Every coin has two sides to it. We, as a nation often see two sides of our society, ‘Urban India’ and ‘Rural India’. The changes which are occurring in our society induce serious concerns about the future of our nation. Urban India is developing at a rapid speed whereas Rural India is lacking and underdeveloped in many aspects. The drastic contrast of the situation is ironic as well as horrific. Since decades we are trying to bridge the gap between these two worlds but they are still drifting apart. If serious measures for the same are not being taken, then we will be forced to see this country turn into a ‘Banana Republic’. We are well aware of the problems Rural India is suffering from – poverty, illiteracy, lack of electricity and water, lack of hygiene, etc. What makes them complex and difficult to solve is that these issues are interlinked; hence, inclusive development of India has a long way to go. We may have to solve this problem by taking small, baby steps.
Let’s initiate with the public health sector since the majority of the population that is living in the rural area is below the poverty line. The impoverished economic status keeps these people away from basic and necessary things like health and nutrition. They are forced to ignore health complains as survival is their priority. How can they care for health when every penny earned is used to put food on the table? They are unable to break these barriers; and there is a lot more to take into consideration than just economic status. The rural areas are occupied by different tribes and people of different culture. Fairly distanced from the city, these areas may or may not have a medical center. Some of the medical centers that I have seen in Madhya Pradesh are only able to provide primary medical facilities. In the case of major health issues, these people have to depend on city hospitals. In case of an emergency like an accident, they are left vulnerable. Travelling to the city for treatment is a task for these people since the expenses for travel and medicines are unaffordable, hence they opt to ignore their health complains.
Have these people left to suffer by our system? No. But some underdeveloped schemes with limited resources cannot solve this problem. The main issue here is to reach every element of society. An extremely arduous barrier of illiteracy and Government being tied down with limited resources complicates the situation even more.
We cannot let these difficulties come in our way and let these people die or suffer due to lack of medical facilities. What if they are unable to reach to the hospitals? Hospitals can reach to them. We, as responsible citizens of India, should reach out to these people. A little dedication and some medical camps in villages can create wonders. I have been blessed to witness it during ‘RAHAT’ (a small medical mission). Undertaken by Rotary Club, Jabalpur, this mission has helped over thousands of people in Madhya Pradesh. Whenever I visit the camp it gave me an insight that even a small action by us can have an impact of a lifetime.
We are capable of changing the lives of thousands of people. If we join hands, we would be able to create a healthy India! I believe that a healthy society can make anything possible. After all, inclusive progress is the real progress. Health is the greatest gift you can give to people of our country!