South India is home to many rural communities and villages with cultural variation distinguishing them, but poverty amassing many together. The lack of funds and technical backwardness highlights the poor plight of the village systems – where the population is too unaware to even know what amenities they are lacking. One of the primary ways to ensure a path towards a growing lifestyle is to ensure good health since all other developmental efforts bank on it. However, there exists a massive disparity in the availability of this service within urban and rural areas, where the latter doesn’t even get access to basic sanitation, let alone proper medical services.
CSR for Quality Healthcare in South India is up-and-coming and developing, but only if you look at it from a bird’s eye view. You can very easily come across large hotel-like private hospitals in every urban centre but these are a very distant luxury for a family in a remote Indian village. It is to target these areas and strive for social, infrastructural and technological change that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) becomes key. Corporate firms have the means to provide the resources for these villages to have quality social development. Striving for this aim, SEED CSR has taken up a number of CSR initiatives to bring about a revolution in the healthcare systems in rural South India through the projects that it undertakes.
Taking up the Par Formulation Project, SEED conducted healthcare creation, promotion and maintenance activities in many its project villages in Kelambakkam, Alathur and Chennai. However, identifying that these villages are so dispersed, innovative measures to bring forth accessibility to information and medical assistance had to be taken to connect the village areas to the SEED healthcare services. Therefore, the system of Mobile Health Units (MHUs) was formulated with a structured operational pattern. MHUs are mobile healthcare vans that travel from village to village, transporting movable medical services such as testing, expert counseling medicine provision, etc.
For this CSR for Quality Healthcare, a proper schedule was created about the movements of the MHUs sessions and specialized health camps were conducted in the project villages to inform the population about both the MHU service, and also about the importance of healthcare. When people are made to understand the importance of not just basic hygiene practices like proper hand-washing, tooth-brushing, etc, but also check-ups with gynecologists and pediatric specialists, they understand how they must alter the way they live to be healthier, more productive and help create a better livelihood for them. The Par Formulation Project in June 2017 itself could assist many beneficiaries through its Health Committee, blood donation camps, sanitation awareness sessions, and food safety sessions amongst other programs. The MHU system allowed people who couldn’t reach hospitals due to the large distances and inadequate transportation to be provided with high-tech health services near their doorstep.
At SEED, we believe a social responsibility projects only work if they are formulated in a manner that is holistic, considering all the factors that may hamper their usage by the villagers. Our endeavor for CSR for Quality Healthcare is making tangible progress not just in terms of the services that we have been providing, but also in terms of receptiveness to these services through our awareness programs. Bringing about an actual, tangible difference requires not just construction but also sensitization.