Wednesday October 18, 2017
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Bullying: White House launches campaign in Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu

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Washington: The White House has teamed up with a Sikh and an Asia Pacific community group to launch a public awareness campaign to address bullying in six languages including Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.

The resources for the “Act To Change” campaign are also available in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese as one out of three in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community does not speak English fluently.

The initiative launched, in partnership with the Sikh Coalition and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, will also feature video testimonials of AAPI celebrity athletes, artists, and entertainers.

“Growing up, sometimes people made me feel like an outsider; I was the perfect storm of nerdy, gay, and Indian American,” wrote Maulik Pancholy, a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPI discussing the campaign.

“But now, I’ve come to find that those very things that were sometimes used as fodder against me are the things I love the most about myself,” he wrote in a White House blog post.

“I have the privilege to be connected to amazing communities of incredible people: people who know that it’s actually cool to nerd out about stuff, who celebrate the strength and joy of what it means to identify as LGBT, and who appreciate the rich cultural heritage of being Indian American.”

“It’s okay to be weird, but it’s NOT okay to be bullied,” said Pancholy, noting: “Every day, kids of all ages suffer from being bullied in schools across the country.”

In the AAPI community, this problem is often complicated by cultural, religious, and linguistic barriers that can keep AAPI youth from getting the help they need, he said.

“And we’ve seen that certain AAPI groups – including South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Micronesian, and limited English proficient youth – are more likely to be the targets of bullying,” Pancholy wrote.

In addition to raising awareness, the campaign encourages AAPI youth and adults to share their stories, engage in community dialogues, and take action against bullying.

The campaign website, ActToChange.org, includes video and music empowerment playlists, and encourages one to “Take a Pledge” to join the #ActToChange movement and stand up against bullying.

The Sikh Coalition has also launched a new anti-bullying awareness video. The short five-minute film was developed for community members to share on social media to raise awareness to the challenges that Sikh children face when confronting this problem.

Sikh children are acutely vulnerable to abuse in our nation’s schools, said the Sikh Coalition’s law and policy director, Arjun Singh.

“The bullying of Sikh children is an epidemic,” he said noting that the Coalition’s 2014 national bullying report found that 67 percent of turbaned Sikh children have been bullied.

(Arun Kumar, IANS)

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Indian-American physicians to host health summit in Delhi

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Washington:The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) will hold its 10th Global Health Summit from Jan 1 to 3 in New Delhi with a focus on women’s health and non-communicable diseases in India.

A ground breaking launch of the first Trauma and Brain Injury Guidelines for India is also planned for Jan 2, according to AAPI president Dr. Seema Jain. Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Health Minister J P Nadda will be invited to launch these guidelines, she said.

The 10th anniversary Summit, promises to be one with the greatest impact and significant contributions towards harnessing the power of international Indian diaspora to bring the most innovative, efficient, cost effective healthcare solutions to India, Jain said.

“With the changing trends and statistics in healthcare, both in India and US, AAPI is refocusing our mission and vision of GHS 2016,” she said.

AAPI would like to collaborate with local partners in India towards making a positive meaningful impact on the healthcare in India.

The mission of AAPI is to share best practice and experiences from leading experts in the world and develop actionable plans for launching demonstration projects that enable access to affordable and quality healthcare for all people, Jain said.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is AAPI’s chief patron will be the chief guest for AAPI’s first Women’s Leadership Forum on Jan 2.

Several prominent women leaders will be invited to the forum to discuss the future of women leaders in India, share personal examples of their challenges, struggles and successes.

(IANS)

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India Calling: NRI Doctors respond to rural India’s distress

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By Meghna

 

The rural health care in India has always been in a sorry state. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) did four studies  in rural Alamarathupatti, Samiyarpatti and Pillayar Natham in the state of Tamil Nadu and another in the village of Karakhadi, in the state of Gujarat some years ago, and found that not only were the people living in rural areas ignorant about common lifestyle disorders like diabetes and hypertension, but they were also deprived of access to quality health care and knowledge of basic sanitation practices.

AAPI, essentially a body of Indian doctors settled in the US started the project ‘SEVAK’ in 2010 on a pilot basis in Karakhadi village, and over the years, it’s reported that it has covered all villages within the 26 districts of the state.

Dubbed as an extremely successful rural health care model, SEVAK is the brainchild of Dr. Thakor Patel, AAPI member and a specialist in nephrology and internal medicine. The concept of SEVAK is based on the Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) in the US Navy. Dr. Thakor Patel was associated with the US Navy for 23 years and during this period he has also served as the director of IDC.

The IDCs are high school graduates who undergo a training of one year during which they are trained in providing primary health care to Marine Corps units or Navy Ships. In addition to this, they are also responsible for managing disasters, ensuring preventive care of sailors along with conducting environmental checks such as humidity, temperature and sanitation.

The sevaks are responsible for providing holistic healthcare to their respective villages.

“The design of this project was based on one person per village per district of Gujarat for a total of 26 individuals — that is sevaks. Upon selection, these individuals underwent health training in Vadodara,” Dr. Patel said. Following this, they were sent back to their villages to discharge their duties.

The project is looking at a possible expansion into 100 villages. The project was started in Gujarat with the support of the state government and Local partners like the Bharatiya Seva Samaj (which is overseeing the project), and the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara.

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A person should have at least passed 12th standard in order to become a sevak. A Sevak should be a permanent resident of his/her village. Women who will remain in their villages for a long period are eligible to become a sevak.

A sevak is responsible for the complete basic health care of his/her village. This includes conducting basic health checkups and screening of diseases like diabetes and hypertension. They will also be responsible for monitoring high-risk population for various diseases and patients with chronic disease who are on treatment.

Not just this, but the task of educating the village people about healthy lifestyle and preventive care is also to be dispensed by the sevak.

Sevaks are an important link in the chain of healthcare. They connect the rural folk to the health care experts.

“Special cases are referred to city hospitals and in some cases sevaks accompany the patient. The cost is borne by the project,” explains Dr. Patel.

One of the benchmarks by which the performance of the sevaks is measured is the sanitation of the villages. One of the variables is the number of toilets in the villages and since the inception of the project, the number of toilets in the sevak villages have increased.

Monitoring the Sevak project

“The state of Gujarat was divided into four zones: North, south, central and west, with a coordinator for each. The base education requirement for the coordinator was a bachelor’s degree. As the coordinator their job is to go to each village once a month and go over the work done by the local sevak, collect the data in an excel file, and email it to me. The data is then sent to Dr. Ranjita Misra*, who compiles the information into statistics. In addition, Dr. Padmini Balagopal* creates the lifestyle modification education program for the sevak,” Dr. Patel explains.

After the success of the first leg of Sevak project in Gujarat, the AAPI in collaboration with Dr Rahul Jindal, a transplant surgeon in Washington, New York-based philanthropist, George Subraj have launched the programme in rural areas of Guyana also.

rediff
credits: rediff.com

To develop in cohesion, as a nation, we need to cater to the rural population more. The rural-urban dichotomy is a serious issue and steps need to be undertaken to bring the rural India at par with its urban counterpart. Sevak project is an initiative which attempts to take steps towards this issue. More projects on similar lines need to be brought about to revolutionize Indian society.

 

(* both the doctors are members of the AAPI)

 

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American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin launches research foundation to support academic research initiatives

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New York: The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic association of medical professionals in the US, has launched a Scientific, Academic Research Foundation (SARF) for supporting key academic research initiatives.

courtesy: aapitulsa.org

The pioneering initiative was launched during a solemn ceremony, attended by physicians, community leaders and international media personnel, at the Indian Consulate in New York on Friday, according to an AAPI release.

“SARF has been founded to support and promote excellence in medicine, advance key research and academic initiatives and establishing a robust and credible process of recognizing significant contributions of Indian American Physicians with Excellence awards,” AAPI President, Seema Jain said.

SARF award categories include: Lifetime Excellence for Research & Innovation, Excellence in Leadership to Young Physician Award, Excellence in Global Health, Physician of the Year award and Hall of Fame award.

The first ever SARF Inaugural Awards Gala will be held on Aug 14 at the Pierre Hotel in New York.

The inaugural gala will be addressed among others by by Hardeep Singh Puri, Secretary General of the Independent Commission on Multiculturalism, Bob Oliver, President and Chief Operating Officer, Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals and Dnyneshwar Mulay, Consul General of India in New York.

“It is estimated that there are 1.2 million physicians of Indian origin working not only in India, but also, in most of the countries around the world,” Jain said.

“Their contributions to the world of healthcare is enormous. It’s in this context, AAPI’s new initiative becomes very timely and unique,” she said.

The SARF awards are for individuals who distinguish themselves and are at the cutting edge of their field, rising up above thousands of others, jain said.

In his inaugural address, Mulay metaphorically described the Indian American community as a “fertile ground,” where AAPI has grown to be a “Banyan tree,” and SARF is a “beautiful flower.”(IANS)