Combine Ram Lila revelry with health checks: Harsh Vardhan

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Wednesday said Ram Lila, the traditional enactment of the Ramayana during Navratri festival, should be linked with health checkups.

IANS| Updated: Oct 01, 2014, 21:21 PM IST

New Delhi: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Wednesday said Ram Lila, the traditional enactment of the Ramayana during Navratri festival, should be linked with health checkups.

The minister said that the camps will be set up at five locations during the ongoing festival, involving community health volunteers.

This would be done under Swasth Chetna Evam Jan Sahyog Abhiyaan (SCEJSA), which will be the first government initiative to draw people into the benefits of promotive and preventive health in the national capital.

"SCEJSA camps have been opened at five big Ram Lila grounds and a Durga Puja mandap in Chittaranjan Park during the festive season. I urge all to avail this opportunity to get themselves checked by doctors from the leading hospitals of Delhi, and also avail free diagnostics and secondary treatment opportunities," said Harsh Vardhan.

The locations of the shivirs are: Luv-Kush Ram Lila at Lal Quila Maidan, Sri Balaji Ram Lila at CBD ground Karkardooma; Ram Lila Ground, Trinagar (Keshavpuram); Shalimar Bagh, near BL Block; and Ram Lila Ground in Ashok Vihar Phase 1 (near Dhyan Chand Stadium).

The health ministry, in a statement, said: "More than 50 lakh people participate in the Ram Lila celebrations during the 10-day-long Navratri period".

In all, 26 doctors, 90 paramedics/nurses and more than 200 volunteers are involved in SCEJSA. They have been drawn from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and various hospitals of the Delhi government.

"This is one of the ways a social movement around health should ideally work. We are finalizing a broader strategy, which will be discussed with the health secretaries of the states Oct 9. The gains from SCEJSA, in terms of experience, would serve as inputs for modelling a nation-wide health movement involving all stakeholders," he said.