FOGSI, the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India, recently concluded its ‘Nari Swasthya Janandolan Yatra’, a 40-day journey aimed at promoting holistic health awareness among Indian women, with a special emphasis on preventing and curing anemia. Led by FOGSI’s president, Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, the initiative was part of his ‘Badlaav’ campaign, which seeks to improve the health scenarios of women in the country by integrating various measures, including equality, technology, and preventive healthcare.
The Yatra covered over 4,000 km and touched the lives of nearly 60 million people in 21 cities across five Indian states, namely Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. The ride featured a large red anaemia bus and a big video van that played women’s health-related messages, specially prepared by FOGSI members, to reach out to the community. Additionally, 21 health check-up camps were conducted, and more than 4,000 patients were examined, with relevant data collected. The Yatra also included 21 public forums and 21 continuing medical education workshops.
At the launch of the ‘Na Na Anemia Ride’, which took place on the banks of the Ganges at Rishikesh on 29th November, Bollywood celebrity Ms. Karishma Kapoor unveiled the ‘Anemia Hatao Bus’ and the ‘Van with the Big Screens’, which displayed various health messages. She also spoke about her personal experience with anaemia and expressed her delight at being part of such a noble initiative to improve the healthcare of women in India. The launch was attended by numerous FOGSI members and senior doctors, including current FOGSI Vice Presidents Dr. Alka Pandey, Dr. Yashodhara Pradeep, Dr. Asha Baxi, and Dr. Sampath Kumari, as well as FOGSI National Co-ordinators Dr. Rishma Pai and Dr. Nandita Palshetkar, and several other senior doctors.
During the yatra, Dr. Pai felicitated activists working to spread awareness about women’s health, while also highlighting the need to intensify efforts to address all causes of anaemia in a mission mode using a multi-pronged strategy rather than a scattered programme. Iron deficiency, often confused with a deficiency of vital vitamins that is common in India, is one of the leading causes of anaemia in the country.
The ‘Badlaav’ campaign and the ‘Nari Swasthya Janandolan Yatra’ aim to bring about a change in women’s health scenarios in India by raising awareness and training doctors to provide advanced treatment for anemia. Although Dr. Pai acknowledged that this would take time, he expressed confidence that the campaign would bring about positive change and vowed to continue working towards achieving this goal.