The Grain of Wheat and life of a Researcher

The famous Biblical quote says so, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that unless a grain of wheat that falls to the ground dies, it stays just a grain; but if it dies, it produces a big harvest” (John 12:24)
So is the life of a researcher or scientist whose life and work bear’s fruit only if there is betterment in the life of humans around him.
Science for human beings and human beings working for science; these two are inseparable entities which are mutual to each other in the long term for enhancing and uplifting the value of life. One of the most notable works of scientists which I want to highlight is of the tireless and selfless work of Dr. Jonas Salk the discoverer of the famous Polio vaccine. I could say this was an outcome of selfless and untiring efforts put in by him in the lab. One thing which would have motivated him to work for long hours and to come out with an effective vaccine was off course due to a large number of people afflicted by this epidemic disease.

Tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis has evolved in the society over a period of time and history has shown us that a large number of people have succumbed to this disease including famous personalities like John Keats, Frederic Bartholdi, Maria Faustina Kowalska, Anandi Gopal Joshi and the lists goes on.

The reasons for not coming out with a novel and effective therapeutics are a result of the shortcoming in science and due to the scale of economics involved with it in contrary to existing therapeutics available for life style diseases.

Although of being aware of the facts and figures of the people affected with TB, the mortality rate is sometimes overlooked or neglected and so these types of tropical diseases are generally classified into “Neglected diseases”.

As a result of CSIR focussing upon neglected diseases such as TB, led to paving the way to explore an effective platform for conducting neglected disease research resulted in Open Source Drug Discovery being launched on 15th September 2008. And still continuing its mission with keeping the vision of “Affordable healthcare for All”. ‘
Keeping this vision foremost in mind, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust has granted a sum of Rs 285.75 lakhs for a period of 3 years to train a large number of researchers/ students in Drug discovery by taping the untapped potential of crowd sourcing for carrying out research in related scientific areas for Neglected diseases.
TCOF/ TCOWF/ TCOS (TATA CSIR OSDD Fellowships) coordination committee under the guidance of Head/ Project Director/ Convenor are doing their best in taking this fellowship to the young passionate researcher.
The Hope and Patience are the two key cardinal virtues every young budding researcher should have. And these values are achieved if the person decides to sow the good seeds and timely manoeuvring when faced with obstacles so that the individual not only grows scientifically but holistically in a span of time.
I hope and trust in the Divine power that amidst all, the ray of hope will come which would help us to anchor ourselves in the hour of trials and tribulations during our endeavour in neglected areas of science and life like the ship anchoring itself in a stormy sea.

As I conclude my words, my voice I write, I wish that we all should work, should contribute without any hesitance and bias with one aim, “TO PROVIDE BETTER AND AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE FOR ALL”.
Our Approach towards the most difficult and impossible things lies in the inner strength and in developing the emotional pursuit for the most neglected ones. We should work seamlessly just in the way as the Grain of Wheat dies, and grows and then becomes a source of life and strength to the world.

Lijo John
Andrew Titus Manuel

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