By J. Nami Kaur
The Health Council of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) International (www.gopio.net), in partnership with the New York Consulate General of India hosted a full house of attendees for “A Health Summit for the Indian Diaspora” on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Consulate General of India, 3 East 64th Street, New York, NY. The Summit was inaugurated by New York Consul General of India Sandeep Chakravorty and Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International. The event concluded with an award presentation to Mr. Ashook Ramsaran, former president of GOPIO for his service to GOPIO, followed by a Networking Reception.
GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham who closely worked with GOPIO Health Council team to put together the Health Summit said in his welcome address, “The goal of GOPIO Health Council is to improve the health of people of Indian origin by raising awareness of current and emerging health issues affecting them, and by promoting preventive practices and sharing information to better manage chronic diseases.” Well documented medical data suggests that people from the Indian subcontinent are at a higher risk to develop Diabetes and Heart Disease than the rest of the American population. Hence the goal of this workshop was to educate the PIOs (People of Indian Origin) on their individual risk of developing Diabetes and Heart Disease, and more importantly, how to manage these risk factors to improve their overall health. “Towards that goal, we want to educate our community about treatment and prevention of diseases using modern medicine and alternative medicine, as well as to improve health and wellness by nutritious supplements, yoga and meditation,” Dr. Abraham added.
Ambassador Sandeep Chakrovorty set the stage for the Summit with his remarks, “There is so much confusion regarding health practices – what advice to take, what to do or avoid, what diet to adopt, or fitness to practice etc. with so much changing literature on health topics.” His comments resonated with the audience, who shared this same dilemma. He hoped that “some of the confusion we face would be resolved through the summit’s panel discussions, and the day long proceedings would result in specific recommendations and clarity on health practices.” He commended GOPIO’s initiative for the welfare of the Indian Diaspora and encouraged continuing discussions on such beneficial matters.
Moderated by GOPIO Health Council Chair Dr. Tushar Patel, the panel of health experts included key note speaker Rahul Shukla, President/CEO of S.S. Technologies and Shukla Medical; and guest speaker Hitesh Bhatt, Founder/CTO Bhatt Foundation and CCS Technology Solutions. Renowned speakers and specialists from the Tri State area shared their expertise and provided practical tips on managing one’s health and wellness, especially in the prevention of heart disease and diabetes.
The health and wellness panelists included Dr. Meena Murthy – Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Specialist; Dr. Shankar Iyer – Oral Health; Dr. Anurag Pande – VP Sabinsa Corp.; Dr. Ravindra Amin – Geriatric Psychiatrist; Varsha Singh – Nurse Practitioner; Binny Talati – Physical Therapist; Dr. Vasudev Makhija – past President NJ Psychiatric Association; Dr. Ketan Vaidya – Internist; Uma Swaminathan – Healing with Herbs; Jaya Jaya Myra – Natural Lifestyle Expert; Dr. Bajrang Agarwal – Co-Founder, Dockedin Telehealth; and Ruchika Lal – NY Art of Living. Panels were moderated by GOPIO International officers, namely Dr. Asha Samant; Dr. Tushar Patel; Ram Gadhavi; and Dr. Rajeev Mehta.
In his remarks, Dr. Tushar Patel said, “It is important to get early screening and timely intervention for chronic diseases, so long term complications can be reduced and healthy lifestyles can be lived.”
Panelists Dr. Vasudev Makhija and Dr. Ravindra Amin, emphasized that getting timely help for mental health issues is very vital for successful outcome. There is no physical health without mental health and the stigma about mental health need to be eliminated in Indian diaspora, so people can live a healthy physical and emotional life.
Dr. Shankar Iyer said, “Oral health is very important and all should get a routine dental checkups and preventive dental care since he overall, physical health is dependent on good oral hygiene and maintenance especially for people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.”
Dr. Meena Murthy said that self-management of diabetes is very important to live healthier life style. Regular exercise, diet and life style modifications and regular checkup of blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c are the key factors to live a productive life for people with diabetes.
Insightful health and wellness topics included diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, oral health, osteoporosis, emotional health, successful aging, life style modifications, joint disorders, medication management, alternative medicine, herbal remedies, access to care via tele-health, meditation, yoga breathing to reduce stress, and wisdom to handle mind and emotions. The audience was impressed by the quality of the presentations and engaged in the interactive sessions during lunch, coffee breaks and networking reception.
Grand sponsors for this summit were Sabinsa Corporation, Bhatt Foundation and S.S. White Technologies. Supporting organizations included JnJ Printing, Indian Health Camp of New Jersey and GOPIO Chapters of Central Jersey, Connecticut and New York.
The first such Health Summit was organized by GOPIO Health Council in 2010 in New York City. In response to the positive interactions and feedback GOPIO plans to organize similar seminars and workshops through its chapters all over the world.
GOPIO is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, secular organization. GOPIO’s volunteers are committed to enhancing cooperation and communication between NRIs/PIOs, building bonds, friendships, alliances, and the camaraderie of citizens and colleagues alike. GOPIO volunteers believe that when they help network the global Indian community, they facilitate making tomorrow a better world for the Indian Diaspora.
GOPIO publishes a very informative monthly newsletter. Interested persons can receive free of charge at www.gopio.net