Saraswathi Sankaran: Social Inclusion

What started off in 1985 as an advocacy campaign for Reproductive and Child Health and a ‘no risk’ lifestyle to prevent HIV/AIDS even before the first case of HIV was diagnosed, has today mushroomed into a health movement led by Saraswathi Sankaran, who founded Deepam Education Society for Health (DESH) in 1991. Through DESH, she has been tirelessly enhancing the social and life skills to bring about attitudinal and behavioural changes by mobilising communities with prevention and intervention programmes, utilising cultural factors rather than biological factors to improve their health seeking behaviour. These include Comprehensive Road Safety, First-aid and Health Intervention programmes for truckers; Health Action Programme for Progress of Youth (HAPPY) to reduce the vulnerability of substance use among youth in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra; Aarogyam project having components such as community, school and clinical intervention and advocacy. Saraswathi has dedicated herself to the service of the community and since 1991, has reached out directly to 35,29,217 persons and indirectly to several million in communities spread over 21 States and 2 Union Territories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button