Health Care in Rural India



Access to healthcare is a right that all of us need as a fundamental right. However, despite the grand developments in our country healthcare in rural areas cuts a sorry figure all across the nation. It is appalling that rural regions as yet remain deprived of necessary medical facilities, often infrastructure and medical staff as also non-availability of medicines.  Medical support is clearly denied to nearly 60% of the rural population in India.

Nearly 700 million people in rural areas continue to live in deprivation of basic healthcare and medical relief.  The situation is more deplorable because the fact is that government extension plans, processes and service schemes are in place but actual delivery is missing. This is a major dysfunctional gap that makes the picture very grim indeed.  It’s a caring philanthropy through charities and non-governmental agencies that offers some succor to the rural residents cut away from modern medical benefits.

HERD Foundation has been organizing health camps in rural regions since the past three years. Offering practices and procedures in the isolated forest areas of Central India the Foundation has ensure healthcare delivery in deprived corners of the region. Starting with assistance by organizing mobile health camps we have successfully set up an effective outpost clinic that is affiliated to a partner hospital for referrals. A dedicated medical team serves the predominantly tribal people settled in the parts offering primary health care.

HERD Foundation is well aware that the country accounts for the largest number of maternity deaths. Medical fraternity knows for sure that in the rural areas maternal health care is very poor. Our approaches therefore include education camps where we instruct on the basics of mother and child care. Our health care modules include essential aspects in nutrition, hygiene, antenatal care and access to proper medical care.

Often due to non-availability of public health care rural residents have to scout for doctors and hospitals in urban centers. The travel and transport are an additional burden on beleaguered families. It is for this reason that HERD Foundation camps are flooded with patients since despite the token fee it is access to medications that is a big draw.   Also because running to city based doctors is expensive the presence of a near-free health camp is a huge welcome relief.

HERD Foundation also works on teaching with regard to control and spread of diseases to reduce the rates of sick people. Again lack of health facilities has us paying special attention to the needs in rural areas. Taking on key challenges that include low quality of care, poor accountability, lack of awareness, and limited access to facilities we assist by providing access to referrals to like-minded hospitals.

There are very many ways in which we hope to extend the range of our services. We hope to include simple technologies like for instance mobile connectivity to cater to the needs of the villagers.  By improving communication we may create systems that allow for additional outreach. We are hoping that mobile phones may in the near future offer extensive reach across the demography. This point was recently brought home to us and we will explore the possibilities.


And Miles To Go…


HERD Foundation began as a dream in the hearts and minds of a committed young couple who could visualize their common aspirations for the development of a more balanced public and civic life. Their objective remains in place to this day, to transform disadvantaged rural realities into the invigorating idealism of their imagination. The organization continues to pump hope, ambition and ability to circumvent circumstances in order to create a better world.

To this end, both Dr Amol Deshmukh and Dr Suchika Gupta proactively carry on their straightforward agenda to bring relief and succor to the underprivileged rural folk. What they have attempted to do is to keep on encouraging people to build up knowledge, learn to raise their voice on issues that affect them and make social, economical, and environmental equity work for them. This is how the Foundation has been operating from day one through their shared vision.

HERD Foundation’s underlying philosophy remains constant. Good health for all and knowledge for all. It is true, optimal physical health is the real wealth and knowledge through education is the only asset worth having. It is this understanding that is constantly being filtered to our disadvantaged sections. Knowing full well the unfortunate conditions of education, livelihoods and way of life, the Foundation has been motivating them for getting duly empowered.

HERD Foundation facilitates such empowering processes for communities. The leadership helps create hope and vision that imbibes values and inspires the community to achieve what they want. They are keenly nurtured to move ahead in desired directions for their economic and social development. The Foundation thereby empowers community groups to accomplish shared interests and goals.

They are encouraged to articulate their needs to understand what they really require in their lives and then to make moves accordingly. Communities are persuaded to remain in control of local knowledge, gather suitable external knowledge, and engage with suggested means and measures to claim solutions for existing lacunae. Another facet of the work is to focus on constraints in women’s participation. Believing that gender concerns are critical and these have to be supported for inclusive participation on all kinds of social issues, the Foundation works very closely with them. Youth are another segment that is brought into the fold of education, livelihood and participation in civic life.

HERD Foundation works with rural communities at grassroots and also addresses perceptions at urban levels to facilitate understanding of situations existing just outside suburban perimeters. We do this by involving and demonstrating to the wider public about the socio-economic factors that affect us all. We involve public and private agencies to help deliver education, public health, and occupational needs. We look ahead to projects and are all set to take in rural, urban, national, and international perspectives to create a better world around us.