Author Interview #2: Dr. Sandeep Huilgol and Santosh Avvannavar

A few months ago, a book called “Second Heart” was published. It was written in order to create awareness among the general public about a very important organ, the kidneys. Kidneys are referred to as the second heart of the human body and hence the name of the book. 
I had an opportunity to interview the authors of the book, Dr. Sandeep Huilgol and Santosh Avvannavar. I am sharing the interview below.
Santosh and Sandeep
1. First of all congratulations to both of you for your book “Second Heart”. What made you to write a book regarding kidneys?

Sandeep and Santosh: Thanks Natasha for your warm wishes. We are privileged to get a good review from you.

Sandeep: As far as your question is concerned, Kidneys diseases are very common but the awareness about this issue is very less among the general public. Most of the patients which we come across are because of neglect on the part of the patient and this comes out of lack of awareness. After seeing such patients I felt the need to do something to bring about awareness. And if you look at many other disease conditions like lets say HIV, common man knows about this a lot and this has been possible by repeated awareness campaigns. So we thought we will begin awareness campaign by doing our bit. What do you say Santosh?

Santosh: Thanks Natasha, the idea come over a cup of coffee while talking to Sandeep one evening. Although we didn’t know have complete clarity to begin but were determined to work for the cause for kidney issues.

2. Are the stories in your book based on your patients and acquaintances?

Sandeep: Most of the stories are an inspiration from real patients although the fiction part is work of creativity by Santosh.

3. How did you both come together for the book?

Sandeep: Santosh will tell you more about it.

Santosh: Sandeep was my school junior at St.Anne’s Lions High School. As I mentioned, idea happened over a cup of coffee. I had to visit his work place and talk to him on regular basis to get inputs for technical jargons and their meaning to put it in the right context.

4. Readers are definitely going to learn about issues regarding kidney ailments through your book. How are you making sure that more people are reading your book?

Santosh: This is a million dollar question! I hope there was sure recipe towards it. Home and friends are the best place to begin. Although we are making efforts writing to various doctors, pharma companies, continue to conduct book reading session at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune at moment. We are also doing seeding (free give away and competition) and participating in online forum of kidney related issues. We are also sending the production houses to see if someone is interested to pick to make a short movie or commercial movie. I see the last story ‘Shalom’ has a potential to make a movie, as it has all typical Bollywood potboiler. The book has started to appear in some local stores in Karnataka, hope to see it across other states as well.

5. What would you advise a regular person like me so that I give due importance to my kidneys?

Sandeep: Most important of this regular health check up, that is how you can get to know if you have kidney disease. Kidney diseases are very silent most of the times until you reach an end stage when you start getting the signs and symptoms of it.

Santosh: (smiles) read the book and you will get to know most of it.

6. Do you think a national campaign for kidney awareness among the general public will go a long way?

Sandeep: Definitely yes. Not only the general public, even the doctors are to be educated a lot. Since it is a specialty subject at undergraduate level in MBBS the knowledge acquired is very less. Even that has to be targeted. Santosh from common public point of view what do you say?. 

Santosh: I see analogy with HIV, couple of decades ago HIV was underfloor but over a period of time people have started to talk about it, accept the challenge and movies are made on this line to promote. I assume this is going to happen with Kidney issues as well in near future.

7. Are there any plans of similar projects?

Santosh: Yes, it’s still at nascent stage. We hope to continue to have series on kidney topic.

8. Would you like to give any message to your readers?

Santosh: ‘As much you love your heart, love your kidney the same way.’ Both beats for same reason! That’s make our book tagline, ‘First Heart Beats for Love, Second Heart Beats for Life.’

Sandeep: First of all many thanks for our readers for your love, we have been able to reach at least a few. The target of reaching many is not possible by only a few interested. Every one whoever acquires knowledge should pass on to others and make them aware about it.

Thanks Natasha for the opportunity, and it was nice interacting with you! God bless.

I have already reviewed the book “Second Heart”. It is a appreciable step towards creating awareness about such a important organ as the kidneys. I wish the authors all the best for this book and all their books to come. I would also like to thank them for answering my questions.

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