“India is beyond what you read in Newspapers” – these were the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech at Wembley in London. And, within India if there is one state that can vouch for his words is none other than his home-state. Gujarat has always been beyond what one reads in newspapers and sees on television.
Going by the reports in the mainstream media, anyone living outside Gujarat would be of the opinion that the state is surrounded by unprecedented crisis against the backdrop of the reservation stir. But, does the story of Gujarat end just there? The answer is a BIG no. While the news of Gujarat being number one in implementing investment intentions or bagging maximum investment proposals in the year 2015 hardly made it to the headlines, what is bemusing is the complete apathy towards a major health drive undertaken by the state government since June last year.
In a country like India where governments are often criticized for neglecting basic healthcare facilities to the common man, Gujarat government under the leadership of Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has initiated an intensive health drive. Citizens, irrespective of any class, through government health centers and specially conducted health camps are being screened and given free treatment for diabetes and cancerous diseases. While women are being thoroughly checked and treated for breast and cervical cancer, men are being screened for oral cancer. Not only has the healthcare program been limited to adults, a special campaign has been undertaken to cure children born with deformity of Cleft Lip-palate and Club Foot.
Such an important initiative has been hardly acknowledged by the media when it can spearhead the movement by spreading awareness about the campaign. Interestingly, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has taken onto social networking sites to spread awareness and appeal more and more citizens of her state to avail benefit of the initiatives. On regular intervals, Chief Minister shares success story of citizens who are diagnosed and treated for any of the ailments.
Until November 2015, over 29 lakh women across Gujarat have been screened for breast and cervical cancer and more than 2000 women who were diagnosed with the deadly disease are receiving free treatment across government healthcare centers of Gujarat. Similarly, above 26 lakh people have been screened for diabetes and 1.80 lakh people diagnosed with this silent killer disease are now given medicines and guidance to keep their sugar in control.
Among children, more than 1058 kids with Cleft Lip-Palate, 1053 with Club Foot deformity have been identified across Gujarat. Out of these children, more than 50 per cent of them are now living a completely normal life.
All this has been achieved in a short span of five to six months. As time passes, the campaign is expected to intensify and give better results. It is just unfortunate that such an initiative which can be replicated in other states for a healthier India is hardly known to the outside world. Nonetheless, Gujarat under the aegis of Smt. Anandiben Patel is marching towards ensuring all-round development of every section of the society, much to the dismay of the detractors of the BJP government.