New Delhi, 19 March 2024: “Today, India is undertaking a transformative journey, one that looks at illness to wellness from a completely new prism. As we delve into the significance of health and hygiene, let us acknowledge India’s remarkable evolution in this realm. The WHO recommends a doctor-to-population ratio of 1:1000, we have achieved a ratio of 1:900 which is an improvement over the guidelines. Investing in health and hygiene is not just a moral imperative, it is an economic necessity.” said Shri Bhubaneswar Kalita, Chairperson, of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, and Family Welfare at ASSOCHAM’s 2nd Awareness Summit on Illness to Wellness.

“Beyond being just buzzwords, health and hygiene are the pillars upon which prosperous societies are built. The journey has been arduous yet inspiring. From battling infectious diseases to embracing preventive healthcare, the nation has made significant strides. Over the past decade we have witnessed reduction in maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rate and children under 5 mortality rate. These achievements underscore the effectiveness of robust healthcare initiatives and the importance of prioritising hygiene practices. The various initiatives and programs of the government has transformed the society into a health conscious one. As we strive for universal health coverage, it is imperative to empower communities with knowledge and resources to safeguard their wellbeing. The government has increased the number of medical colleges and we will have one medical college in every district and shortage of doctors in rural areas will soon be a thing of the past,” He added.


Delivering the keynote address, (Padma Bhushan) Dr. Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi said, “Wellness is a state of mind, spirit and body and illness a deficiency of social, physical, mental and spiritual factors. A new India for the world has to encompass health towards wellness. The youth and women are the present and future of our country. We have to combine all efforts to deliver wellness and beyond. The 20th Century was the most scientific 100 years ever lived by mankind, the various discoveries and inventions has turned man into demi-gods and we forgot spirituality. A microbe and the Covid pandemic showed humankind the limits of its power. The understanding about working together, of mental health and empowerment is the silver lining leading us to talk about wellness with greater urgency. Science made us live in the 20th century and we must now combine science with spirituality as we go into the 21st century. Science made us live on earth and science plus spirituality makes us live in the world.”


Prof. (Dr.) Anil Agarwal, Medical Director, Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education Research, Government of NCT of Delhi, New Delhi in his address said, “Public awareness is an important prerequisite to the adoption of healthy practices. It is also equally important that the right information is disseminated. Early detection is the cornerstone of treatment and seeking early medical intervention is advisable. The focus should be on silent killers and vulnerable groups in raising public awareness. Reaching out to school children is a good approach as the younger you start the more ingrained will the awareness be. Imparting basic life-saving skills to students in schools and colleges will be very effective in combating sudden death.”


Delivering the welcome address, Mr. Anil Rajput, Chairperson, ASSOCHAM National CSR Council said, “This initiative was launched in 2014 with the belief that we have the scientific knowledge to create a world in which most of the diseases could be either eliminated or controlled by preventive healthcare awareness. We are driven by a commitment to promote health and wellness for all with a focus on empowerment, education, collaboration and sustainable impact. Over the years we have endeavoured to maximise outreach and impact, from organising camps and awareness campaigns on a slew of critical ailments, to holding regular webinars on key health developments with the overarching objective of providing remedies and motivation.”