Light at the End of the Tunnel
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
Brigadier PKM RAJA, SM, VSM (RETD)
After months of gloom and despair, Diwali this year seems to have brought in cheer on all fronts, especially in the marginal restriction of the Covid Pandemic which seems like the proverbial “Light at the end of the Tunnel
Looking back over the years, I can still vividly remember the evolution of Krumur Clinic from our humble beginnings in 2011 as a home office at Sopan Baug, Pune with 2 Ex Armed Forces Physical Training Experts and a Sports Medicine Specialist who flew in from Jammu every month to help us establish our operations.
Long hours of endless discussions around the alarming deterioration of health indices in the country, poor sporting performance and how we were not able to offer any concrete solutions to bring about a change took up most of our days as well as nights.
This was truly a small team with lofty ideals and a will to uncover an operation not attempted ever by small first time entrepreneurs. Athlete Training and National Health Indices back in the day was always the Governments prerogative. Not for Retired Army Officers and a Lady Doctor or so we were told!
Now that I look back, the genesis of who we are today can be traced back, to a week long official visit to Budapest, Hungary in 2011.
On this specific occasion I had intended to engage with the Scientific teams at the Semmelweis University to see how we could bring their expertise to India with regards to High Performance Sport Training and Physical Education. “
Hungary, a small European country ravaged by the 1st and 2nd World war has won more than 169 Olympic Gold Medals. In the last 100 years. On an average, they tend to win at-least 4 Gold Medals in every Olympic Games.
This particular visit to Budapest, completely changed my perception of what really affects countries like India who have talent at the grassroots but are not able to translate that talent to World Class performances.
It is pertinent to point out here that as part of my assignments with the International Boxing Federation and the Indian Olympic Association, I have had the opportunity to closely observe world class Sport Training and Management from the late 80s onwards. I was fortunate to have travelled extensively for many World Championships, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games etc.
Having participated in 3 Olympic Games I have led programmes for the Indian Army and the Govt of India which needed extensive interactions with top Sport Administrators,
Coaches, Sports Medicine Specialist Doctors, Physiotherapists, Conditioners and Athletes throughout the world.
At the Semmelweis University, I realised that Hungary had been able to introduce and sustain a National Physical Education and Sport Program over the past 75 years that ensured that every child is introduced to the rigours of Active Living very early in their School Education.
The Structures and Programmes were designed in such a way as to offer programmes across the country through qualified Physical Educationists at the school levels who were ably supported by coaches and designated Sports Science experts intervening at multiple points throughout the growth of the child into adulthood. Further, it was a revelation to see that the Middle Aged & Old were always active and engaged in significant Physical activities despite the onset of age related conditions that afflict millions of people world wide.
It would suffice to say that these startling findings kindled my desire to establish an organisation in India that could combine Scientific, Systematic and Progressive Physical Education Programmes which ensure that our children grow up to become Healthy, Physically Fit and Pain Free Adults who lead a physically active life
By 2013, we were able to add Scientific and Medical talent to our team who brought in domain knowledge with their own experiences in Indian Sport and High Performances.
Every New year brought with it many new challenges and many new opportunities. We had some great successes and some nasty failures along the way. The initial years were a struggle for survival but yet the determination to succeed and the commitment of all our teams towards the organisation which was barely able to stand on its feet has been behind our sustained delivery of dedicated services in the past 7 year