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Action for Rural Rejuvenation

Action for Rural Rejuvenation (ARR) is a multi-pronged, multi-phased, holistic, outreach program whose primary objective is to improve the overall health and quality of life of the rural poor. ARR is a unique, well-defined philanthropic effort, which enhances existing development schemes by supporting indigenous models of health, disease prevention and community participatory governance, while offering primary health care services and allopathic treatment through its dedicated team of qualified and trained personnel.

Throughout this project, health is viewed holistically, involving a multitude of unparalleled components to create healthier environments and wholesome ways of living, targeting the mind, body and spirit concurrently.

This project was launched in August 2003, under the aegis of Isha Foundation.

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Action for Rural Rejuvenation

  1. 1. ACTION FOR RURAL REJUVENATION- A SHORT INSIGHT…Action for Rural Rejuvenation (ARR) initiative is a comprehensive rural rehabilitation programthat provides initial relief for urgent medical needs and ongoing services to restore inner well-being and rebuild community.ASPIRING FOR..ARR’s primary objective is to improve the overall health and quality of life of the rural poor.ARR is a unique, well-defined philanthropic effort, which enhances existing developmentschemes by supporting indigenous models of health, disease prevention and communityparticipatory governance, while offering primary health care services by allopathic treatment aswell as native system (Siddha, Ayurveda) of medicines through its dedicated team of qualifiedand trained personnel.Throughout this project, health is viewed holistically, involving a multitude of unparalleledcomponents to create healthier environments and wholesome ways of living, targeting the mind,body and spirit concurrently.CURRENTLY OPERATING AT..7 regional offices (Chennai, Coimbatore, Gobichettipaalayam, Madurai, Salem, Thalavadi andKolli Hills) with its Zonal Offices at Salem and Coimbatore. Currently, 15 MHCs are beingoperated.DWELVING INTO THE HISTORY2003:The first Mobile Health Clinic was launched in August 2003 in the town of Gobichettipaalayamin Erode district, Tamil Nadu by Sadhguru, Founder, Isha Foundation.ARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 2
  2. 2. 2004:In 2004, when the Asian Tsunami struck the coast of Tamil Nadu, ARR was involved inrehabilitation work and provided medical aid, support for the reconstruction of houses and boats,adoption of orphans, impartation of yoga as a means to overall physical and mental well-beingand in community building efforts. ARR also adopted 120 affected villages in Cuddalore andNagapattinam districts for long-term rehabilitation. Eight mobile health clinics with an allopathicphysician and a paramedical support team of four each provided medical care every day to nearly4,000 villages in the affected areas.2005 ARR also provided aid and support in 2005, when Cuddalore, Chidambaram and Trichy districtsof Tamil Nadu were affected by monsoon floods.2005-2007Isha Gramotsavam happened in Gobi, Coimbatore, Salem, Chennai where more than 6 Lakhrural people participated in the celebrations.2008Launch of Arokiya Alai, a series of mass Health awareness camps in rural Tamilnadu,A trial of ARR in West Africa – Sierra leone.ARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 3
  3. 3. 2010Launch of AYUSH Isha Organic Health Systems (, at Kolli Hillsblock tribal community in Namakkal District, a first ever public health intervention projectusing Siddha, Ayurveda and Yoga for Health care delivery.Flood Relief Camps were conducted helping the people affected by the flood in the areas ofNagapattinam and Thriuvarur Districts.Launch of Patient Monitoring System using IT Application for Public Health Research.NUANCES OF THE ONGOING JOURNEY…. MOBILE HEALTH CLINICS An essential part of Action for Rural Rejuvenation are the free Mobile Health Clinics which provide timely medical care to people who would otherwise not have access due to financial constraints or the remoteness of the region. Action for Rural Rejuvenation also brings free yoga classes and introduces medicinal herb gardens which support the health of villagers through indigenous methods. Another health promoting activity of the project is the community games organized in each village, which offer a healthy alternative to alcohol and drug abuse. Implemented in 4,500 villages across the Coimbatore, Chennai, Erode, Salem, Namakkal, Karur, Dindigul, Madurai, Theni, Tiruvannamalai, Thiruvallur and Cuddalore districts of Tamil Nadu and in Chamaraj Nagar in Karnataka, Action for Rural Rejuvenation has reached 3,161,181 villagers.ARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 4
  4. 4. RENDERING HANDS FOR NATURE’S FURY--TSUNAMI RELIEF AND REHABILITATIONIsha Foundation was quick in its response to the unprecedented and catastrophic death anddestruction caused by the tsunami on 26th December, 2004. In coastal areas of Chidambaramand Cuddalore and the devastated villages in Vellankovil and Nagapattanam, thousands of Ishavolunteers from all walks of life tirelessly operated relief camps from the very first day, offeringfood, shelter, quality medical assistance and psychological relief to the victims. Speciallydesigned Isha Yoga classes were also conducted to help those affected cope with the disaster,through physically and psychologically strengthening tools.ARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 5
  5. 5. Personally participating in the relief and rehabilitation programs, Sadhguru made several visits tothe affected areas – closely directing and overseeing the process. Eight Mobile Health Clinicscomplete with their medical teams, supplies and thousands of volunteers were immediatelymoved from their project sites to the coast and put at the disposal of the district administration.Subsequently, in close working with the district administration, Isha Foundation adopted fourvillages in Cuddalore district and completed a model rehabilitation program that was highlyacclaimed by the beneficiary communities and the state administration alike. In addition, MobileHealth Clinics were permanently dedicated to implementing the project Action for RuralRejuvenation in 60 coastal villages.Isha Foundation delivered its first permanent house to the victims within 30 days of the disaster.The novel housing design developed promptly by Sadhguru himself, was certified as fire,earthquake, cyclone and tsunami proof by various institutions. Further, a boat manufacturingfacility was set up on the premises of Isha Yoga Center to respond to the urgent need for fishingboats (the sole livelihood provider of coastal villagers). Volunteer engineers and professionalsassisted to restore livelihoods lost through the calamity. REVITALISING THE LOCAL FLAVOUR THROUGH SPORTS - ISHA GramotsavamAn essential component of the Action for Rural Rejuvenation program had been the introductionof sports and recreational activities in the rural villages of Tamil Nadu.Daily gatherings on the volley-ball court help to renew a sense of community by involvingvillagers old and young, and men and women from all castes and economic levels. Playingtogether fosters a healthy spirit of competition, which translates into higher self-esteem,improved communal harmony, better health and enhanced productivity.ARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 6
  6. 6. It is in this spirit that Isha Foundation volunteers organized Gramotsavam or "Rural Olympics“in Gobi in 2004, Coimbatore in 2005, Salem in 2006 and Chennai in 2007. Through the event,600 teams from villages in 7 districts competed in over 13 different sport disciplines andtraditional rural games such as Selambu Attam, an ancient martial art, Rekala Race, a bullockcart race to beat the clock, tug of war, Uri adi (hitting a pot strung on a height), vazhuku maramor greasy pole contests, Volleyball and Throw ball finals for men and women. Modern track &field events along with fun filled village games allow spectators of all ages to becomeparticipants in this weekend-long sport festival.However, Gramotsavam is not just about sports, it also provides an opportunity to celebrateSouth Indias rural life and culture. The event showcased traditional rural cuisine and local artsand crafts, while folk songs and dances delighted the 600,000+ attendees.Moreover Rural Olympics is happening every year at Gobichettipalayam, Erode districtinvolving more than 200 teams from 160 villages annually since 2004. AROKIYA ALAI-THE WAVE OF HEALTH among the RURAL COMMUNEARR conducts health awareness events and medical camps across Tamil Nadu under the IshaArogya Gramam Plan launched in 2008 in order to address the healthcare needs of people inrural areas. Patients are screened and treated for general health, eye, ENT and dental problems.The “Wave of Health” or Arokia Alai program also works to support this endeavor by spreadingawareness on nutrition, disease prevention and hygiene and sanitation to the rural people throughtalks and media presentations. The Arokia Alai project provides free-of-cost, simple, healthyARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 7
  7. 7. dietary solutions to help eradicate malnutrition in villagers. By providing knowledge on diseasesand their symptoms, Arokia Alai seeks to make villagers proactive about their health and enablethem to detect diseases early through the taught symptoms and thus take the necessary action.A Number of camps are being conducted in various rural villages as a part of Arokiya AlaiSeries.ARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 8
  8. 8. ISHA KRIYA – an ancient yogic tool for sustainable physical as well as inner wellbeing:Sadhguru’s vision is to offer “one drop spirituality” to the entire humanity. This is madepossible by Isha Kriya, a simple but powerful 20-minute yogic practice. Daily practice of IshaKriya enhances one to reach the heights of physical and inner well being, enabling to create abetter healthy and happy rural society.Isha Kriya sessions conducted during the Arokiya Alai camps and School Health Awarenessprograms has its own impact among the teachers and particularly the elders of the ruralcommunity R & D:With increasing patients each and every month, ARR introduced Online Patient MonitoringSystem to keep track of the patients and their history online, in collaboration with Yousee( and Swasth India ( Laptops were installed in one MobileHealth Clinic from October 8, 2010 and Patients Details (including their ID Proof Details) andMedications are entered. This enables to keep a complete track of patients and gives betterreliability of the figures, whenever needed. This application also has an option for the MedicineInventory Management which effectively reduces most of the back office work.Mobile Clinics at remote villages which lack Network connectivity are provided with hand heldscanners to scan the Patient Cards and being digitized at the Back Office. Currently, five of themobile clinics are digitized. This initiative will progress with further advancements likeTelemedicine.ARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 9
  9. 9. ARR IN DIGITS & FIGURES as of march 31, 2011TOTAL NUMBER OF PANCHYATS REACHED: 665TOTAL NO OF VILLAGES TOUCHED: 4,500TOTAL NUMBER OF MOBILE HEALTH CLINICS: 15TOTAL NO OF MEDICAL BENEFICIARIES: 3,161,181AVG PATIENTS PER DAY PER CLINIC: 124TOTAL NO OF CAMPS CONDUCTED: 1,861TOTAL NO OF CAMP BENEFICIARIES: 293,689STATIstiCS 2010-11:  Districts covered- 14 - Coimbatore, Erode, Karur, Namakkal, Salem, Trichy, Perambalur, Chennai, Thiruvallur, Dindigul, Madurai, Theni, Palakkad (Kerala), Chamraj Nagar (Karnataka)  In 2010, Isha’s mobile health teams treated 3,72,976 out patients in the regular Mobile clinics, an average of 31,081 patients per month and 1,036 per day.   Isha has offered its service in the flood affected regions of Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam Districts in December 2010. LINKS OVER THE WEB:website: www.ishaoutreach.orgupdates: Dr.SANJEEVI AWARD FOR THE YEAR 2009.ARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 10
  10. 10. Some Analysis:  The percentage of female benefitted by the overall program is 62.1%  An interesting trend too is evident while comparing the age distribution of OutPatients attended between MHCs that operate in Rural versus Urban area. The clinics that operate in predominantly areas like Gobichettipalayam and Rural Salem have 50% of their patient visits belonging to Geriatric Category. In contrast, Urban areas like Chennai and Urban Coimbatore have a very high percentage of Out Patients attended belonging to the working age. Clinic Name Total Number of Out Patient visits: 3,72,976 Chennai MHC 1 8.5% Chennai MHC 2 6.5% 50000 45000 Coimbatore 5.6% MHC 1 40000 Coimbatore 7.7% 35000 MHC 2 30000 Coimbatore 6.9% MHC 3 25000 Gobi MHC 1 8.3% 20000 Gobi MHC 2 8.5% 15000 Gobi MHC 3 8.1% 10000 Madurai MHC 8.0% 5000 0 Salem MHC 1 6.9% Salem MHC 2 6.1% Salem MHC 3 11.9% Salem MHC 4 7.0% Grand Total 100% Gender distribution 30000 Male Female 25000 20000 15000 10000 Gender distribution 5000 0 Male 38% Female 62%ARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 11
  11. 11. Age distribution 25000 Adults Pediatrics Geriatrics 20000 15000 Rural 10000 Urban 5000 Geriatrics Adult 0 40% 46% Pediatrics 14% Disease Pattern Musculo skeletal related Others 29% Nutritional 20% 5% Infections & Infestations 5% Digestive Respiratory 8% Skin & RTI Circulatory 17% 8% 8%  The major complaints are pain in joints, generalised body pain, cough and cold.  Apart from the medicines given as treatment of these commonly prevailing ailments, the medical team is teaching the patients- Isha Kriya, a 12 minute simple yogic practice, which promotes health.ARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 12
  12. 12. How you can participate?Tribute gift: Express your respect, gratitude, or remembrance with a donation that will help Isha build abetter life in rural villages. Celebrate a special anniversary with a gift that improves rural and urban slumdwellers health care.Volunteer: You can assemble and deliver health care along with the clinics, disseminate healtheducation messages, spending time with the village people and urban slum dwellers, in whichever wayyou can..For details:+91 94425 90016, 25, 58, 85Operations.arr@ishaoutreach.orgswami.pranaka@ishaoutreach.orgARR-A SHORT INSIGHT DOC. DATED 01.11.2011 Page 13