USP Says Blood Drive A Success

USP Says Blood Drive A Success
Saturday, October 24, 2009

A large number of students and staff turned out for the University of the South Pacific’s blood drive at the Laucala Campus in Suva.

Organisers said they were surprised at the “strong” attendance. Sister Salaseini Boletawa of the USP medical centre said about 60 people turned up during the first four hours.

“The response from the university staff and students has been great and we expect about 20 to 30 more people to donate blood in the remaining hour,” she said.

The blood drive was held from midday till 5pm yesterday at the medical centre.

The medical centre also took advantage of the blood drive, and used video documentaries to educate donors on communicable, non-communicable and sexually transmitted diseases, and the preventative measures that could be taken.

The drive was joint effort between USP, the Fiji National Blood Service and the USP youth wing of Sathya Sai Service Organisation of Fiji.

Fiji Times Reference

Sathya Sai Medical Conference In Anaheim Oct 10-11

Sathya Sai Medical Conference In Anaheim Oct 10-11
Date Submitted: Thu Oct 01, 2009
BY A STAFF REPORTER

ANAHEIM, CA – Health Care Professionals such as physicians, dentists, residents, fellows, medical and dental students will all be in attendance at the a Sathya Sai International Medical Conference in Anaheim, Oct 10-11, which will focus on the theme of Sri Sathya Sai – Ideal Health Care and Global Health Mission.

The conference will feature speakers from around the world who will discuss and give examples of how medical and dental care is being delivered to millions of people around the world who do not have health insurance and could not otherwise afford to pay for healthcare. There will also be discussions on looking into the future for new ways to reach out to those in need of medical care in our own communities.

Some specific topics that will be discussed will be 1.) How to start a free medical clinic run 100% by volunteers. 2.) Disaster relief work done during the hurricane Katrina. 3.) A model to provide health care to the homeless. 4.) A Bone Marrow Donor Program and how this is especially helpful for minorities. 5.) Preventive medicine.

For more: http://saiconference.org. There is no registration fee for this conference.

India Journal Reference

Introduction:
The Sri Sathya Sai International Medical Committee has the honor of hosting an international medical conference on October 10 and 11, 2009 at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California, U.S.A. The theme of the conference is “Sri Sathya Sai Ideal Healthcare and Sri Sathya Sai Global Health Mission.” The delivery of comprehensive state-of-the-art healthcare will be discussed at this international medical conference.

PLEASE NOTE: The registration deadline is September 12, 2009.

Objective:
Since its inception, the Sathya Sai Organization has been deeply committed to providing selfless service to mankind through various humanitarian projects. One such service is the provision of state-of-the-art healthcare, free of cost to the sick and needy. In 1956, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba inaugurated a General Hospital at Puttaparthi, India providing free primary healthcare services to the needy in the remote rural areas. This blossomed into two general hospitals and two super-specialty hospitals in India providing free primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare. These models of Sathya Sai Ideal Healthcare have inspired the Sathya Sai Global Health Mission. The philosophy, energy and dedication that created these medical institutions have now become an international movement over the last fifty years resulting in the extensive Sri Sathya Sai Healthcare System helping people worldwide. The healthcare providers in this system firmly believe in blending technology and medical excellence with love and compassion. Delivery of good healthcare to a whole patient is notably different from the delivery of medical care that targets a specific illness alone. The Sri Sathya Sai Ideal Healthcare System has inspired the transformation of thousands of healthcare providers to deliver free, comprehensive modern health services with love and compassion. It is in this milieu that the Sri Sathya Sai International Medical Conference on “Sri Sathya Sai Ideal Healthcare and Sri Sathya Sai Global Health Mission” will be hosted. The conference will include physicians, dentists, medical and dental students, residents and fellows in training from several specialties. Delegates will assemble to consider all aspects of healthcare.

If you are a physician, dentist, medical or dental student, resident or fellow in training and are interested in attending this conference please click here to register. For general information about Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and His work, please visit the website of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and the website of the International Sai Organization. For information on the medical projects undertaken by the Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust in Prasanthi Nilayam please visit the website http://www.sssmt.org.in.

TogadiaSpeak – Ignorance And Apathy Are Not The Proofs Of Non-Existence – II

TogadiaSpeak – Ignorance And Apathy Are Not The Proofs Of Non-Existence – II
The good work Sangh is doing
By Dr Pravin Togadia

VHP’s one-teacher schools (Ekal Vidyalayas) number up to 26, 880 and they cover 7,72,065 students of which around six lakh students are from tribal areas. This is the largest Hindu missionary work in India and perhaps even in the world by a single organisation. What’s more, wherever there is an Ekal Vidyalaya, there is a village development unit under which a medical centre is run, making the number of medical centres also to 26,880.

VHP also has other educational projects: About 569 primary schools covering 59,300 students, 156 secondary schools covering 12,750 students and 53 senior secondary schools covering 2120 students. Then there are 15 residential schools, many night schools, 104 hostels including 44 orphanages. All these cover over 75,000 poor and needy children who are given standard quality education and many other facilities of life. (In one of such tribal schools, last year, the Board result was 100 per cent and the highest marks a student got was 93 per cent. Recently I met a smart student of second year MBBS. To my joy, he was from one of VHP’s orphanages.)

VHP has health projects: 34 hospitals, 99 dispensaries, 19 mobile dispensaries, 28 ambulances, 192 first-aid centres, four medicine collection centres, 13 goumutra therapy centres and many such related centres. Total patients covered under these are annually 2,80,000.

Just recently in Pune a project Niramaya has covered 68 slums and 18 construction sites for vaccination of children there in age group of one day to six years. Total 12,025 children are vaccinated and one lakh doses were given. They have a mobile van too so that the poor children do not need to come for it—Niramaya goes where they are.

Not just education or health, some sadhu-sants are doing what ideally falls under the purview of the governments in power only. In Andhra Pradesh, Ananthpur District, 700 villages have been supplied clean drinking water through modern pipes worth Rs 350 crore. Not by any government department, but by Sri Sathya Sai Baba. And it’s free!

Arya Samaj has 700 schools covering 15,00,000 students and 80 colleges covering 16,800 students.

Swaminarayan Gurukul schools are 142 covering 12,000 students, 160 high schools with 1,20,000 students and 25 colleges.

Sadhvi Ritambharaji runs an orphanage for little girls at Vrindavan, which has at this moment 350 little girls taking modern education. They would have been wandering on streets becoming victims of heinous crimes but now they have bright dreams of future in their eyes.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji’s developmental work covers at least 30,000 villages where natural agricultural projects and organic farming are done, in which only in Karnataka 2000 youth are engaged full time and at all-India level at least 20,000 youth look after this. He also has established a programme for awareness about and help to AIDS patients all India. Recently, there was a well-attended caucus of Hindu leaders organised for this and many of us pledged our active support to it.

Hunger is the number one killer in the world and in India. VHP, to fight this is doing a project “Ek Mutthi Anaj”, where the workers of various industries who have lost jobs due to recent economic slowdown are provided with 15 kilos of foodgrains each for their families and the target is to cover at least 12,00,000 families with this anna daan. So far we have covered 15,000+ families. It also has a food bank where housewives take out one mutthi anaj everyday, which is collected by volunteers for distribution systematically. That no family has to resort to begging for the food is the most important part in it. Ek Mutthi Anaj programme goes to their houses and respectfully distributes foodgrains to them.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba also has a high-tech heart hospital where they target to do 1,25,000 heart surgeries. About 25,000 surgeries have already been done at a zero cost.

Not just socio-developmental projects but VHP is also doing a lot in the field of art and culture. In Pune, a music album made waves recently. Songs sung by Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki’s son Shounak, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi’s shishya Upendra Bhatt and Shri Vasantrao Deshpande’s grandson Rahul Deshpande made this album a great hit and it was done by VHP. The artists gave programmes for VHP and then the album was made, which is now available on the stands. Art is an important part of Hindu Dharma and it is our duty to preserve our fine arts.

This effort was also made in the field of children’s paintings. In tribal schools, a painting competition was organised, which got tremendous response. Twelve paintings were awarded and brought to people as greeting cards. All participants got a certificate each.

At Dharmasthal near Mangalore, Manjunath Devasthana is working on a unique project of innovative natural agri-systems in 500 villages. They also have a legally-accepted local justice system.

Self-reliance projects by us are helping youth and women in many villages with 94 sewing centres, 63 computer training centres, 306 women’s self-help groups with micro credit and savings facility, two mechanical training centres, one honey-bee centre, 16 household industry centres, 112 libraries—the list is long and the beneficiaries are in millions.

Maa Amritanandamayiji has been running a multi-specialty hospital in Kochi, which serves around 48,000 patients annually, has 38 hi-tech departments and 1,650 beds—the largest in Asia

All this is not given here to brag at all, like many governments do—distribute some school bags and brag about it as if they have done a global revolution in girls’ education or run few ambulances and brag about saving every life on the earth. No. The objective of giving the above details is only to draw the attention of all the well-meaning Hindus to the reality that Hindu organisations and sadhu-sants are engaged in a lot of socio-developmental works for Hindus. This is just a glimpse of it. I apologise to many other Hindu organisation and to all sadhu-sants and many Hindu researchers who have been doing mountains of such socio-developmental works for years. But due to limited space and lack of detailed info, I could not mention them here.

From education to health care, from micro credit to self-reliance, from agriculture to clean drinking water supply, from vocational training to free food supply and from child care to women’s welfare—Hindu organisations and sadhu-sants are busy doing what is truly termed as socio-developmental work with utmost dedication. The only part of development, which they are not able to do, is infrastructure development, which obviously governments in power are authorised to do as yet. As it is the responsibility of Hindu organisations and sadhu-sants (and all Hindus) to protect the heritage, monuments, culture and people of Hindu dharma, this responsibility of Hindu socio-developmental work is being perfectly taken up by the Hindu organisations and sadhu-sants, in spite of their limited resources and political pressures.

The happiest part of this socio-developmental work is that it is a great joy to see the tribal, poor children’s eyes shining bright when they study and go ahead in life, to see the poor women happily telling their friends as to how they got their daughters married with their own income, to see a terminally ill, poor old man getting cured, free of cost and walking on his own feet.

The saddest part is that the one-sided media and a few vested interests groups purposely ignore/ demean such a good work and focus on tarnishing the image of Hindu organisations and sadhu-sants with some one-off incidents and paint them (and Hindutva) as anti-development and outdated. The saddest part is also the limited financial and other resources with Hindu organisations. But the Hindu dreams are brighter and the determination to realise them is much more greater.

Organiser Reference

Ten Commandments for Peace of Mind

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Ten Commandments for Peace of Mind

In the modern age , it would appear that most of us are in a state of perpetual restlessness despite enjoying good health care and basic economic security.

Analysing the causes of this restlessness has led me to find ten solutions to attain peace of mind. I have called them “ten commandments” because they need to be followed religiously if we are sincere in achieving perfect peace of mind.

Here they are with brief explanations:-

  1. Do not interfere in others’ business unless asked – Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others’ affairs. We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right direction, our direction. This thinking denies the existence of individuality and consequently the existence of God. God has created each one of us in a unique way. No two human beings can think or act in exactly the same way. All men or women act the way they do because they are prompted that way by the God within them. There is God to look after everything. Why are you bothered? Mind your own business you will keep your peace.
  2. Forget and forgive – This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind. We, often develop ill feeling inside our heart for the person who insults us or harms us. We nurture grievances. This, in turn results in loss of sleep, development of stomach ulcer and high blood pressure. The insult or injury was done once but nourishing of grievance goes on forever by constantly remembering it. Get over this bad habit. Believe in the justice of God and the doctrine of Karma. Let Him judge the act of the one who insulted you. Life is too short to waste in such trifles. Forget, forgive and march on.
  3. Do not crave for recognition – This world is full of selfish people. They seldom praise anybody without selfish motive. They may praise you today because you are in power but no sooner you are powerless they will forget your achievement and start finding faults in you. Why do you wish to kill yourself in striving for their recognition? They are not worth it. Do your duties ethically and sincerely and leave the rest to God.
  4. Do not be jealous – We all have experienced how jealousy can disturb our peace of mind. You know you work harder than your colleagues in the office but they get promotions, you do not. You started a business several years ago but you are not as successful as your neighbor whose business is only one year old. There are several examples like these in every walk of life. Should you be jealous? No, remember everybody’s life is shaped by his previous Karma, which has now become his destiny. If you are destined to be rich, not all the world can stop you. If you are not so destined, no one can help you either. Nothing will be gained by blaming others for your misfortune. Jealousy will not get you anywhere, will only give you restlessness.
  5. Change yourself according to the environment – If you try to change the environment single handedly, the chances are you may fail. Instead, change yourself to suit the environment. As you do this, even the environment which has remained unfriendly for you will mysteriously appear to be congenial and harmonious.
  6. Endure what cannot be cured – This is the best way to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Every day we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations and accidents which are beyond our control. We must learn to put up with these things. We must learn to endure them cheerfully thinking, “God will it so, so be it”. God’s logic is beyond our comprehension. Believe it and you will gain in patience, in inner strength, in will-power.
  7. Do not bite more than you can chew – This maxim needs to be remembered constantly. We often tend to take more responsibilities than we are capable to carry out. This is done to satisfy our ego. Know your limitations. Why take on additional loads that may create more worries? You cannot gain peace of mind by expanding your external activities. If you have extra time, then spend it in an inward life of prayer, introspection and meditation. This will reduce those thoughts in your mind, that make you restless. Fewer the thoughts, greater is the peace of mind.
  8. Meditate regularly – Meditation makes the mind thoughtless. This is the highest state of peace of mind. Try and experience. If you meditate earnestly for half an hour every day, you will tend to become calm during the remaining twenty three and a half hours. Your mind will not be disturbed as much as before. You must gradually increase the period of daily meditation. You may think this will interfere with your daily work. On the contrary, this will increase your efficiency and you will turn out more work in less time.
  9. Never leave the mind vacant – Empty mind is the devil’s workshop. All evil deeds start in the mind. Keep your mind occupied in something positive, something worthwhile. Actively follow a hobby. Do something that holds your interest. You must decide what you value more; money or peace of mind. Your hobby, like social work or temple work may not always earn you more money but you will have a sense of fulfillment and achievement. Even if you are resting physically, occupy yourself in healthy reading or mental chanting of God’s name (Japa).
  10. Do not procrostinate and never regret – Do not waste time in wondering “should I or shouldn’t I?” Days, weeks, months and years may be wasted in that futile mental debating. You can never plan enough because you can never anticipate all future happenings. Always remember God has His own plan too. Value your time and do things. It does not matter if you fail the first time. You can rectify your mistakes and succeed the next time. Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing. Learn from your mistakes but do not brood over the past. DO NOT REGRET. Whatever happened was destined to happen only that way. Take it as the will of God. You do not have the power to alter the course of God’s will. Why cry over the spilt milk?

MAY GOD HELP YOU REMAIN AT PEACE WITH YOURSELF AND THE WORLD

OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI
By Gyan Rajhans

May the Merciful Sri Sathya Sai Baba always shower His grace on us and our families and remove our problems and anxieties by giving us all – strength , goodluck, success and happiness with peace of mind.
~ Sathya Sai bhakt, Deepa H

It’s World Blood Donors Day on Sunday

It’s World Blood Donors Day on Sunday
Mansi Lavsi / DNASunday, June 14, 2009 13:45 IST

Ahmedabad: On the occasion of World Blood Donors’ Day, a number of programmes and drives will be held across the city on Sunday.

The Prathama Blood Centre has organised events across the city, including blood donation drives and vaccination programmes to be conducted at five venues — Dev Arc Mall, 10 Acre City Mall, Himalaya Mall, Prathama In-House and the Jain Digambar Samaj at Ghatlodia.

The events scheduled on Sunday include the launch of hepatitis-B vaccination and ‘beat anaemia’ programmes for regular blood donors. The Centre has organised a drawing competition for children on the theme of voluntary blood donation and a singing competition for the relatives of blood donors. There will be a talent show for the latter and a lucky draw will be held for regular blood donors.

Hepatitis-B vaccines will be administered and iron tablets will be distributed on Sunday as part of the launch of the two aforementioned programmes for the safety and health of blood donors. These will be conducted at the Prathama In-House.

The global theme for this World Blood Donor Day lays renewed emphasis on improving the safety and sufficiency of blood supplies through the achievement of 100 per cent voluntary non-remunerated donation of blood and blood components. Ahmedabad ranks first in the country among cities with the highest number of blood donors.

The Sri Sathya Sai Baba Seva organisation (founded by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba), which holds around 100 camps every year in collaboration with Red Cross, will conduct drives at Azad Society, Vejalpur and Maninagar on Sunday. “World Blood Donors’ Day is of not much significance to us as we conduct camps on a weekly basis and encourage people to join the noble cause of donating blood,” a member of the organisation said.

DNA India Reference

Sathya Sai Baba Medical Institutions For Blood Drives

81 Ways to Serve Mankind

Sri Sathya Sai

Sri Sathya Sai


81 Ways to Serve Mankind
Helping the Less-privileged Sections of Society

  1. Organising Narayana Seva by distributing food and clothes to needy people.
  2. Organising free food centres for needy people.
  3. Providing Amruta Kalasham (bag of food items) to needy families.
  4. Providing rugs and blankets during winter season to poor people.
  5. Providing Sai Protein to meet the nutritional needs of poor people.
  6. Organising systematic poverty alleviation schemes for the most needy sections of society by adopting needy families.
  7. Organising Grama Seva in villages for conducting programmes of total village uplift.
  8. Providing training and means of self-employment to needy people.
  9. Providing training and efficient tool kits to plumbers, electricians, carpenters and other trained professional workers to make them self-reliant.
  10. Organising self-help groups in villages for maintaining sanitation and for constructing public utility conveniences like approach roads, water storage tanks, bus shelters, etc.
  11. Constructing houses / shelters for those who are without shelter.
  12. Providing help in repairing of houses for those who live in dilapidated or unsafe houses.
  13. Setting up orphanages to take care of destitute children.
  14. Setting up old age homes for old people.
  15. Organising visits to old age homes to help aged people.
  16. Providing drinking water to people in scarcity affected areas by digging wells and setting up water supply schemes in rural and remote areas.
  17. Providing electric supply to remote areas which are still without electricity.
  18. Organising cleanliness drives in villages.
  19. Adopting villages for village uplift programmes.
  20. Providing the services of agricultural scientists to farmers at their doorstep to improve the agricultural yield.
  21. Conducting mass marriages to save on wasteful expenditure on marriages.
  22. Organising rehabilitation programmes for homeless street children.
  23. Providing tricycles to physically challenged persons to make them mobile.
  24. Conducting Seva camps during religious fairs for providing sanitation, medical aid and guidance to pilgrims.
  25. Conducting youth camps to guide the youth on the path of Seva and spirituality.
  26. Conducting youth camps to provide training in disaster management.
  27. Organising disaster management during calamities like floods, earthquakes, etc., for saving lives of people.
  28. Organising relief measures for the rehabilitation of victims of disasters.
  29. Setting up small-scale village industries for providing employment to villagers, especially the housewives to utilise their spare time and increase the income of the family.
  30. Providing electronic devices like iCARE developed by Sathya Sai Organisation of Arizona (U.S.A.) to help the visually challenged persons to read books and to identify people.
  31. Helping the villagers to make water safe for drinking by chlorination of wells and water tanks.
  32. Setting up agricultural institutes for training the children of farmers in better techniques of farming.
  33. Providing value-based education to students for proper use of water and other natural resources so as to avoid wastage.
  34. Organising tree plantation drives for planting more trees to combat deforestation.
  35. Conducting surveys in villages for providing need-based services to the villagers.
  36. Organising Bhajans, meditation and lectures in jails for the reformation of the inmates.
  37. Conducting health check-up camps and organising health education meets to prevent the spread of diseases.
  38. Putting up health education exhibitions to provide guidance to people on health education.
  39. Organising medical camps for providing free medicare to underprivileged sections of society in villages, urban slums and remote areas.
  40. Setting up free homoeopathic, ayurvedic and allopathic dispensaries to dispense medicines to needy people.
  41. Setting up hospitals for providing free medical treatment to less privileged sections of society.
  42. Setting up hospices for terminally ill patients like the one set up by the Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of Sri Lanka
  43. Organising malaria eradication programmes like the Sainet Project started by the Sai Organisation in Kenya.
  44. Organising visits to spastic homes to help spastic children.
  45. Setting up leprosy home for rehabilitating lepers and providing treatment to them.
  46. Setting up schools for deaf and dumb children for their rehabilitation
  47. One single act of service offered to the God whom you visualise in another is worth all the years of yearning for God.
  48. Providing hearing aids and spectacles to needy people.
  49. Providing artificial limbs to needy physically challenged people.
  50. Organising medical help and counselling to mentally challenged people.
  51. Setting up schools for the visually challenged.
  52. Monitoring and improving the health and nutritional needs of expecting mothers.
  53. Providing health check-ups in schools and colleges for students.
  54. Organising special medical camps for drug de- addiction and freedom from bad habits like smoking.
  55. Visiting hospitals and distributing gifts with humility and love to patients on various festive occasions.
  56. Conducting free veterinary camps for treating domestic animals in rural areas
  57. Providing the services of livestock experts to villagers at their doorstep for improving the health of the livestock, and for the eradication of diseases of the livestock.
  58. Setting up schools, colleges and other educational institutions for providing free value-based education to students.
  59. Conducting literacy classes to eradicate illiteracy in rural areas, urban slums and other backward areas.
  60. Providing scholarships, books and other teaching and reading material to needy school children.
  61. Conducting free coaching classes for helping needy students.
  62. Constructing buildings for schools in villages with the help and cooperation of villagers.
  63. Conducting Bal Vikas classes for providing education in human values to children.
  64. Conducting seminars to provide value-orientation to school and college teachers.
  65. Conducting interfaith meetings to foster love and harmony between followers of different religions.
  66. Conducting summer courses on Indian Culture and Spirituality to spread awareness about Bharat’s cultural and spiritual heritage.
  67. Setting up forums of professionals like lawyers, professors, businessmen, doctors to provide value-orientation to professionals.
  68. Setting up exhibitions to spread the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on social service, village uplift and for spreading the values like Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema, Ahimsa in society.
  69. Conducting Pallaki Seva (palanquin processions) and Nagar Sankirtan in villages, towns and cities for the spiritual regeneration of people.
  70. Spreading awareness about the need of values in society through Ratha Yatra, seminars, conferences, etc.
  71. Organising cultural activities like dramas, Burra Katha to spread values among people.
  72. Holding exhibitions and seminars on Sathya Sai Parenting to educate the parents how to inculcate values in children.
  73. Setting up Sathya Sai Human Values Institutes to train human values teachers.
  74. Conducting Bhajan classes and Bhajan centres.
  75. Conducting spiritual retreats and Sadhana camps for the spiritual advancement of people.
  76. Conducting functions like Mass Upanayanam to initiate children on spiritual path.
  77. Conducting Yajnas for the welfare of the world and promoting the teaching and learning of Vedas by setting up Vedic schools and honouring Vedic scholars.
  78. Publishing books and magazines and producing films to make people aware of the humanitarian work of Bhagavan.
  79. Producing serials on the Life and Message of Bhagavan for broadcasting to educate people about the ideals of Bhagavan like “Love All Serve All”.
  80. Producing ACD’s VCD’s, DVD’s on the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to spread values in society.
  81. Holding meetings at local, national and international levels to propagate the ideals of morality, ethics, spirituality taught by Bhagavan.

(Reference: Sanathana Sarathi Pgs 370-373 November 2005)

Rehabilitation Scheme For State’s Patients

SSSIHMS

SSSIHMS


Rehabilitation Scheme For State’s Patients
– Aruna Chandaraju

The programme covering cardiac patients of SSSIHMS hailing from Karnataka began as a pilot project in 2005.

Anyone who has been discharged from a hospital after surgery, would know that once he pays his bills and leaves, the relationship with the hospital virtually ends there. Unless he himself were to renew contact by seeking a revisit-appointment. That is the norm anywhere.

Except at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS), Bangalore, that offers zero-cost treatment to all patients. In a first-of-its kind project, called Sai Rehabilitation Programme, the hospital has been tracking all its cardiac-surgery patients across Karnataka including remote areas, and providing recuperative medical-rehabilitation services.

Moreover, this post-operative care is offered at a local doctor’s clinic i.e. almost at a patient’s doorstep, explains Programme Coordinator, M S Umesh Rao who, along with former SSSIHMS director Dr A N Safaya conceived of and developed the programme.

Thus the hospital’s protective umbrella covers the patient even after he leaves the hospital for his home, often hundreds of miles away.

Why this programme?
The management explained that post-surgery recuperative care––continuing doctor-consultations, regular medication and diagnostic tests, and lifestyle changes––is vital for cardiac patients. However, most patients are poor and illiterate––hence unlikely to understand this and do the needful. And considering that SSSIHMS gives its hi-tech treatment entirely free of cost, the doctors felt their efforts shouldn’t go waste once the patient returns home. Even in case of an aware patient wanting to return for a check-up, the effort and cost of travel involved could be daunting.

Rehab scheme
The Rehab Scheme uses the vast network of registered volunteers including doctors constituting Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation (SSSSO). This vast resource, divided district-wise, formed the starting point, explains Nagesh G Dhakappa, Karnataka State President, SSSSO.

So, how does the scheme work? First, the Sai Organisation enlists the support of volunteer-doctors across all 30 Karnataka districts.

The doctors are screened and attend an orientation workshop at SSSIHMS. These doctors–––who offer their services free of cost––submit their address and contact numbers to the hospital and to their own district’s Sai Organisation President and Coordinator all of whom then create a Rehab Scheme database.

When a patient from Karnataka––after surgery at SSSIHMS––is being discharged, his address is checked against the database to identify a doctor nearest his residence. This doctor’s contacts are given to the patient as part of his discharge summary.

He is asked to contact this doctor for three check-ups in the first six months following discharge, and also when he feels seriously unwell. Simultaneously, this doctor and relevant District President and Coordinator are contacted by SSSIHMS and given details of the patient being put under their charge and care.

With this two-way channel established, the patient visits this local doctor for regular consultations and lifestyle-check, all done free of cost.

This doctor also guides the patient in getting his medicines and follow-up tests from reliable pharmacists and labs.

The local doctor sends up the patient’s reports to SSSIHMS whose doctors are thus able to regularly monitor their patients from a distance. Based on these reports, if need be, SSSIHSM doctors might ask a patient to return to hospital––for further, zero-cost treatment.

In cases where the patient can’t afford the monthly medicines and tests (for eg, valve-replacement patients need expensive after-care), the local doctor and Sai Organisation members arrange free drugs and tests.

If a patient fails to report for check-up, the District President/Coordinator, who has his address, might even land up at his doorstep to take him to the clinic! The hospital, however, has been unable to reach out to a small percentage of patients who have relocated without informing SSSIHMS or local doctor of their new address.

Already, SSSIHMS has taken on the mammoth task of providing zero-cost, hi-tech medical care to thousands of patients. So, is not the Sai Rehab Programme a tremendous extra burden?

“Not at all,” replies Dr A S Hegde, Director, SSSIHMS, “It is an extension of the hospital’s charitable work. In fact, we derive great satisfaction from being able to extend our service to patients even after they leave us and are living far away.”

The programme covering cardiac patients of SSSIHMS hailing from Karnataka began as a pilot project in 2005.

Given its success, it’s now being replicated for rest-of-India patients beginning with Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

A similar programme is being planned for neuro-patients too.

Deccan Herald Reference