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'Shree Aniruddha Upasana Foundation', 'Aniruddha Aadesh Pathak' and 'Dilasa Medical Trust & Rehabilitation Centre' along with all their associated organizations have been organizing the world's biggest and most organized medical camps for last seven years. This year the Camp was organized from 14th February - 15th February 2010. The Camp over the years has created a huge makeover in the medical, financial and educational status and health of 56 villages in and around the small village of Pendakhale in the district of Kolhapur in the district of Maharashtra. Fortunately this was the second chance I got to be part of this grand event after 2008. The changes that I observed in just over 2 years were amazing. Before taking you to the changes let me give you background of Kolhapur Medical Camp.

One might question the need of organizing a free medical help facility throughout the year in the district of India with second highest per capita income and second highest Mercedes count. But by visiting the rural areas of the district one can easily understand the economic condition of the general villagers. It had been extremely pathetic so far. So Sadguru Shree Aniruddha Upasana Trust organizes a mamoth Medical Camp with major efforts being put by 57 local Upasana Centres of Aniruddha Upasana Trust in and around Kolhapur District. The volunteers of these Centres do a detailed family wise survey of all the 56 villages to be covered in the medical camp. Here they identify the local families, their needs of clothing, hygiene, food, education, daily chores and then accordingly prepare a customized needs of these requirements. No beggars are entertained in the Camp just to win sympathy, popularity and grab news footage. Its just the hard working village folks; farmers, workers, tradesmen, etc who are not in position to fulfill the needs of their families, are given every possible help.

As mentioned above the all the villagers are given help kits customized to fit their requirements. The help of Hygiene Kit as it is called consists of clothes, blanket, sweaters, cooking vessels, toys for children, bangles for ladies, lice combs, nail cutters, soaps, tooth powder, washing powder, water purifying liquid, medicines against lice and skin diseases and 9-yards saree for women, vitamin tonics, medicines as per the ailment, spectacles, medicine against worms (in stomach), slippers, caps, uniforms, dry fruit packets for children, etc are given to all the families and individuals. Further schools are also given cricket sets, throwing rings, skipping ropes, footballs, rubber balls, etc so that school children can play and stay fit. This time 119 schools were selected for the provision of help by the Trust.

These items which are distributed are so minutely packed that the packets bear the name of the recipient and the clothes packed in it are as per the size of recipient. Such is the minute detailing done during the survey and packing.

The geography in which the Camp is organized has a heavy load shedding problem and receives electricity for only 12 hours of the day. This interferes with the study schedules of the school children. Further distance these children take to travel from their homes to schools is in kilometers. Because of their weak economic condition these children had to travel bare footed to their schools. Because of the above two factors the school dropout rate was extremely high. As result the school children are given free candles and slippers to solve the two problems respectively. Such is the minute and micro level detailing done by the volunteers.

One might think what would be the use of giving these materials just once in year and then turn a deaf ear to the requirement of these poor. But the volunteers of earlier mentioned 56 Centres affiliated to Sadguru Shree Aniruddha Upasana Trust work round the year on their survey and the distribution of the same materials take place after every three months. All the material that is distributed is totally procured by the Trust from its own exchequer. Not only this the Trust also pays the medical bills of all the patients throughout the year.

The distribution of the material mentioned above takes place on the 1st day of the Medical Camp. On the 2nd day the actual medical camp takes place. Here all types of medical facilities are erected just for a day in makeshift tents by reputed doctors from Trust. the facilities include dedicated specialty wards viz., opthalmic, dental, ENT, cardio, orthopaedic, gynaec, urological, pathological, paediatric, pharmacy, etc. All the modern and urban facilities for these specialities along with other facilities like X-Ray, Sonography, CT Scan, Operation Theatre, ECG, etc are also provided to the villagers for free of cost.

Changes Observed in the Leaving of Condition of Villagers After Medical Camp

1) The overall medical complaints of the villagers have reduced drastically.
2) They realized the importance of Cleanliness and tidiness and have accordingly implemented the same.
3) Reduction in cases of Leprosy.
4) Almost eradication of contagious diseases.
5) The diseases arising out of water contamination and stagnation like jaundice and malaria have been totally eradicated.
6) Long term diseases have reduced greatly.
7) The villagers have understood the importance of family planning and have accordingly opted for contraceptive operation after the birth of their second child.
8) The attendance at schools which was abysmal has shot up to the range of 90 - 100 %.
9) Haemoglobin count of villagers which was between 4 - 5 % has now risen to 10 - 12 %.
10) Huge reduction in the number of villagers with dental ailments.
11) Huge reduction in the number of villagers with stomach ailments.
12) Huge reduction in the number of villagers with lice and cluster formation problems of hair.
13) Earlier villagers believed in religious fetishes but this has now been replaced by bhakti worship of Lord with love and practicism.

14) Finally the biggest chance observed is that the number of Camp attendees or participants has increased but the numbers of patients have decreased.

Changes and Additions in This Year's Medical Camp Over Last Year
Every year the performance of the Trust keeps on getting better and every year the Trust introduces some new changes for betterment. This year following additions were incorporated
1) The Trust recorded the general problems faced by the students with the help of their teachers so that effective solutions could be found on them.
2) Special vehicles were arranged for the transportation of these children to and fro the Camp.
3) Special Areas were designated for the children in the Camp so that the face zero inconvenience.

Facts and Figures of the Medical Camp
1) Patients Checked at Medical Camp: 7546
2) Patients Checked for Opthalmic ailments: 3159
3) Patients Given Free Spectacles: 2570
4) Patients Checked for Dental ailments: 374
5) Patients Checked for Cardio ailments: 218
6) Number of Patients for whom ECGs check was done: 166
7) Number of Patients for whom X-Ray check was done: 181
8) Number of Patients for whom pathological check was done: 275
9) Patients Checked for Orthopaedic ailments: 323
10) Patients Checked for Gynaec ailments: 145
11) Number of Patients for whom Sonography check was done: 228
12) Number of Patients who were admitted to hospital for surgery: 161
13) Number of Children examined medically: 8486
14) Number of Schools Participating in Medical Camp: 119
15) Number of Villagers who benefited from Free Food for All (Annapoorna Mahaprasadam Yojana): 85, 000
16) Number of Villages who benefitted from Free Food for All: 225

Other Facts & Figures About the Camp
1) Number of Participating Volunteers: 1900
2) Number of Participating Doctors: 149
3) Number of Participating Paramedics: 107
4) Number of Villages Covered Under Hygiene Kit Distribution: 56
5) Number of Families Covered Under Hygiene Kit Distribution: 5049
6) Number of Villagers Covered Under Hygiene Kit Distribution: 23, 498
7) Number of Lice Combs Distributed: 5100
8) Number of General Combs Distributed: 5100
9) Number of Nail Cutters Distributed: 5100
10) Number of Bathing Soaps Distributed: 10, 200
11) Number of Tooth Powder Packets Distributed: 15, 000
12) Number of Washing Powder Packets Distributed: 10, 098
13) Number of Water Disinfectant Chemical Packets Distributed: 5049
14) Number of Multi Vitamin Syrup Bottles Distributed: 5049

Facts & Figures About the Distribution for Children
1) Number of Schools to which distribution was done: 119
2) Number of Students from Std. I to IX Covered Under Distribution: 8858
3) Number of Students to Whom Size Fitting Uniforms were Distributed: 15, 544
4) Number of Students to Whom Slippers were Distributed: 9060 (pairs)
5) Number of Students to Whom Caps were Distributed: 10, 400
6) Number of Footballs Given to Schools: 234
7) Number of Cricket Rubber Balls Given to Schools: 1440
8) Number of Playing Rings Given to Schools: 468
9) Number of Skipping Ropes Given to Schools: 702
10) Number of Cricket Sets (Bat & Stumps) Given to Schools: 234

Taking into consideration the above facts and figures and the experiences one can understand how much work Aniruddha Upasana Trust has been doing for the poor. The expenses incurred are huge and beyond imagination but still the Trust spends money from its exchequer never thinking about profits but just doing its Devotional Service to realize the dream of Aniruddha Bharat by the year 2025.

About Mihir Nagarkar

Mihir Nagarkar
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