Quality healthcare was and continues to be among the key focus areas of the Sri Sathya Sai Avatar. The Sri Sathya Sai Aarogya Vahini, a mobile hospital project that endeavours to reach the poor and underprivileged in Kolkata, is the latest offering in Swami’s healthcare mission.
The Sri Sathya Sai Aarogya Vahini, aptly named by Bhagawan Himself, was born out of the sincere prayer and devotion of a group of devotees in Kolkata. Moved by the plight of the suffering and a deep-seated desire to be a part of Bhagawan’s mission, this motley group prayed for guidance from Bhagawan. Any act borne out of love attracts the grace of God on its own. It was no different in this case. They received clear instructions from Bhagawan regarding a gamut of resources required for the project – from doctors, volunteers and diagnostics, to even looking up the best practices from institutions running similar services in the country. Four members from the team immediately set out to visit the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital in Naya Raipur. The team also met healthcare professionals in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune. Interactions with the doctors and other healthcare personnel gave them the much-needed confidence to plunge into action.
To ascertain their reach with a specific focus on child health, a need assessment survey as well as screening camps were then initiated within a radius of 40 kilometres at Howrah and North and South 24 Parganas. Discussions regarding child health and nutrition with Principals of 75 schools was also carried out to better understand the needs and dynamics of the future beneficiaries, while another team worked on the nuances of running a mobile hospital service – learning about vehicle design, human resources, software development and other key parameters. By divine grace, many doctors and volunteers came forward to be a part of this project voluntarily.
The mobile hospital was presented to the team by Bhagawan Himself in May 2015. This project has since touched over 300 lives and has an active base of over 12 doctors and 35 volunteers.