The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin Launches Adopt-A-Village in India
India’s Consulate General of Chicago, New York, Houston, Atlanta, and the Deputy Consulate General of San Francisco participated live during the initiative’s launch.
Fremont, CA: The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) launched the Adopt-A-Village initiative to help rural areas in India. Chaired by Dr. Satheesh Kathula, members of the committee overseeing the project include the President of AAPI, Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, Dr. Jagan Ailinani, and Dr. Ram Singh.
Ambassador of India to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, lauded the numerous efforts of AAPI in India, especially during the pandemic. India’s Consuls General of Chicago, New York, Houston, Atlanta, and the Deputy Consul General of San Francisco participated live during the initiative's launch.
“A lot of effort is being put into this initiative, “Adopt a Village” Project where AAPI in collaboration with Global TeleClinics, Inc.,(GTC) plans to adopt 75 villages in honor of 75 years of India’s independence,” she said, according to a press release from AAPI,” Dr. Gotimukula said.
The 75 villages in India selected for the project are in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, where free health screenings will be conducted and results analyzed by GTC for follow up. “This is a small contribution from AAPI to Mother India in celebration of Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav.” Dr. Gotimukula added.
Ambassador Sandhu thanked AAPI and its members, saying, “As India is entering the 75th year of independence, honoring men and women, who fought for the freedom, we rededicate ourselves to build an India where the dreams and aspirations of India’s 13 billion people are realized.” He urged Indians abroad to join in the year-long celebrations.
Dr. Kathula noted that three out of four Indians and about 77 percent of the poor live in villages, and a majority have no access to safe drinking water and sanitation. “By adopting one village at a time and working with the government and NGOs, NRIs can make a difference,” said Dr. Kathula.
President-Elect of AAPI, Dr. Ravi Kolli, noted India’s progress using life expectancy as a measure but stressed the need for primary care at the local level, calling for the building of a Family Medicine corps which could deliver accessible and affordable preventive and primary care to the poor.
Dr. Ailinani, who was instrumental in founding the program and set an example by adopting his birth village in Telangana, said, “A majority of the NRI’s hail from villages and would like to do their part to bring progress to villages in our state and country.”
Dr. Ram Singh said, “There is a real will and desire on the part of governments, both at the state and the center to work with NRIs and NGOs to bring development to rural India.”
Dr. Kusum Punjabi, chair of the AAPI Board of Trustees, thanked AAPI members who have committed to adopting a village as these kinds of projects and programs require consistency in funding to make them sustainable.
Consul General of India in Houston, Aseem Mahajan, in his address on “Indo-US Relationship In Healthcare -Rural Health Perspective,” praised AAPI members calling them “heroes and partners,” especially during Covid. “We can work together, collaborating and sharing of knowledge and expertise, including Medical Education,” he said.
Dr. Suresh Reddy, past President of AAPI and currently an elected Trustee of Oakbrook Village in Illinois, announced that he is adopting his native village in the state of Telangana.
Consul General Kumar spoke about “Rural Health In India, The Current Situation,” and focused on technological areas in healthcare development in the rural parts of India. Consul General of India in Atlanta Dr. Swati Kulkarni focused on “How AAPI and Doctors can Help India.” Dr. Kulkarni said where “India needs overseas expertise, and you are best suited to offer,” it. She pointed to India’s rapidly growing healthcare industry and medical tourism.
Consul General in New York, Randhir Jaiswal, focused on “Rural Health in India: The Challenges and Solutions,” reiterated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to rebuild a new India. In light of that, “AAPI’s initiative is even more meaningful and fits well into PM’s vision for India,” CG Jaiswal said.
San Francisco Deputy Consul General Rajesh Naik also spoke, as did other AAPI members, including Dr. Sujeeth Punnam, a renowned cardiologist; Dr. Anjana Samadder, vice president of AAPI; Dr. Krishan Kumar, treasurer of AAPI; and Dr. Lokesh Edara, chair for AAPI’s global initiative.