SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE HILLS
H.H. Swami Rama set up the Rural Development Institute ...
“I want to provide medical benefits in the remotest areas of the Garhwal Himalayas. Everyone cannot reach the Himalayan Institute Hospital. Let the Institute go out to reach everyone”
—H.H. Swami Rama
H.H. Swami Rama set up the Rural Development Institute to act as an instrument of social development for the mountain regions which would be a model and serve the unserved populations worldwide. The emphasis was on community development by addressing their medical, social and economic needs, in particular the needs of women, children, adolescents and the differently abled.
He laid the foundations of the outreach work in early 1990 with a dedicated team of volunteer doctors and paramedics who acted as foot soldiers reaching up the farthest village—even those unconnected by roads. Mobile ambulatory services, outreach health education, capacity building of village health workers and professionals were undertaken to ensure health services for all sections of the Society. The primary health care model focuses on prevention and provision of primary, secondary and tertiary health services in hard to reach mountainous areas. Specialized health camps were organized in these far flung areas. Initially it was just a basic ambulance. Today it is a fully-equipped mobile hospital (with all diagnostics—laboratory and radiology services built into it) along with a team of health professionals (doctors, nurses, lab technicians and other professionals) that have been able to provide services in almost every nook and corner of the state.