I would first like to acknowledge David Davidar of Penguin Books India. David had asked me to write the earlier edition of this book, The Penguin India Guide To Child Care, which was selected among the 100 best books of the century in a list compiled by the Fountainhead chain of bookstores.
Three lovers of books - Saloochana Gulati, J. S. Sethi of English Edition and Bimal Mehta of Vakils - encouraged me to pen the present edition. They deserve my special thanks.
Recommendations for making the layout of the book more user-friendly came from Radhi Parekh, a graphic designer, and Primrose Monteiro-D'Souza. Thank you dear Radhi and Primrose.
Several colleagues pitched in to improve the chapters on pregnancy, care of the newborn, growth and development, dental care, neurological problems, sex education, surgical problems and emotional needs. Others obliged with guest articles on holistic bonding, parenting adolescents, reading to 'your child, healthy food habits, Nature cure and child care, Homoeopathy, Ayurveda, Prayer and your child's health and Frequently asked questions on congenital heart disease. Thank you Dr. Anirudh Malpani, Dr. (Miss) G. Mansukhani, Dr. (Miss) G. Nagarwalla, Dr. Kishore Sanghvi, Dr. Arun Phatak, Dr. Dinesh Daftari, Drs. Joy and Margi Desai, Dr. Raj Brahrnbhatt, Dr. (Mrs.) Jyotsna Kirtane, Ms. Maya Kirpalani, Dr. Geetanjali Shah, Dr. M. K. C. Nair, Dr. Jer Master, Dr. Vibha Krishnamoorthy, Ms. Karen Anand, Dr. Anand Gokani, Dr. Sunil Anand, Dr. Ashwini Kumar Raut and Dr. Bharat Dalvi for your valuable inputs.
I must mention the support of Santosh Pandey of Paramount Book Agency and Anita K., Shriram and Viji Venkatesh of Crossword, who have been taking such a keen interest in the wider distribution of my books. Thanks to all of them.
As usual, the family remained my strongest ally at every step. Thanks Asha, Sunil, Alka, Anil, Anshu, Vivek, Rashmi, Akash, Akhil, Arnan and Armaan.
Nand Wadhwani has done a lot to prevent deaths in mothers and children (The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust). Like me, he is equally eager to empower families for keeping their children healthy and happy. I gratefully acknowledge his support for creating the guidetochildcare.org site.
Mr. R. M. Lala, celebrated author of several books and a dear friend, has written the foreword. His inspiration has always been invaluable.
Thankfully, the families who have met me with their children during the last 35 years continue to bombard me with all sorts of questions. I have a souvenir on my table. On it are inscribed two words. The side facing my patients' families reads, 'Speak'. The side towards me has the word 'Listen'. This helps me a great deal to remain an active listener. I have kept all such queries in my mind and used the same to write books and articles for the lay press and to provide information through radio and television.
My gratitude goes to Mr. Bimal Mehta of Vakils and his staff, especially Mr. Saifi Electricwala, Ms. Rajeshree Sabnis, Mr. Sudhakar Tawade, Mr. Satish Nagwekar, Mr. Ashok Patil, and to others who have helped me with the required information on child health, done the illustrations, taken the photographs and provided me with the much-needed moral and spiritual strength to complete my task. Thanks Col. R. I. Easwaran (Retd.) and Rammohanji, Helen Armstrong, Dr. Felicity Savage, Rani Raote, Dr. N. G. Wagle, Mr. Vasant B. Halbe and Mrs. Swaran Khandpur.
March 28, 2001
Dr. R. K. Anand