On its mission to bring effective change in India, Rotary Rahat is all set to roll out world’s biggest health mission from July 2021. Led by a team of committed rotarians all across the world, the mission, which is touted as one the largest examples of public private partnership, will be cover the length and breadth of India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. We at NewsX recently organised a special public service broadcast to spread awareness about initiative, which was joined by Shekhar Mehta, Incoming Rotary International President of 2021-22, Dr. Naresh Trehan, Padmabhushan and Chairman of Medanta, Vivek Tankha, Member of Parliament and Rotarian himself and Kartikeya Sharma, Founder of iTV Network. 

In his opening remarks, Shekhar Mehta highlighted the commendable work done by Rotary International in the past and said, “Rotary has been involved in many things and the biggest has been the eradication of polio. Over the years, medical mission has become an important part of the work that we do. In India, we do these large camps and some of the best doctors are present there giving their services. Various health check ups are done, their surgeries are done if required. The advantage of Rotary is because of its entire network. We have two lakh people whose mottos is to serve the people and they do in this education, health, water, sanitation. In the last ten years, we have done 25, 000 paediatric heart surgeries and we want to do 35,000 heart surgeries for children”. 

Dr. Naresh Trehan said, “It is a privilege to be a part of an organisation like Rotary, which treats 50,000 people for free. This is remarkable and I think Mr. Tankha has been very dedicated towards the whole thing. I feel this is a great mission to carry it forward, starting July and the whole mission from Kanyakumari up to Kashmir is a worthwhile thing to do. In the middle of Covid, which has disrupted life in many many ways, where people who need care have not been able to have access because of the fear of movement. The purpose of these camps is to do detection of whatever morbidity exists and guide them for the future. It has become more complex because many people have had Covid and have already suffered the infection and the side effects are carried on, so I think this kind of camp takes importance of the fact that there is a huge population out there who desperately need help and maybe on their own unable to access it. We examine, we diagnose and then we treat, that is the mission of the kind of camp that are held around the country. Medanta will be backing it and we will be backing it more vigorously”. 

He further emphasised the points that need to be kept in mind while organising such camps. “ The main concern is the safety of the personnel and the safety of the people who come to attend the camp. In this Covid era, this has created a challenge. We will have to carefully plan our camps. It is going to be more time consuming and even more difficult as to get the people. First they have to be screened for what they need to come to the camp for. Suppose people are in a separate situation, we will have to establish separate areas so all these things will come upto the planning. The point comes that if we go by the estimates of vaccination drive that we have, the government is expanding it more and more. A large number of people who come to the camp are vaccinated and completed their vaccination by two doses, hopefully they will develop immunity and these are the things that go into the thought process. A lot of the population has been covered by Ayushmann and that entitles them to treatment everywhere. All the members of the providers, healthcare providers who sign up for the scheme will be able to participate. The amount of money required to accomplish the mission, our million objectives are achievable now. We need connections everywhere. The way the population is covered by the Gold Card, the Ayushmann Card. We will have to recruit diagnostics and treatment wherever they need it. There may not be facilities in Kashmir itself, that means like us, institutions who are participating will help, So every specialty will be covered We are ready to link with NGOs who are identifying people who cannot otherwise get access to healthcare”. 

When asked the motto behind these camps, Mr. Vivek Tanha said, “In 2019, we had one lakh patients but the whole administration was with us. Thousands of surgeries took place. I remember doctors performing surgeries of those tribal women, who otherwise may not have got a chance to live. When you see a leader like Shekhar who is willing to take mega projects, it is all the more motivational and encouraging. We have 38 districts and 38 governors, we have rotarians in all parts of India and each of them wanting to work. What could be a better situation than to serve the people of India. You are reaching healthcare to the unreached. We send patients to the top hospitals.” 

Narrating his experience with Rotary, Mr. Kartikeya Sharma said, “I was a part of the 2019 Rahat camp and I saw what was happening. It was mind-boggling and it motivated us at ITV Foundation as well to collaborate and take it to the furthest. Everything about Rotary is massive and what rotary as an organisation has been doing is fantastic. Rahat is a fantastic concept, which have been able to reach millions of people in the last 10 years. When we spoke about it, I really wanted to be a part of this organisation such as Medanta and Dr. Trehan and the initiatives taken by such civil society, which make such possibilities happen.” He further committed Rs 100 crore worth of TV space across ITV network to promote and take the mission to the farthest parts of the country over the next one year.