Maharashtra is India’s second-most populous state and third-largest state by area. It is one of the few states which gave a very hard time to the Mughal invaders. It was always an important hotspot during India’s freedom struggle including the first and second uprising against the British empire, with the likes of Veer Savarkar, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the great social reformer Jyotirao Phule hailing from here.
Maharashtra is the wealthiest state by all major economic parameters and also the most industrialized state in India. It continues to be the single largest contributor to the national economy with a share of approx. 15% to the country’s gross domestic product.
Healthcare infrastructure in Maharashtra consisted of 363 rural government hospitals, 23 district hospitals (with 7,561 beds), 4 general hospitals (with 714 beds) mostly under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and 380 private medical establishments. These establishments provide the state with more than 30,000 hospital beds.
Maharashtra has a life expectancy at birth of 67.2 years according to Census 2011, ranking it third among 29 Indian states. The fertility rate is 1.9 while the infant mortality rate is 28 and the maternal mortality ratio is 104 (2012–2013), which are lower than the national averages.
Since Maharashtra is a large state, it is difficult to identify the location of the clinics. So my team started from the nearest possible location where we can set up the clinics. We planned to visit Raigad district by road. The administrative headquarter of the Raigad district is in Alibaug. After going through all the details, we identified that Roha would be the ideal location for setting up the clinics.
Roha is a small taluka in Raigad, located between the banks of the Kundalika River and the hills of Kailasagiri. It is located 120 km southeast of Mumbai. It is the starting point of the Konkan railway and end point of central railways (Mumbai). Many chemical industries have opened their manufacturing units in Roha.
There are total 168 small villages in Roha taluka. Out of the population of 1,75,000, the urban population is merely 49,000, which implies that most people are villagers.
We zeroed in on Ambewadi in Roha located 53 km East from Alibag. The total population is approx. 5,000 and the female population is 47.4%.
Ground water is the major source of drinking water. There was a high presence of chloride, possible due to discharge of sewage, industrial water in the water body. Higher concentrations of TDS was found which may cause heart and kidney diseases.
Most of the villagers are suffering from water-borne diseases, and had to travel to Penn city for treatment, as far as 50 km from Ambewadi. Surprisingly, even a taluka like Raigad with chemical factories nearby does not have proper healthcare facilities. People have respiratory issues, acute diarrheal disease due to unhygienic conditions. The situation wasn’t much different in the nearby villages of Sambe, Pui, Bhuvan and Killa.
The pressing need in the interiors of Maharashtra is for the villagers to have safe drinking water, to be educated in hygienic practices and for sanitation measures.
Dr Anantpal Singh is a leading physician, entrepreneur and health researcher from Spectrum Health Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Dr Singh envisions a global community with healthcare solutions which are simple to use and deliver better results than conventional methods.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
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The CSR Journal Team