Monday 14 January 2019


When one square meal a day, which is essential for the body is difficult to obtain, even the thought of seeking medical treatment may be termed a luxury. Poverty-driven lack of education results in the neglect of an important aspect such as cleanliness. Also, inadequate food intake leads to malnutrition, which furthermore, leads to serious health issues. Various reports have highlighted, the problem of malnutrition is the most serious in  India. The situation has not changed much even though the country is developing at a very rapid pace and differences between the cities and villages, are slowly fading away. Problems such as malnutrition, weakness and anaemic conditions are highly prevalent among women and young children in the remote rural villages. Thus, one cannot deny the fact that these basic health issues lead to a multitude of more serious ones.


The comprehensive nature of the ‘Kolhapur Medical and Healthcare Camp’ as also the efforts put together by Shraddhavan volunteers, for its surveys, study, planning and organization of the event is really astounding. Various organizations conduct medical camps in many parts of the country. However, the ‘Kolhapur Medical and Healthcare Camp’ aims to focus not just on providing heath check-ups and distributing free medicines, but on the eradication of the root cause of all the health issues altogether. The primary theme of this camp is to encourage preventive measures, rather than curing the diseases after infection. An in-depth and extensive research is undertaken before conducting the camp, the planning for which continues throughout the year, where all the potential issues are reviewed from each and every angle.

Day 1

Unhygienic living conditions resulting from bad habits invite various diseases. The surveys which were carried out prior to the camp, clearly indicated that contaminated water, open defecation as also lack of physical hygiene and clean surroundings were the primary causes of health issues. Almost all villagers were found to be moderately or even highly anaemic. The health issues that arose due to wrong beliefs added to it furthermore. Taking all these factors into consideration, apart from just medical services, medicines and the items which serve as everyday essentials, are also provided to the impoverished, while school uniforms and sports equipment, and the like are distributed among the school children. A detailed survey is carried out to determine the number of households in the region, as also the areas that are in need of the supplies, followed by the preparation for the camp. The preparations are carried out throughout the year and finally culminates into a 2-day camp, organized in an extremely well planned, disciplined manner, without creating any disarray.    

Day 2

The Medical camp commences on the second day. The villagers and students begin to arrive at the Pendakhale village quite early in the morning. Students from several local schools, attend the medical camp along with their teachers in large numbers. Thereafter, school uniforms are distributed among the students free of cost. Sadguru Shree Aniruddha's Shraddhavan friends prepare hanks under the Charkha Project by spinning the charkha, used for weaving the fabric from which uniforms are then made, and distributed at no cost among the school children. Time and again, it has been experienced at the Kolhapur Medical and Healthcare Camp, that the school uniforms which are a product of such devotional services, have the potential of giving a significant turn in building the future of the school children. Additionally, free footwear is distributed among the school children. Previously, many villagers would walk on bare feet, before the camp was initiated in the region. The young children had never used any foot wear prior to the camp. Thus, one could notice the joy and astonishment off the children's faces on receiving their first-ever new and unused slippers.       

Annapoorna Mahaprasadam

Every beneficiary of  the camp is provided free meals under the ‘Annapoorna Mahaprasadam’ initiative. The initiative is a great boon to the camp participants, who begin their journey early in the morning all the way from their villages to reach the site over long distances, that too in scorching heat and often, on an empty stomach. The sight of villagers and school children enjoying a full meal to their heart’s content is an extremely satisfying experience. More than 50,000 villagers enjoy the meals at the camp, who are served with love, affection and personal attention. Whereas, the food is cooked with just as much love and affection in huge-sized vessels, by hundreds of volunteers who render the devotional service.

Positive Results

The landscape of the region has undergone a complete transformation due to the camp. It has raised the level of awareness about health-related issues, among the local residents. They have understood the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. Moreover, health-related complaints of the villagers have come down significantly. Being convinced of the importance of maintaining personal and environmental cleanliness, the villagers are adopting clean habits and hygiene in their daily lives. The number of leprosy patients has dropped notably as also the extent of contagious diseases which has drastically plummeted. Contaminated water-related diseases have been completely eradicated. Whereas, the number of beneficiary villages and schools availing facilities at the camp, has risen as well.