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She works wonders with diet


Anuradha Reddy poses for a photograph in front of the mini fountain in her tastefully decorated drawing room. Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

A cancer patient, who was virtually written off by doctors, has miraculously recovered. The doctors who had treated him little realised that diet can work wonders on the patient. They realised that more than their treatment, it was the efforts of the dietician which helped in bringing back the patient to normality.

The dietician is M. Anuradha Reddy, who is associated with several organisations and has a number of awards to her credit. A consultant dietician to several hospitals in the city, she says "Even a patient who is in a coma, requires a coma feed and in the control of certain diseases, diet plays a crucial role."

Mrs. Reddy wanted to do something for the poor and needy right from an early age. She roped in doctors from the city and started the Diabetes Foundation in 1997. It has been working for alleviating the sufferings of diabetics through awareness campaigns and organising screening camps. The foundation conducts awareness camps once in three months. On an average about 500 patients attend each camp.

She has given several talks in India and abroad on diabetes and also on general health and authored "The diabetic's handbook: Most of your questions answered" to help diabetics in understanding the disease and living with it. The 45-page book answers 114 questions related to the problem. The handbook has also been translated into Telugu for the benefit of the rural people and distributed by the foundation.

While on a trip to Japan, she achieved a breakthrough for diabetic patients. She noticed that the people there were consuming a particular tea "Gymnema Sylvester" as a health drink. She found on scrutiny that the tea was imported from India. The tea left a bitter taste in the mouth. On return to India, she made a study for seven months on the tea, which was grown in the Nilgiris and found out that it could be effectively used by diabetics for management of the disease.

Mrs. Reddy is an active Rotarian and raised Rs.1 lakh for the setting up of the proposed Rotary Blood Bank. She is associated with Sanskriti Charitable Trust, which sponsors the treatment of children suffering from heart diseases. Her source of inspiration is her eldest brother T. Gurunatha Reddy, who is a gastroenterologist in Houston.

As the district coordinator of Rotary International, Anuradha calls for greater awareness on eye donation. "Eye donation should be taken up as a movement and spread to all families across the length and breadth of the country to reduce the incidence of blindness". She avers "Over two million people in India are victims of corneal blindness and a majority of them are children, and another 25,000 are added every year. However, only about 15,000 eyes are being collected by eye banks as against the requirement of 40,000 per annum. There are thousands of blind persons in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari districts."

She had served as consultant to the British and Canadian High Commissions in New Delhi during 1987-90 and as a consultant to an international health agency, when she was in the U.S. between 1990 and 1996. She was adjudged the best dietician at a conference in San Fransisco.

Mrs. Reddy has been selected as chairperson of the Adi Sankara Charitable Trust Hospital and Research Centre, which is being set up at China Mushidivada near Pendurthy. The proposed 100-bed hospital will cater for the needs of the underprivileged. The Diabetes Foundation will arrange for free blood and clinical tests for such patients free of cost. Cases needing surgery would also be sponsored, provided the patients cannot afford the cost, she adds.

Despite her busy schedule, she accords top priority to her family. Her husband, M. Srinivasa Reddy, who had done his doctorate from IIT, Delhi, was selected for the "Young scientist award", while he was in the US.

Though she has not done any course in interior designing, she has a great taste in interior decoration, which is evident from a glance at her tastefully decorated house. She chills out through yoga, meditation and gardening.

B. MADHU GOPAL

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