a lot of colors. Children actually need multiple visual stimulations. When things are light, without any contrast, they fail to stimulate children. When kids are in a development stage, they require a lot of stimulation like visual stimulation, auditory stimulation and so on. And these painting are successful in bringing in apt visual stimulations. The cartoon characters like Dora, which are seen on television, when found on the walls here in the hospital especially, change the entire atmosphere. The alphabets and number chains make the paintings both informative as well as attractive, making the hospital friendlier. Overall, this is a change welcomed by all and we are more than happy to have it started here.”