Rotary gives e-bikes for Bengaluru PHC workers

DG Fazal Mahmood (centre) and his wife Sabiha (to his left) at an event to distribute the e-bikes to PHC staff. Club president Shankar Subramaniam (2nd from R, back row), his wife Usha (3rd from R), district secretary Keshav Gowda (R) and AG Reshmi Tanksali are also present.
DG Fazal Mahmood (centre) and his wife Sabiha (to his left) at an event to distribute the e-bikes to PHC staff. Club president Shankar Subramaniam (2nd from R, back row), his wife Usha (3rd from R), district secretary Keshav Gowda (R) and AG Reshmi Tanksali are also present.

Project E-Sanjeevani, an initiative of RC ­Bangalore Rajmahal Vilas, RID 3190, has improved the efficiency of nearly 50 primary healthcare workers, serving rural communities and slum areas in and around Bengaluru. In this pilot project, e-bikes were given to two ASHA workers from the ­Sanjay Nagar Urban Public Health Centre (UPHC) by the club which formed the basis for a CSR partnership with iValue Info Solutions, a city-based software company. Under this CSR grant of the company, 12 e-bikes were donated “and we hope that this project can influence other clubs and Rotarians to donate at least one bike to a PHC near them,” says Shankar ­Subramaniam, the club president.

Pointing out that the ­E-Sanjeevani project aligns with Rotary’s two important focus areas of disease ­prevention and preserving the environment, he adds that “the majority of the Indian population from low-income communities depend on PHCs for their day-to-day health needs. ­However, public health awareness and easy access to health centres are some of the key challenges in delivering healthcare efficiently. With the help of an e-bike, these challenges can be addressed to some extent.”

The project was first piloted by the club at the Sanjay Nagar UPHC in September 2021 and following its success, it is now being scaled up to eight other PHCs in the east zone. So far 14 e-bikes costing ₹65,000 each have been handed over to the PHCs. DG Fazal Mahmood who was present at the launch congratulated the club and acknowledged its efforts in working with the government.

One ASHA worker is assigned for a population of around 2,500, by a PHC, and is responsible for carrying out outreach immunisation, special health check-up sessions and provide related information. They also conduct surveys and collect data to improve the healthcare system. Poornima, an ASHA worker had to walk around 9km to reach her target area. “By the time I reach after such a long walk, I would always be exhausted and could hardly focus on the job because I kept thinking about the walk back. But with the new e-bike, I can cover the distance in no time and my interaction with the target community has improved.”

E-Sanjeevani is “helping our primary healthcare approach in an effective way to build a solid foundation for a more responsive and resilient health system throughout the city,” says Dr Veda Rajashekhar, the medical officer of the UPHC. The ASHA workers ensure that healthcare is brought closer to those who cannot travel to medical facilities. Not only do people get their health checked, but the services are easily accessible and the rural and slum population is enlightened about health issues, she adds.

D Usha Rani, who takes care of the fever clinic at the Sanjay Nagar UPHC says, “This is not the first time this Rotary club has helped us. They built a ramp for bringing in the wheelchairs easily and have also helped with repairs and renovation, and bedsheets. They have empowered us to strategically build a stronger healthcare system to ensure that rural and underprivileged communities are not left behind.”

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