In his previous column, Dr Anantpal Singh talked about his experiences as a healthcare innovator in Bihar. This piece in the series explores Uttar Pradesh.
The importance of this State zooms across time and civilizations. The great Indus Valley civilization and Harappan civilization are historic.
Novelist Ruskin Bond once said: “I had been to other countries – in Europe,Asia and the Middle East – but none of them had provided even half as much variety, or so much to see and experience and remember, as this one State in northern India. You can travel from one end of Australia to the other, but everywhere on that vast continent you will find that people dress in the same way, eat the same kind of food, listen to the same music. This colourless uniformity is apparent in many other countries of the world, both East and West. But Uttar Pradesh is a world in itself.”
Indian culture has blossomed since time immemorial here. Uttar Pradesh is the land of the great rivers Ganga and Yamuna. The sacred soil of UP has seen heroes like Lord Rama who reigned over Ayodhya, Lord Krishna the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu who was born in Mathura, Lord Mahavira, Lord Buddha and the famous demon king, Ravana. In the 16th century, King Babbar, one of the descendants of Timmur and Genghis Khan, invaded India and brought the Mughals, who ruled from Agra.
Present day Uttar Pradesh is a famous tourist destination because of the Taj Mahal built in the 17th century by King Shah Jahan. Other famous sites are Bada Imambara and Chota Imambara, and Ramabhar Stupa, a magnificent 50-foot structure build over a portion of Lord Buddha’s ashes.
For us at Spectrum Health Solutions, Bihar inspired us to move our healthcare initiatives further up in India. We planned a trip to the State has given India 14 prime ministers. We surveyed Kanhauli, Bhogipati, Kundi, Nishan, Mahimapur, Gaddipur, Dewalkarpur and Jaunpur and talked to the villagers, and tried to understand their condition, which were incidentally identical to Bihar.
There were multiple ‘jhola chaap’ doctors and no medical pharmacies. People travel to Muftiganj to procure medicines. Since there are no qualified M.B.B.S doctors, the villagers are compelled to travel for treatment to Jaunpur city, which is another 22 km from Muftiganj. There is a government hospital 3 km from Gaddipur but it is lacking in facilities and availability of medicines. We zeroed in on Muftiganj to set up our clinic. There are eight villages within a radius of 8 km, covering approximately 15,000 to 18,000 people.
The local population depends on farming for their livelihood. In this neighbourhood, we discovered that there is perpetually one member in each family in need of serious medical help on account of some physical, pathological, infectious, addiction-related or hygiene-related health issue. This estimate is over and above deficiencies and malnutrition. Add to that skin ailments, joint and bone disorders, lung disorders, diabetes and hypertension. The rainy season is dreaded since there are frequent outbreaks of infectious diseases including gastroenteritis, typhoid and jaundice.
People spend 40% to 50% of their life’s savings on medical assistance. Since they have to travel long distances to get satisfactory medical help, the villagers have no choice but to turn to jhola chaap doctors.
Now, thanks to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, the living conditions seem to be improving. People have started building toilets within their homes. Witnessing the poverty, high incidence of malnutrition in children and acute shortage of doctors, we plan to open five clinics providing free medical support to all. One is already operational.
I am pleased to be a part of the health revolution. My team We at Spectrum Health Solutions solemnly pledge all our support for the Beti Bachao movement by the government of the day. We would like to invite all like-minded companies to join us on this platform with constructive and decisive CSR support, and help in the formation of ‘a healthy India’.
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