Inspiration

Health is the real wealth, and to achieve anything in life one needs good health, which depends on many factors.  If one is born into a wealthy or at least a middle class family, the parents will more than likely take care of their children’s health and provide nutritious food and healthy living conditions. Unfortunately this may be not true in case of poor people. Children growing up in meagre living conditions without proper health facilities can suffer and may ultimately end up in low living.

Sathya Sai Baba, of India, has inspired millions of people across the globe to serve their fellow human beings, with pure love and without discrimination of colour, creed, caste, religion or nationality. In fact, he has shown the world that selfless service is the real application of spirituality, and when people are suffering with poor health conditions, one’s prayers and efforts must be turned to serve them and save them from diseases.

With the blessings and grace of Sathya Sai Baba, the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Maharashtra & Goa, in India, launched a massive health care project in 2008, commonly known as “Medicare”, to serve the villagers at their doorsteps, with complete medical facilities. Sai Baba told the organisers, “Do not wait for the opportunity to serve, go out and grab the opportunity that is already available,” and the organisers have done just that.

“Most viable alternative”

Hospitals and clinics play a useful role, but a vast number of diseases can be nipped in the bud by providing timely treatment, thus avoiding complicated treatment at a later stage. Mobile medical vans were acquired with in-built medical testing equipment. They were pressed into action after a formal inauguration by Sathya Sai Baba.  Such mobile dispensaries are the most viable alternative in terms of cost, time and manpower resources.
Joint purchase of medicines and strategic partnerships have been initiated to manufacture an exclusive range of medicines for this project.  The nonprofit organisation “Americare India” supports this project with a free supply of medicines, to a limited extent.

A centralised hub has been established, with proper drug licenses for acquiring, storing and distributing high quality medicines to all the mobile dispensaries.

As of December 2012, over 1.88 million patients have benefited from this project, with 26 districts operating these vans (some districts have more than one van). The mobile vans are reaching out to over 40,000 patients monthly to deliver free medicare at their doorsteps. In addition, 95 villages/slums have benefited – most of the villages under the Sri Sathya Sai Village Integrated Program were covered.

 

Notably, these vans have expanded their scope over the years and are now also used to propagate children’s character development (Sathya Sai Bala Vikas programme), prayers, spiritual singing (bhajans), and the distribution of health/nutritional biscuits. Videos on Sathya Sai Baba's life and works, and posters on health and hygiene, are displayed by some vans.

Positive results

The health standards of inmates of the adopted villages have improved significantly over the period, and their ability to work hard and improve their economic status has gone up, too, resulting in true empowerment.

Future plans

The organisers of this project are determining ways to improve and expand this Mobile Medicare Project. The Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Maharashtra & Goa, will seek to:

mother and child

  1. Cover the State of Maharashtra & Goa with at least one mobile van in each district, either individually or jointly with an adjacent district. 
  2. Provide basic healthcare to over 7 lakh (0.7 million) patients in the next year (2013-2014).
  3. Have all adopted villages be cataract- and malnutrition-free by March 2014.
  4. Establish emergency management plans for all covered areas.
  5. Initiate social and medical counseling in all adopted villages and slums, with special efforts to to educate inhabitants on various health, hygiene, nutrition, and sanitation issues.
  6. Have each Sathya Sai Seva Samithi (selfless service center) operate one mobile dispensary, with Mumbai City, Thane District, Navi Mumbai, and Panvel operating at least 12 vehicles, serving over 300,000 patients annually.
  7. Establish ties between all Sathya Sai Seva Samithis in Maharashtra & Goa State, local hospitals, and like-minded individuals and organisations for providing super-specialty services.
  8. Organise vaccination camps with the help of local authorities for diseases such as typhoid, jaundice, and polio. Organise specialised camps such as vision, mother and child, orthopedic, and dental care on a regular basis.

Service vounteers (sevadals) and Sai Women’s Orgnanizations (mahilas) will educate Sai colony inmates and residents of adopted villages on health, hygiene, nutrition, and sanitation.

We invite our well-wishers to join us on our visits to villages and help to spread awareness of this divine and noble service to our fellow human beings.

Additional Info

For more information on this project, including, perhaps, help in starting such a project, contact Sri Ramesh Sawant, State President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation – Maharashtra & Goa: sairam80@gmail.com

Keywords

Mobile Health Care | Maharashtra & Goa

Project Details

Project start: 06/13/08

Project completion:

Stage of development:

Zone name: India

Lat/Longitude: 19° 4' N 72° 52' E

Affiliation: Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization, Maharashtra & Goa

Service category: Medical clinic/camp

Author: VV

Project leader: Sri Ramesh Sawant

Medical camp in Mahim

A mobile van

Medical camp at Chowki Pada

Serving the poor in Washim District