A customary general body meeting once in a while, a cultural evening once a year and a buffet feast to cap with, completes the annual scheme of events for an average residential association in the State.

But, Niravu is different. A decade-old residential forum at Vengeri here is determined not to slip into that beaten groove of residents’ associations. It ventured to set models for other collectives to emulate in spheres such as energy conservation, organic farming and waste management.

Niravu, of late, has embarked on a health project ‘Arogyamitra Sampoorna,’ for all the members of the 110 households.

It envisages taking care of the health needs of its members from birth to death. “Our objective is to enhance the quality of our residents’ life from birth to death,” says Akhilesh Kumar, a young allopathic doctor and the director of the project.

Launching the project, the forum with the help of around 80 trained National Service Scheme volunteers from the neighbouring Providence Women’s College, conducted a survey among the residents to understand their health condition.

The domestic hygiene level of each was also assessed. Next was a drive, testing the drinking water quality of each resident’s house with the help of the government-aided ‘Jalasree Club’ under the Botany Department of the Providence College.

e-coli bacteria was found in four wells while small variance in the pH was also detected in several others. Samples of the four wells were sent to the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) for further examinations. Remedial measures including for the pH difference and super chlorination for selected wells were carried out following the test findings.

A focussed campaign against filariasis with awareness sessions and a mass drug administration programme was the next phase. “All households cooperated with the drive,” says Dr. Akhilesh, who is serving in a government hospital here.

The project, launched last December, has entered its fourth stage, in which a complete anaemia screening programme is planned for children and adolescents. “Unhealthy food habits and the peculiar circumstances in the nuclear families are taking their toll on the health of our children with a majority of them anaemic and suffering from vision disorders,” says Dr. Akhilesh. “Awareness sessions for parents will be held once the blood tests are through,” he says adding that a body mass index (BMI) screening and blood testing drive to detect diabetes, blood pressure for all members above the age of 30 will be held in the next stage of the project.

From immunisation coverage of newborn to the adolescent and sexual health awareness programme, to blood and organs donations awareness drive to geriatric and palliative care, the project encompasses the health needs of all residents from cradle to the grave. According to Babu Parambath, coordinator of the project, Niravu is trying to implement a holistic method of well-being using different methods such as Ayurveda and homeopathy. “We have doctors and paramedical professionals in all these streams,” says Mr. Babu. According to him training in swimming, cycling and yoga to all its members is part of the project.

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