Gauri Old Age Mission: Destination Next: Haussan Pora Bagh, Tehsil Bijbehara

Our aim is to optimise treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes and existing heart diseases and their risk factors

South Kashmir consists of four districts. Anantnag has a current estimated population of 11.64 lakhs, Pulwama 6.05 Lakhs, Shopian 2.87 Lakhs and Kulgam 4.58 Lakhs. A total population of 25.14 Lakhs souls.

In terms of its healthcare, the region houses 4 district hospitals, 13 community health centres, 71 primary Health centres, 39 new type primary health centres, 29 mother and child centres, 321 sub centres and 111 new sub centres. These districts also have also been witnessing trouble on the front of armed encounters, thus making delivery of healthcare difficult.

The government health care network in south Kashmir is serving people in spite of so many challenges. Gauri Kaul Foundation since its inception has been trying to contribute, work deep and consistently in the remote and needy pockets of such regions. Our healthy heart camps are an entry into newer geographies to map and understand the situation on ground realistically.

The next camp of Gauri Old age Mission (GOAM) is in village Haussan Pora Bagh, Tehsil Bijbehara of the district Anantnag on 30th July 2021. This would be the 9th camp in succession. Our aim has been to optimise treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes and existing heart diseases and their risk factors. The goal being to minimize heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease in our population by applying preventive measures. The population of senior citizen has already been intimated about this camp and registration is on. Our team would be led by cardiologist, geriatric specialist and a gynaecologist. Senior citizen often have several other co-existing issues like joint problems, anaemia, bronchitis, visual deficits and old treated cancers etcnpt The holistic management therefore has to consider these co-morbidities.

This village has a population of around 3500 persons based upon an updating of the last census report of 2011. It is surrounded by several other villages in the tehsil. The socio-economic status of this area is poor with health facilities which need a lot of upliftment. Arwani is the nearest village and Bijbehara town is its Tehsil head quarter.

The name, BijBehara, Vijbor or Vijbror has been derived from Sanskrit word Vijayeshwar. It was an ancient site of Shiva Vijayeshwar as described in the authentic chronicle on ancient Kashmir and India in Rajatarangni, narrated by Kalhana. It is situated on the bank of River Jhelum about 5 kms from the district headquarter Anantnag also called Islamabad. The town is surrounded and intersected by plateaus, including the Totak Shah, a historical shrine, from where the whole town can be seen. There are many other plateaus in this area getting rapidly urbanized. The Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh constructed a bridge here which was 100 yards long and 6 yards wide spanning the Jhelum River at Bijbehara near the Mughal Garden. The bridge was washed away by heavy floods subsequently.

The town is known for a beautiful garden, popularly called as the Padshahi Bagh. The garden comprises of 25 Chinars. The town of Bijbehara is full of Chinar trees and hence it is also called "The Town of Chinars". The Chinar trees were imported by Mughal emperors from Iran to enhance the beauty of the town. The oldest Chinar of the sub-continent which is 70 feet in circumference at ground level is located in this garden. Guru Nanak Dev had also come to this town and presently a Gurudwara under name "Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Pehli Padshahi Gurudwara Bijbehara" is at this place. The area has also been a stronghold of two previous chief ministers, Mufti Mohammad Syed and Madam Mehbooba Mufti. Another well known personality from this area has been the cricketer Parvez Rasool, the first all-rounder from Jammu and Kashmir to represent India in test cricket.

The GOAM team for conducting the health camp in Haussan Pora Bagh will have facilities for accurate blood pressure and body mass measurement. All the senior citizen would have a blood sugar and an electrocardiogram (ECG) done. In addition, facility for blood sampling for all the necessary tests depending upon the indication will be there. GK Labs is a partner in these efforts of ours. Like in the previous camps, a stock of commonly used blood pressure and blood sugar lowering drugs in combinations. In addition, medicines for treating common heart ailments and heart failure will be given free of cost. One month’s supply which for the neediest will be continued for long term. Patients needing higher cardiac investigations would be referred for higher tests like echocardiography, stress testing, long term ECG and BP monitoring and head uptilt testing. These would be done at out Gauri Heart Centre. No patient will be denied investigations for financial reasons and GOAM fund will be used for that. INTAS pharmaceuticals has helped it by contributing a generous fund. A report of the observations made will be compiled after studying the data obtained on a standard proforma. This will be compared with the data obtained from other districts. USV Pharmaceuticals has given a generous grant for this one day activity to be held in Haussan Pora Bagh on 30th July 2021.

Gauri Kaul Foundation requests friends and well wishers to come forward and be part of our South Kashmir healthy heart mission. In our small ways, together, we can work to understand, contribute and improve the same in this ongoing program.

Prof Upendra Kaul is founder Director Gauri Kaul foundation, Cardiologist. Recipient of Dr B C Roy Award and Padma Shri

Greater Kashmir