If You Think About Rarer Diseases At The Outset, Chances Of Making A Correct Diagnosis Is Also Rare.

By Dr. Sudip Chakraborty

Unlike chest pain, abdominal pain often doesn’t receive the seriousness it deserves &   diagnosis is quite often delayed. With a wide range of causes, right from benign conditions like indigestion to extremely dangerous diseases like pancreatitis and cancer, abdominal pain always is a tough nut to crack. This list is by no means complete because of word limit. Gynaecological causes will be addressed by respective specialist.

1)            Always watch out for associated danger signs like unnatural blood loss from any orifice, passing black pasty stool, significant unintentional loss of more than 10% body weight in less than 6 months, difficulty in swallowing solid foods, nocturnal pain awakening the person from sleep, progressive swelling\lump in abdomen etc.

2)            On the contrary  vague  pain of long duration  without much loss of weight or change in appetite, pain reducing after passing motion, associated stress or having a personality of anxiousness or an obsession that daily complete evacuation of bowel is a must for good health doesn’t  usually has anything serious causative factor.

3)            Pain just below lower right rib margin, increasing on deep breathing, often radiating to back and associated with fullness and early loss of appetite, may be due to gall bladder stones.

4)            Sharp pain in and around umbilicus with nausea and vomiting, partially relieving on leaning forward position could be due to pancreatitis. Common in alcoholics and in patients with gall stones.

5)            Gastric pain is very commonly heard but honestly it is nonspecific and I always try to know what exactly one means by that. Many a lives has been lost by attributing symptoms to gas. Right from gall bladder & pancreatic stones to stomach cancer, patients can have symptoms similar to GAS. Explaining associated symptoms especially in high risk groups like smoker, alcoholics, elderly patient and having family history of above diseases, should be carefully looked for.

6)            Pain due to hollow organ pathology like bowel and ureter (tube connecting kidneys to urinary bladder) is usually colicky which means it comes and goes in waves. So colicky pain  in either side of back or front of abdomen associated with urinary problems like blood in urine, difficulty\increased frequency or blockage of urine is usually suggestive of genito urinary disease, commonly kidney stone here in Islands.

7)            Similarly colicky pain associated with vomiting (bilious or feculent) progressively increasing abdominal fullness, not passing stool or wind, could be due to intestinal obstruction. Patient having pain over lower right side of abdomen with localized rigidity along with vomiting & fever can have appendicitis.

8)            Pain of gastric\duodenal ulcer is usually around umbilicus or above, related with meals either aggravating or relieving it, often waking him at night, may be associated with vomiting often self induced to relieve the pain temporarily.

9)            Pain along with yellowish urine and eyes, generalized itching, nausea, swelling of legs and abdominal distension, reddish spots in body, altered sleep pattern, easy briusablity suggests liver as the culprit organ.

10)          Rarer causes are actually not that rare unless we specifically look for, of course after one has exhausted the common causes first. Like abdominal migraine( instead of headache, patient having abdominal pain) and Celiac disease which is due to allergy to wheat and its products, presenting as  recurrent loose motions, loss of weight, frequent oral ulcer, feeling of indigestion etc. Never thought I could see above patients here but have more than 20 such documented patients now.  

On the occasion of the first anniversary of Lt. Gen. (Retd) A.K. Singh, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM as the Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude. Within a year of your posting as the Lt. Governor, you have understood the challenges faced by the islanders. Sir, you have touched our lives in many ways and inspired us to move ahead, no matter how big a hurdle that lies ahead.  The Tsunami of 2004 had shattered our lives. It has been ten years after the heart breaking incident and yet we were not able to come over it. Your visit to our remote islands and your positive approach towards life and commitment to your job has greatly touched us. We are confident that you will lead the islands in the right direction. On behalf of the Tribal Council, I would like to extend all our support in your mission for a holistic development of the islands.

Ayesha Majid

Chairperson, Tribal Council,



- Definitely a woman who seems to have the Most and needs the Least.

Mrs Suneeti Singh, The First Lady of ANI, born in the army and married within the army, is a pure thoroughbred of the Army. And as such, reflects a very high moral integrity which also reflects her rigid sense of ‘right’  or ‘wrong’.  A person - truly apolitical, completely dedicated to all close to her heart, THE woman behind the success of all the three Men in her life, and still standing proudly as an individual - with no highlighted achievements to her credit.  All who know her, are still unable to comprehend her ability to squeeze in the work of four days into one. Her persona exudes a certain kind of energy rarely found!

As a universally acclaimed animal lover, she devotes herself to numerous Dogs at home and the Horses in the stables. Yet, she manages to do justice to the multifarious roles she plays in her life. Being herself empowered, Suneeti Singh has always stood for Women Empowerment, and has rightly regarded it as the true essence of a woman’s being. It has been her main focus through the years. She has relentlessly advocated Education, Health Care and done all she could for them who could manage to reach out to her.

The Islands and the Islanders do have a special place in her heart. During her visits to Andamans, she has been visiting various social welfare institutions like the Working Women’s Hostels, Orphanages/Homes and has inspired many initiatives.

It was at her behest that a lot of activities were introduced at the Balika Niketan, a home for orphan and destitute girls. With the desire to make available a window to the world, she has got them introduced to yoga, classical music and dance, development of communication skills, art and craft. Talking to her, clearly reflects the pain she feels for all that needs to be done.

Various new facilities were added in the Old Age Home and the Working Women’s Hostel following her visits.


A unique initiative, exemplifying the largesse of her heart, was the introduction of regular visits by school children to the Raj Niwas providing them a unique opportunity for this kind of interface.

It gives me immense pleasure to wish our Hon’ble Lt. Governor, Lt. Gen. (Retd) A.K. Singh, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM  on the occasion of his first anniversary as the Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. You have been a great source of inspiration to the people of these islands, especially the Nicobarese tribal community, who are touched by your humble nature and spirit to move ahead. I wish you all the very best and sincerely hope that our Islands would prosper under your able guidance.

Rani Fathima


Queen of Nancowrie

Lt. Gen (Retd) Ak Singh: Family Memorabilia

Lt General A K Singh, The Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the only son of the late Chowdhry Jai Narain Singh and the late Shrimati Tripti Devi. Born into an old and illustrious family with two generations of Rai Bahadur his Great Grandfather was Rai Bahadur Chowdhry Nihal Singh. In memory, and as a sign of respect, there also is a street named after him in Old Delhi which used to be their old family home. His Grandfather was Rai Bahadur Chowdhry Raghunath Singh.

He has three sisters Meera Shankar, Late Dr Geeta Chowdhry and Sudha Sarin with whom he shares a very close filial bond. He is married to Mrs Suneeti Singh who is a housewife and a universally recognized animal lover.

Mrs Suneeti Singh an army officer’s daughter, has been a constant source of support to her husband and the invisible force which goaded him forward in aiming high and also achieving all aimed. An inveterate animal lover she enjoys taking care of her dogs and horses personally and her most cherished moments are spent in their company. She has also been a teacher and was instrumental in developing some interesting Montessori formats for creative teaching. Extremely concerned about the Jawan wives Mrs Singh has taken time to understand their problems and difficulties and always worked towards easing them. Clearly, service before self is a motto she lives by. 

They are blessed with two sons, Vishal Singh, a mariner who has excelled and made a name for himself in this field and Udai Singh, a Nationally acclaimed Equestrian, who has been encouraged to pursue his passion for horse riding since his childhood. Udai has excelled and won several championships over the years and is now focused to make a mark for himself at the forthcoming Asian Games and the Olympics.

His elder sister Meera Shankar served as India’s Ambassador to the United States of America from 2009 to 2011. She was India’s second female ambassador to the United States of America, Vijaya Lakshmi Nehru Pandit being the first. Prior to 2009, she served as India’s Ambassador in Berlin, Germany.

Meera is married to Ajay Shankar, an IAS officer, who retired as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. They are blessed with a daughter - Priya.

His second sister Dr Geeta Chowdhry, a professor of the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University (NAU), died while in India with her family early this year. She was preceded in death by her parents. She had been at Northern Arizona University since 1989.

Previously she taught at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florida and her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from St. John’s College in Agra, India, where she grew up.

Geeta is survived by her husband, Dr Mark Beeman, a professor of Sociology and Social Work at NAU and son Jai.

The LG’s youngest sister - Sudha Sarin joined corporate India and is a Communications Professional with over 2 decades of experience. Sudha has worked with CEO’s and Industry leaders, of several Multi National & Indian Companies as a very successful entrepreneurs. She recently left her role as Managing Director – IPAN Hill & Knowlton India to work independently with companies and entrepreneurs to lend them her expertise, gained over the last two decades. 

Sudha is married to Ajay Sarin, a businessman and resides in New Delhi with her husband and sons Raghav and Pranav. 

The Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is an ex student of Sainik School Rewa and former Commander in Chief of Southern Command, of the Indian Army. Lt Gen (Retd) A K Singh, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, the Lt Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Ex-General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, alumnus of National Defence Academy was commissioned into one of the oldest Regiments, the 7th Light Cavalry on 17 June 1973 and has had an illustrious career with the Indian Army.

Born into a liberal family, his earliest influences were his father’s deep intellect, and large heartedness along with his mother’s grounded view of life and selfless service to friends and family. He imbibed his father’s intellect and many close to the family have been witness to his large heartedness.

His father the late Chowdhry Jai Narain Singh had completed his Masters in History from St Stephens College, New Delhi and was deeply interested in the social political fabric of the country.  His deep interest towards the social fabric of our country reflected itself in his efforts to helping highly intelligent yet under privileged boys and girls to achieve a sound educational grounding which would stand them and the society in good stead.

The Lt Governor was also deeply influenced by his mother, Shrimati Tripti Devi who despite not having a formal education was an astute, compassionate and wise woman whose focus was to ensure a sound education for her children that would provide them a place in the world. Her focus and dedication paid off and her children have all done her and their father proud.  She played a pivotal role in steering the life of her children and was a source of constant support and encouragement for them with her guiding force and deep wisdom.

Overall, the family reflects a very nationalistic fervour and is guided by the family ethos as imbibed from their parents – ‘to give more than you receive’, and ‘share and care’.


The Lt Governor has led a life which is deeply rooted in the early learning’s of his life ‘Good Thought, Good Words and Good Deed’ seems to be truly committed to making a difference in the lives of the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.