Shravan Kumar’: AIIMS on a mission to train rural youth

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These trainees will be given basic knowledge of medicines and heart attacks in elderly people and about the steps to be taken in case of an emergency…reports Manoj Pathak

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) set up in the state capital Patna has launched an initiative for preparing youth to take care of elderly and poor people in the rural areas. This is seen as an initiative somewhat similar to ‘Shravan Kumar’ whose story is famously known in the ancient Hindu text of Ramayana where a boy named Shravan Kumar took care of his old and blind parents.

The main objective of this initiative is to provide support to the elderly, poor and the needy along with generating employment for the rural youth.

The ‘Shravan Kumar Yojana’ has been started by the Community Outreach and Telemedicine department of AIIMS-Patna, under which six women among a total of 36 people, have been trained in its second batch. Earlier, 45 youths were trained in the first batch under this initiative.

Anil Kumar, Head of the Department of Community Outreach and Telemedicine, AIIMS Patna, told IANS that under the ‘Shravan Kumar’ scheme, young men and women are provided requisite training related to the diseases affecting elderly people, including 120-day training related to first aid.

He said the medical training mainly includes first aid for blood test, blood pressure, sugar, thyroid, fever, diarrhoea, injections, transfusions and some other problems. Apart from this, as practical training, the young men and women are sent to various medical departments.

These trainees will be given basic knowledge of medicines and heart attacks in elderly people and about the steps to be taken in case of an emergency.

Anil Kumar says that usually in Bihar the youths shift to other states looking for employment, leaving their elderly parents behind in the villages. The biggest problem which the elderly face is the lack of medical facilities in Bihar so the services of these youths trained by AIIMS will prove to be quite helpful in their villages.

No money is charged from the trainees for getting training nor is any money given to them by AIIMS, Patna.

An AIIMS Patna doctor says that the youth who get training from the hospital are directed to visit their villages at least once every week to conduct the medical examination of all elderly and destitute people. The medical report is then given to AIIMS doctors as well as sent to the families of all the elderly people.

If the elderly persons are found to be suffering from any serious illness, they are instructed by the hospital doctors for further recommendation to other hospitals.

Kumar says that not only the elderly but the youth who have been imparted training have benefited from this scheme. The youths receive money in lieu of providing health check-ups.

The AIIMS doctor claims that many big businessmen demand the services of this scheme for which they pay.

Many such trained youth from the first batch of the scheme have started working as attendants in private hospitals in rural areas.

The youths passing out from this batch have been given permission to work in rural areas by filing an affidavit.

Police verification of these youth is done before giving training to them.

Anil Kumar says that no age limit has been placed for youths imparted training under this scheme. He said that the hospital takes full care that the trainees do not have any criminal record.

The AIIMS doctor said the demand for such youth due to their medical training has increased. Anil says that at present, during the Covid-19 crisis, such youth can prove to be a boon in the rural areas.

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