My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So it was when my life began;
So it is now I am a man . . .
The child is father of the man.
— William Wordsworth
What is put into the upbringing of a child could
determine what he turns out to be as a man. Dr. Anand’s book
goes beyond the mother and the child to the upbringing of a
child and the making of a man or woman. To that task, the author brings to bear his gentle wisdom. He sees life steadily
and sees it whole. He touches on all the essentials of child care.
He starts at the root, the pregnant mother, and goes
back to her upbringing. Her diet, as a child, makes the
healthy mother. The dignity we accord to the girl child will
result in a healthy nation — physically and mentally. He covers breastfeeding on which he is an internationally
recognised authority. He deals with understanding the behaviour of children that sometimes confounds parents. He goes
to the next step from childhood, to adolescence, a
period which can be difficult both for the young person and the parents.
He warns parents about being ‘too ambitious’ for
their children, driving them not only to studies but to too
many other activities. As one school principal so well put
it: “Today’s children do not seem to know what childhood
He speaks of the influence of the parents’ way of life
on the child and the value to the child of the time a parent
devotes to him or her.
As Professor of Paediatrics at the T. N. Medical College and B. Y. L. Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai, he
inspired a generation of students with his zeal and his concern not
only for the well-being of the children they attended to, but also for society as a whole.
As a doctor, he was called upon repeatedly to attend to severely under-nourished babies who were fed on an
improper proportion of milk powder and water by mothers who thought it was more healthy to feed their children
with a bottle rather than the breast which Nature had equipped
them to do. Many of these babies he could save, but when he
could not save a child one day, he decided to launch his
crusade against the ‘bottle culture’. This crusade has taken
him to national and international fora. It also led him to the establishment of a consumer organisation devoted
health issues called ACASH (Association for Consumers Action on Safety and Health).
I have had the privilege of being close to Dr. Anand for 30 years and I know how on every occasion he has fought
the battle in the interest of the child consumer, be it in
India or abroad. As he did so, he has tried to summon love in his heart for the opponent without compromising on his principles.
Dr. Anand is distinguished not only for his knowledge, which is expected of a Fellow of the Royal College of
Physicians, but even more so for the two principles that govern his life. They come from his strong spiritual
background. The first is ‘Ishwar
means, whatever you do, do it as an offering — a service to
the Lord. When he examines a child, he does it with gratitude to
God for the opportunity to serve Him. His second principle is ‘Prasad Budhi’ — an attitude of acceptance of the result after having given one’s best. If a child is getting better
under his care, he is grateful to the Lord. If the improvement is not as
expected, he reviews the case and gives due consideration to other possibilities. If the situation demands, he is not shy
to take another opinion.
The reader may recognise that no author could have written such a book
had he not experienced the joy of a wellknit family life. His wife Asha,
his sons, his daughters-in-law and, above all, his grandchildren have
all given him priceless insights that have enriched this book. They may
not have picked up the pen, but they too have written the book.
Dr. Anand’s earnestness, his transparent honesty and love for people, especially children, are apparent
even at the first meeting with him. When giving me a report on
our servant’s 6 month-old child who was taken to him for
the first time, he said, ‘Dear Alvita is very weak. She needs...’
I asked myself, ‘How many doctors would think of or refer to their infant patients in such affectionate terms?’ But this
is the man.
You can sometimes know a man through a word or words that spring spontaneously and frequently from him.
Dr. Anand’s favourite word is ‘Love’. It is his
love for the little Alvitas of life that has made him write this book.
I am delighted the first edition was such a success and
it is appropriate that he has widened the canvas of the present edition as he explains in his Preface. He has put in
this fresh effort because of his passion to create happy families
in a happy world.
January 14, 2001
R. M. Lala
7 March, 2016