Bradford Health Mela returns for a third successful year.
Saturday, May 16th saw the University of Bradford host the third annual Health Mela focused on enhancing  health and wellbeing across the city.
The event, a vibrant festival which combined health checks, entertainment, information on healthy life styles and refreshment was modelled on the traditional Mela or get together so familiar on the Indian sub-continent.
Central to the day’s activities were stalls providing information and advice on a wide range of health related topics and the ‘Health MOT’ section  which offered a large proportion of  visitors the opportunity to check out their blood sugar and cholesterol levels, height weight and BMI etc. followed by  personal health counselling from a health professional. The very real value of this informal  health check opportunity is illustrated by the fact that over 25% of the diabetes tests carried out proved to be positive.
The many children who visited the exhibition along with their parents, enjoyed the mind baffling tricks of a visiting magician and the artistic skill and energy of the dancers from the Trishool Academy. Also much enjoyed was the opportunity to sample the calming and health promoting properties of a session with a skilled practitioner of Reiki.
The Mela was opened by local MP for Shipley, Philip Davies who commented
‘I think it is a wonderful initiative to try to tackle the serious health issues that we face across the Bradford district.  It was great to see so many organisations with stalls offering help and advice and letting people know where they can go for support.  The health checks that were being carried out were great to help people identify their health issues at an early stage and it was inspiring to see University students give up their weekend to come to help, and their passion to help people shows the NHS’ future is in safe hands.  I hope the Bradford Health Mela goes from strength to strength.’
The day’s activities were organised by a team led by local consultant Professor Kailash Mohanti who said, ‘We want to encourage people to know more about their own health. We want to promote knowledge to help people and also to save money for the NHS.’
The Health Mela was supported by the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing, the University of Bolton based organisation dedicated to involving local communities in the promotion of healthy living. Chair of NFHW Professor Romesh Gupta said ‘It’s really good to see the Health Mela flourishing in Bradford. We celebrate the success of today’s event and look forward to future years with high expectations.’

(Words by Derek Ormerod, photos by A Vaidya)