It is all knowing that healthy life is the foundation of a happy life. It is also said that children are the future of any society and the country. Data shows that school children constitute 20% of our population. That is more than 250 million. As such, it is absolutely necessary to educate our children properly and also keep them healthy. Then only they can really face the challenges of life well, shoulder the responsibilities like a responsible citizen of the country and also live happily.
There is no denying the fact that more than 90% of our population including children primarily need health care and not medical care as they suffer from deficiency of protein, minerals, vitamins etc. which can be taken care of with minimum basic knowledge of how to live healthy despite some constraints. Even minor indisposition or ailments due to cough, cold, indigestion etc. can be cured by adopting well established traditional methods of health care.
Interestingly, our country has been very rich in traditional health as well as medical practices which are thousands of years old. But the moot question is why it is not in practice in most of our families, particularly those living in cities.
In fact, besides the negative social impact of market driven economy, the gradual collapse of joint family system together with fast adoption of nuclear family system due to multiple of socio-economic reasons has been the major cause in this regard. Truly speaking, the culture of natural transfer of health inputs from grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt and the likes to the younger generation is no more in vogue in growing number of families. The culture of fast and easy life has also been catching up fast. Undeniably, unregulated heavy and recurrent doses of advertisement of manufactured health products and drugs do play a defining adverse impact. Obviously, the children are the worst sufferer in the family. This affects their impressionable mind badly as well.
The resultant effect is seen to be believed if we visit any hospital or nursing home or doctor’s clinic in any part of the country. The crowd there is increasing with every passing day- majority of them for treatment of normal health issues; self-curing minor ailments.
To say in few words, we are required to initiate reversal of this trend through “Awareness-Motivation Route” and try consistently for re-establishing our age-old health knowledge and tradition by affirming our faith and commitment. Naturally, this process might take some time, but would definitely be accepted by the common people as the noble goal is to make the large disadvantaged population of the country fairly self-reliant as far as healthy living as well as treatment of normal indisposition is concerned.
It hardly needs more emphasis that to set in motion this important task effectively as per the set goal, the role of educational institutions and social organisations is going to be very vital.
To start with, a well-thought of and well-planned awareness and motivation campaign ought to be undertaken for students from class VII to class XII in a slow but steady and systematic manner. The campaign would focus on ways to enhance the existing knowledge about basic health care together with time tested ways of taking care of minor ailments by making them aware of effective methods of traditional health care having sound scientific base. The elders in the family or in neighbourhood may be impressed to encourage the children in their own way to follow and accept the remedial methods. Involving some teachers from each school for taking this campaign forward can catalyse the whole operation. Similarly, some active members of pensioners’ association in the area can be requested to join hands for further value addition in this regard.
These simple initiatives, to begin with, would not only enrich the knowledge base of the children regarding various vital aspects of leading a healthy life but also provide them a golden opportunity to know about the country’s glorious past, its rich culture and above all nature’s great positive role in everyone’s life. In addition, this would give them an opportunity to interact and associate with the elders in the family, which is bound to help them in many ways. Stronger emotional and cultural bondage in the family and neighbourhood would be a big bonus. The elders would, in turn have the opportunity to revisit their health-related knowledge, update the same and get benefitted immensely in the process. On the whole, this exercise would result in a healthy and happy family and social situation - a win-win position for all.
Finally, before signing off, let us just give a thought to what John Wesley says in these lines: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
Brief Introduction of Milan Sinha: Worked in senior positions in financial sector for three decades following three years of active writing in various newspapers and magazines. A post graduate in Chemistry from Patna University and also a graduate with Economics.