National Forum for Health and Wellbeing has been well known for organising Health Melas not only within the Lancashire but also in the other parts of the Great Britain. The word Mela, in Sanskrit, means fair and it reflected the colloquial use which implied coming together for celebrations. NFHW has in the last 14 years not only held over 30 of such events but has also helped and advised other organisations willing to build on the concept. It recently has built strong partnership with the Rotary International which has agreed to funds a few health Melas within the Lancashire and the Cumbria over next few years.
Health Mela, held within a community hall or school, has brought face to face the healthcare providers with the community and thus helped establish direct communication in informal surroundings. Health checks, dubbed health MOT, provide opportunity for an individual to get blood tests for blood glucose and cholesterol and then seek confidential one to one health assessment and advice from a health professional. It thus empowers the individual to take control about his health. Several health related stalls provide advice and information relating to various common ailments and resources available to any individual should they have concerns about themselves or a family member.
When Mr Mohsin Khan, Principal of Westridge Hilton school from the northern Indian town of Baskhari in Uttar Pradesh came to the UK to visit his relatives, he was introduced to the concept of Health Mela by Mrs Sarifa Kabir, secretary of NFHW. Mr Khan was so impressed by the concept that he wanted to replicate it in his own town. He also took the opportunity to forge links with the Academy@Worden
and the two schools have agreed to work together in sharing their academic and other resources.
On his return to India, Mr Mohsin Khan immediately started work on organising a Health Mela. He developed partnerships with the community and hopes to establish a Rotary club in the town. The first Health Mela in Baskhari will be held on 11th November and Professor Romesh Gupta OBE, Chairman of the NFHW will be attending the same as a special guest. Speaking of the occasion, Professor Gupta said “I am delighted to see that efforts are being made to empower the communities raise health awareness through a novel way of holding Health Mela”.
Kevin Walsh, IPDG of Rotary in Cumbria & Lancashire said “I’m really pleased that the Health Mela concept is growing in this way. The Health & Wellbeing of individuals and communities is central to Rotary’s Humanitarian activity around the world. Rotarians in Cumbria and Lancashire wish Mr Khan and his colleagues well as they develop both as Rotarians and in empowering their community”
Professor Gupta will also be addressing his classmates along with other healthcare workers, colleagues and community leaders regarding the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing and the Health Mela at the 50TH anniversary gathering of his medical school batch.