Isha Foundation conducted a free medical camp for 6358 people on November 17 & 18, in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals, Chennai and Aravind Eye Hospital, Coimbatore. The camp was conducted by a team of 200 doctors and staff, who carried out master health check-ups at the Government High School, Alandurai.

A majority of India’s rural population lacks sufficient infrastructure to diagnose and treat various kinds of diseases and ailments. This absence has caused a great deal of suffering and has drastically curtailed the quality of life for most rural people. To alleviate this situation, Isha Foundation’s Action for Rural Rejuvenation (ARR) conducts free Arokiya Alai (Wave of Health) camps in Tamil Nadu to diagnose and offer basic treatment for various prevalent ailments.

Check-ups were conducted for a large variety of ailments including diabetes, blood pressure, cardiac problems, bone and joint problems, kidney ailments, ENT, stomach & intestinal related issues, thyroid problems, general health issues, dental problems, and specific ailments related to women, children & elders. ECG, Ultrasound, X-ray and Echocardiogram facilities were also made available.

Of the 6358 people who received treatment, 3100 people were tested on the first day and 3258 on the second. 2250 were tested for blood sugar and 120 people underwent a complete blood investigation. In-depth ECGs and X-rays were also performed for 265 patients during the check-up. Many life-transforming procedures were undertaken during the Arokiya Alai, including cataract operations for 75 people at Aravind Eye Hospital, where they regained their eyesight after being in a state of near blindness for many years.

Those who attended the camp will also be able to continue their treatment at the Isha Rural Health Clinic at Alandurai. Villagers suffering from long-term ailments will also receive free medicines for a certain period of time. Those who require advanced treatments will be referred to private and government hospitals under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance scheme. Free transportation will be arranged for those travelling from nearby villages.

A complete check-up of this nature is generally very expensive. However this facility is being offered at the camp for free. The initiative seeks to dispel the idea that a medical check-up is meant only to diagnose diseases. A check-up is an assessment of health, and should be regularly conducted for those over 35 years of age. Apart from the cost of the check-ups, Apollo Hospital distributed over 11 lakhs rupees worth of medicines to the villagers free of cost.

The function also served as a platform for the distribution of 20 lakh rupees worth of education scholarships, awarded to 200 students joining Diploma, Undergraduate and Postgraduate studies, to help with their higher studies. The scholarships are given every year to deserving students with excellent academic records from financially weak backgrounds to help with their higher education. The scholarships are in the form of financial assistance and can be utilized by students for buying books, travel and living expenses and payment of fees.

Another significant ARR initiative unveiled by Sadhguru at the camp was Isha Foundation’s project to adopt 60 villages in Tamil Nadu and create model villages for healthy living. Isha will raise awareness on health by imparting knowledge on how to live well, how to be healthy, how yoga helps promote health, and how to keep oneself and the surroundings clean. This is only a first step in what will be a mammoth project in the years to come.