Empowering women will change the society for good, says Umesh Agarwal, Secretary, RYACosmo Foundation.
RYACosmo focuses on different parameters – social upliftment, healthcare, skill development, relief for affected areas etc., what is the primary goal of the foundation?
RYA Cosmo Foundation is committed to delivering excellence by providing compassionate healthcare at an affordable cost, of making available all healthcare services to even the common man. Our primary beneficiaries are marginalized and needy sections of the society.
Since inception what have been the three major milestones achieved by the foundation?
RYA Cosmo has always been at the forefront to help in case of Natural Calamities. On 24th November 1999 our members with materials worth Rs.1 crore went to the affected areas of Super Cyclone in Orissa. In February, 2005 at Koovathur Village near Kalpakkam a multi-mega specialty health camp with A to Z facilities was organised for more than 12000 people with a cost of Rs. 50 lakh. The doctors screened patients for diabetes, heart diseases, asthma, cancer, eye irritations and general sickness. Several tests like X-ray, ECG and blood sugar checks were conducted and medicines supplied to patients. All patients were provided food and refreshments. A legal aid cell headed by Judge G.M. Akbar Ali was also inaugurated for people affected by the tsunami.
The camp attracted over 350 volunteers, 100 security and other staff and over a 1,000 philanthropists and social workers. Our Primary Day Care and Diagnostic Centre -Shanthidevi Jawaharmal Chandan was inaugurated in 2012 caters to 100,000 + plus people every year since inception.
What are the main areas that you are present in?
Our aim is to provide affordable healthcare to every individual. However, currently we are working in the following areas:
1. Daulat Kanwar Open Heart Surgery Scheme for the underprivileged and needy where patients are provided assistance for upto Rs. 2 Lakh for open heart surgery.
2. RYA Cosmo UGTA Foundation’s Blood Bank (Reflex Group Initiative – A unit of Medway Hospital
3. An eight-bedded ultra-modern dialysis facility
Please tell us about your views with regard to social status of women in the country vis-à-vis internationally? What are the areas that need immediate attention?
Social Status of woman is changing rapidly in the country with many development schemes being launched by the Government during the last five years. The emphasis has been to empower and educate them to create self-sustainable environment, to nurture them virtually by using technology.
The government has also launched initiatives like ‘Beti Padhao Beti Bachao’ and to encourage parents to save money by investing in ‘Sukanya Samriddhi Schemes’.
The need of the hour is more power to women as law maker. The government should also consider 33 % reservation bill that mandates one third of seats reserved for women in parliament.
How has RYACosmo brought about a change in the economic status and standard of living of underprivileged population in the country changed over the last decade?
RYACosmo Foundation was established in 1994 and has been serving as a charitable trust to assist local community activities and revitalize the underprivileged neighborhood.
The prime objective is to care for the uncared with a proposed goal to render services to the underprivileged sections of society at an affordable cost. RYACosmo operates under the noble scheme Medibank under which various activities listed below are undertaken.Geriatric and cancer wards have been adopted in GH Chennai and the medicines are dispensed to the patients every month for free. Full-fledged day care and diagnostic centre named as SDJC is operational, which is exclusively serving the needy.
A multi-specialty doctor’s consultation and diagnostic procedures such as TMT, Echo, ECG, X-Ray, ultrasound scan, endoscopy and colonoscopy services are rendered at a subsidised cost. Also, general physician consultation along with dosage for three days are dispensed free of cost to all the patients. Also other specialities like Gynecology, Orthopedics, Cardiology, Psychology & Pediatrics have been recently added.
Besides, RYA Cosmo pharmacy is also sufficiently stocked with all kinds of medicines. A dialysis centre was recently inaugurated and is operational. We have also added full-fledged dentist and eye care facilities and other multi-specialty consultations through our health camps. Another initiative of the foundation is to provide services to meet the immediate healthcare needs of marginalised communities in slums, through standalone camps offering comprehensive health services curative, preventive, promotive and referral services.
Please share your achievements and experiences of working for the underprivileged sections of the society?
I have been working with RYACosmo since 2014. Right from setting up relief centres during Chennai floods in 2015 to volunteering for medical camps; I have seen and experienced poverty first hand. Currently, I am involved as Project Secretary at RYACosmo and responsible for organising camps for the needy. We also send our medical teams to age old shelter home to conduct free eye camps regularly. We also conduct free medical camps for COPD, early detection of cancer, master health check-up camp, dental camp, exclusive camps for women on International Women’s Day.
Please share your views on India’s ranking on the Human Development Index by the United Nations Development Programme. The latest report says India ranks 130/189 (just above average) in South Asia. Which areas according to RyaCosmo need more attention if the ranking has to scale up?
A healthy society is bedrock for any nation to develop and RYACosmo Foundation is focused to provide health care services at affordable price.
The Government of India recently launched Aayushman Bharat Health Scheme with vision of providing universal health care for 10 crore people below poverty line. Our goals are in line with the government and since 25 years we at RYACOSMO Foundation have been in this field of providing affordable healthcare to the underprivileged.
We shall soon be expanding our services by setting up a full time cancer screening facility with Madras Cancer Care Foundation and a blood bank. Besides, we are the only NGO in Tamil Nadu to have adopted the Geriatric Ward in the Government Hospital.