EDISON — Angad Dhindsa of Edison, a senior at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in North Edison, worked during the summer of 2009 and once during spring break in 2010 in a children’s hospital named NPH (Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos) Saint Damien Hospital in Haiti. The only free pediatric hospital in Haiti, it was run by a non-governmental organization called Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs, which translates into “our little brothers and sisters.”
Dhindsa shared, “At the hospital I worked primarily in the free dental clinic, for that is something I am interested in doing as a future career. I was able to get a firsthand experience at what it was like to be a dentist with the charts, developing x-rays and sanitizing. In addition to my work in the dental office, I used to help take care of the orphans and children admitted to the hospital by playing with them and feeding them. After the earthquake, I returned to Haiti with the intention to help in any way I could. However, the hospital was already saturated with volunteer doctors from all over the world. So, I was told I would be welcome in the dental clinic again. I had the same responsibilities as before, though I was able to see the devastation the earthquake had caused on the Haitians as they came to get help with broken legs, arms, etc.”
He added, “My work in Haiti, as well as outside of it, had a tremendous impact on me. At the time, my father was working with the United Nations Mission in Haiti so I was able to go to many places that were affected by the earthquake. It was an extremely humbling experience as I saw how truly blessed I am in my life. Seeing people who had absolutely nothing, but still managed to have a smile on their faces was really remarkable. I also saw the damage caused to many of the buildings that, just a few months ago, I was in.”
When asked if his experience in Haiti has inspired him to perform more outreach work in the future, he said, “I would really like to go back to Haiti, or any other nation in need, as a doctor and help the population in any way that I can. The devastation the earthquake caused, when viewed firsthand was hard to bear. When I saw some of the places I had been in before completely destroyed and unrecognizable, it was like I was in a dream. Most of the buildings in the capital, Port-Au-Prince, had been destroyed. When I saw the epicenter of the earthquake, there was not a building left standing. This showed me the force and damage natural disasters truly came with.”
Angad is the son of Mr. Harjit Dhindsa and Mrs. Reena Dhindsa of Edison.
Angad Dhindsa, pictured far right, poses with staff members at the Saint Damien Hospital dental clinic. Photo courtesy of the Wardlaw-Hartridge School
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