Almost a year ago, I came to the WVS International Training Centre in Ooty as a participant for the surgical training course. Little did I know then that I would decide to stay! The quality and kind of work done by WVS struck a chord with me and I immediately knew that I had to be a part of this. Since I’ve joined, every day has been an adventure. Swinging between surgeries and vaccinations, and between Ooty’s tea estates and Goa’s beaches, there has never been a dull moment.
I joined as a novice, not really confident of my skills as a vet, but with the invaluable guidance of our senior vets and my talented colleagues, I slowly grew in confidence. Through the example of others, I also learnt not to shy away from difficult cases, to be more compassionate, and to be selfless in service. The WVS team has impacted my life in more ways than one.
While working with WVS, I was fortunate to take part in a variety of projects. I started off with the team in the surgical training course, which helped me learn more even as I taught others. Mission Rabies came next, and what a surprise it was! This unique programme took us to the far corners of Goa as we vaccinated each and every dog in sight against rabies. The results have begun to show as not a single case of human rabies has been reported in the state in the past year.
Later in the year, I was part of the mobile surgery training course conducted on the Mission Rabies truck in Pune, in partnership with ResQ Charitable Trust. One senior vet, accompanied by two junior vets including me and a few veterinary assistants, conducted two surgery training courses over a period of one month. A number of local veterinarians and assistants already working in regional dog population control projects were trained in spay-neuter surgeries and it was inspiring to see how they would use these newly acquired skills in practice. This was my first time in an outreach project, and also a very memorable one.
Perhaps the biggest responsibility that came my way has been the Jamste outreach project in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, which focuses on control of rabies by vaccination of dogs and population control. Being the only veterinarian on site, I had to take all decisions on my own. However, by this time as a WVS vet I was quite well trained in anaesthesia, surgeries, animal welfare, rabies control and diagnosis, and I have substantial clinical experience by this time. I managed to pull through the challenges and it was a great experience. We operated the 3,000th dog during my time there. The Jamste outreach project was a boost to the development of my surgical and team management skills. In addition, I was able to explore the Tibetan culture and food every day.
While it definitely is a great opportunity to learn while you earn, at WVS there is also the added satisfaction of knowing that whatever we do is making a difference; another happy animal, another safe human, another trained and confident course participant. A year later, I still look in awe at the great work this wonderful team tirelessly keeps on doing and I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of it. Manvir Singh Nahal (Junior Resident Vet)