We pay homage to our departed forefathers’ souls. After the end of this homage period, the festival season will start with the worship of Durga Mahashakti (Mother of Power), Mahalaxmi (Mother of Wealth), and Mahakali (Mother of the Universe).
The USA’s Federal Reserve has refrained from increasing interest rates till at least December 2015; this might be to meet the challenge of the depreciation of Chinese currency. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) states have belied the expectation of high-net worth investors. India is only the bright spot and has been showing signs of solid growth, while the fortunes of the rest are looking increasingly bleak. South Africa’s economy is weakening because of the lack of demand in commodities and the sharp fall in their prices. The Japan Center for Economic Research says that the growth rate of economic output in China will drop to 4.1 % by 2025. China is on a path of “Go Global” in search of greener pastures for higher profits. China is becoming the largest capital exporter. The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report for 2015 says that India slipped two notches to 142 out of 189 countries surveyed. India does not even feature in the top 100 countries on eight out of 10 indicators. By 2020, India will have 1.35 billion people, of whom 906 million will be of working age. Each one of them with high aspiration will need a job. Cost of production in India is also very high due to high cost of finance, low productivity, chain of regulations, high wages, etc. Indian investors cannot access low cost of capital inside the country to “Go Global”.
The stock market is in a bear grip. European stocks have sharply fallen. Global and domestic growth is slow. The state of the Chinese economy is a matter of concern. Domestic institutions are buying stocks. But, FIIs are having more impact on the market. However investors should not panic and dump their stocks. The mantra should be wait, watch, and be wise. The government is aiming for an 8-10% annual GDP growth. This may reassure the investors.
Health is the barometer of a nation’s growth. A healthy mind lives in a healthy body. Swami Vivekananda had given the call, “Have muscles of iron and nerves of steel”. Unfortunately, India’s health sector is in shambles. In rural areas, it is in a worst condition. Government’s healthcare services is pathetic. The country has the Right to Information, the Right to Education, Food Security, etc., but what about the Right to Health?
Human capital is ignored. The government collects crores and crores by way of contribution to the ESI by workmen and employers. But the services of these ESI Hospitals is pathetic. They are dens of corruption. Workmen do not want to get treated. They misuse the benefits at the cost of performing their duties. The government is planning to increase the coverage to ` 25,000 a month. Better and more beneficial health insurance coverage is given to workmen and employees, so that they can have better treatment at the centre of their choice that is near their home.
Globally, the number of doctors for 1000 people is expected to remain virtually same between 2012 and 2015. India has a ratio of 0.7 doctors and 1.5 nurses for 1000 people compared to the WHO’s ideal average of 2.5 doctors and 4.5 nurses for 1000 people. Doctors, nurses and paramedical professionals are in great shortage. There is a sea-gap in requirement and availability. The health sector has great potential of creating employment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken bold and immediate actions despite opposition’s foul cry. Several engineering colleges and technical institutions had supported by the government. Now, there is no shortage of engineers and technical staff. Certain institutions have vacant seats. AICTE is planning to withdraw permission to over 6000 such institutions on the ground of their poor standard of training. It is advisable to set up a National Standards of Examination instead of closing down some institutions and creating scarcity leading to a cry for reservation of higher seats for some class of population and resulting in high cost of education.
The government’s rules for paramedical nurses training centres are very stringent, especially the norms for the requirement of land, which make the unit economically unviable. Health education has become very costly. Government medical colleges and paramedical institutions are few in numbers with limited seats.
Unfetter health education to empower women. Millions of young women can be trained to be qualified nurses and semi-nurses (a basic nurse training). It can bring about a revolution in rural employment of women and can save them from falling prey to trafficking. The country can export millions of nurses, paramedical technicians and doctors, who are in great demand. There will be a regular flow of foreign exchange. India has been exporter of talent. Globally, Indians have contributed in wealth generation, but not to that great extent in their own country. Is it destiny?
A majority of the population are at an increasing risk of diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, various types of cancer, COPD, depression, hypertension, degeneration of brain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, tuberculosis, typhoid, dysentery, water-related diseases, liver related diseases and kidneys. All these are self-inflicted due to lack of discipline and the failure to abide by the norms of good health and adopting modern lifestyle.
According to the World Health Organisation, alcohol and drug addiction, smoking, and the consumption of tobacco affects more than 15% of the population in Europe. The percentage in India is amazingly very high. India consumes more than 30% of the world production of alcohol. This figure is increasing. Bharat Mata has been telling Her children (so-called public servants) in power to stop increasing revenue by allowing the sale of alcohol near educational institutions, religious centres and specially in rural India. Increase in excessive alcohol consumption causes fatal liver diseases like cirrhosis, damaging the liver which requires transplant costing over ` 30 lakhs, which even the middle-class families cannot afford. Such addictions are some of the principle reasons of brutal violence against women. Many sexual violence cases have been the result of excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs disturbing the mental balance and making people more than brutal animals.
India’s current health market of $100 billion is expected to grow to $280 billion by 2020, comprising an annual growth rate of 22.9%. Alternative medicine, Homeopathy, and Ayurveda must be promoted. Prime Minister Modi has observed Yoga Day for the same reason. Technical innovation and modern methods of treatment need to be promoted in a big way. It must be available to the rural population who cannot afford to travel to cities and bear the high cost of treatment.
Gems of Enlightenment
Roast all seeds and evil tendencies stored in the mind through discernment and right action. Thus, each microscopic brain cell becomes a throne of a brilliant king of wisdom, inspiration, and health who sings and preaches the glory of God to the intelligent body cells. Then they scatter the light of prosperity and good health.
Purify and strengthen yourself. Be ready to do your part in the world. Expand individual consciousness, and share your blessings with the world. Blessings come from God. Do your duty. Then happiness will engulf you. Bring happiness to others, too.
Dr H P Kanoria