Dr. Satheesh Kathula sets an example by adopting his own village in India, providing free comprehensive health screening to his native villagers
Continuing with its magnificent efforts to help their motherland, members of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the premier medical organization in the United States has initiated Adopt-A-Village, a Rural Health Initiative in India, with plans to adopt 75 villages to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence. Chaired by Dr. Satheesh Kathula, the Secretary of AAPI, the much needed and popular program has Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, Dr. Jagan Ailinani and Dr. Ram Singh as members of the committee.
“We are really humbled by the overwhelming response we received thus far,” said Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Chair of AAPI’s Adopt a Village Committee. “We have sponsors for more than 50 villages and are confident that we will find rest of them soon. This project will do comprehensive screening for non communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, anemia, malnutrition, chronic kidney disease, and hypoxemia. We are doing these much needed screenings in 5 states, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. If you want to sponsor a village in any of the above mentioned states, please feel free to contact us. There is a plan to extend this project to other states if there is enough interest. Our heartfelt thanks to the sponsors for taking part in this noble project.” He also said,
While setting an example and urging others to join him in this noble venture, Dr. Satheesh Kathula himself was present in India in October of this year, and inaugurated the project in Ramaiah Palle village in Mulugu District in the state of Telangana which was sponsored by him.
While referring to the objectives of the Program, Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President, AAPI, said: “A lot of efforts are being put into this initiative, ‘Adopt a Village’ Project where AAPI in collaboration with Global TeleClinics, Inc. (GTC), has planned to adopt 75 villages in India spread across 5 states where the rural people of India will be offered ‘Free Health Screenings in 75 Rural Villages’ for Anemia (CBC), DM (HbA1C), High Cholesterol, CKD, Malnutrition, Kidney Disease, Malnutrition, Obesity, and Hypoxemia. Results analyzed by GTC and further action recommended by their team of experts will also be followed up. This is a small contribution from AAPI to Mother India in celebration of Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav.” Dr. Anupama thanked the AAPI members for their generous support for this noble work of AAPI and for sponsoring their ancestral villages and going back to their roots.
Dr. Satheesh Kathula pointed out about the need for this noble initiative. He said, India has nearly 700,000 villages. Three out of four Indians and about 77 percent of the poor live in villages. The majority of the population has no access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The needs in these rural areas are unlimited and the scope to work are endless. “By adopting one village at a time and working with the government and NGOs, NRIs can make a difference,” he said. Dr. Kathula referred to some of the programs in place in several rural villages, including supply of cloth mask, clean drinking water and free health care screening that has benefitted thousands of people across India.
Dr. Ravi Kolli, President-Elect of AAPI, said, “While India has made substantial progress in health care as evidenced by the fact that life expectancy in India at birth now is 71 years as opposed to 58 years in 1990 and 41 years in 1960, there are significant gaps and divergence in health metrics in different regions in India. India, thus needs to redouble and continue its efforts and dedicate resources to tackle these perennial challenges,” he said.
Dr. Kusum Punjabi, Chair of AAPI BOT said, “Many of these projects and programs need regular funding, and management of resources. We are grateful to dozens of AAPI members who have committed to Adopting a village in India with an ongoing commitment.”
Dr. Anjana Samadder, Vice President of AAPI, said, “We as doctors of Indian origin, can make a huge difference in the lives of millions of people in India. Each project will involve a tripartite partnership between the NRI, state government and a local NGO.”
Dr. Krishan Kumar, Treasurer of AAPI pointed out, “We are happy to get involved in this project and looking forward to seeing more sponsors.”
Recently, a launch event of the program had a very rare show of support for AAPI, by having the esteemed participation of all 5 consulate generals in the US including, honorable Consul Generals of Chicago, New York, Houston, Atlanta and the Deputy CG of San Francisco. Ambassador of India to US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu joined the meeting with his message and lauded the numerous efforts of AAPI for India, especially during the pandemic.
There is no instant solution for rural India’s myriad problems. Over time, with our consistent efforts, an improved village could lead to an improved region, state and the country. NRIs can adopt the village they hail from and make a significant contribution towards its development. There is a real will and desire on the part of governments, both at the state and the central level to work with NRIs and NGOs to bring development to rural India.
Physicians of Indian origin are well known around the world for their compassion, passion for patient care, medical skills, research, and leadership. They have excelled in their fields of medicine, and thus have earned a name for themselves through hard work, commitment and dedication to their profession and the people they are committed to serve. Not satisfied with their own professional growth and the service they provide to their patients around the world, they are in the forefront, sharing their knowledge and expertise with others, especially those physicians and leaders in the medical field from India.
Dr. Gotimukula, urged “AAPI members to consider joining this movement and adopt a village. AAPI will work with you in coordinating the efforts and through the support system we have in several states, will help you achieve this goal of giving back to our motherland.” AAPI members/families can sponsor a Village by emailing to: [email protected]. For more details, please do visit: www.aapiusa.org