Honeywell & Americares Collaborate: Enhancing Rural Healthcare & Education

By auther pic. CSRBOX

April 29, 2024

Honeywell & Americares Collaborate: Enhancing Rural Healthcare & Education

Honeywell India

Rural communities have significant challenges and critical gaps in education and healthcare infrastructures. Rural people migrate to urban areas for better education and medical facilities. Often people are heard saying that these villages have nothing to offer in terms of growth as an individual, thus migrating seems to be a viable option. 

Rural areas often have limited access to healthcare facilities including clinics, hospitals, dispensaries, and private consultation as compared to urban areas. Patients with serious illnesses are mostly referred to city hospitals, as the local healthcare lacks amenities and shortages in doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. This leads to travel and delays in receiving professional medical care and emergency cases in these scenarios can soon develop into a worst-case scenario. 

The hospitals in rural communities lack recent medical technologies like ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI, limiting their capabilities to perform advanced diagnosis and treatments. Although the public and private sectors are taking strides in improving medical facilities in rural areas, they still have to scale heights for high-quality treatments and facilities in these regions.

Apart from physical health, rural areas also lack access to health education and awareness programs. They lack the knowledge of basic illness-prevention techniques where any person can learn immediate first aid, yet these regions are scarce in educational and disease prevention campaigns. As a result, a minor fever turns into an acute illness or a chronic disease which takes a heavier toll on the life expectancy of an individual.

Parallely, the education facilities in rural areas face their share of challenges. Villages have fewer schools, with classes in most regions almost empty, resulting in fewer educational opportunities when compared to urban areas. Acute shortage in teaching staff has compelled parents to send their children to cities and nearby towns where education facilities are better and students are exposed to multiple aspects of learning.

Additionally, the digital difference between urban and rural widens the gap in modern-day learning. Urban regions are well-connected to digital facilities like smart classes and online education, while several rural regions located in extremities still lack high-speed internet facilities which hinders the students' exposure and are restricted to old methodical ways of teaching. 

Inadequate infrastructure and connectivity pounds upon this problem. Countless rural areas have poorly built school buildings and improper connectivity to reach schools. Considering the people living in mountain regions, the schools in these rural regions are either built on the reach top or in the steepest portion of the valley with no road connectivity. 

Bridging the Gap

Students often travel along the mountain trails to reach school and with poor infrastructure and a lack of teachers students usually lose interest in education or completely shift to nearby towns and cities for better education.

Financial challenges also play a role in the disparity of education and healthcare facilities between urban and rural areas. Rural communities receive lesser funds, thus investment in healthcare and education facilities is limited to the amount of money received, as the allocation has to cover other aspects. 

Amid all these challenges and barriers faced by rural communities in healthcare and education, HHSIF has recognized the gap between urban and rural communities and as a part of their corporate social responsibility has taken over two projects to improve the conditions of schools and primary healthcare centers (PHCs) in rural regions of India.

HHSIF is a branch of Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON) and in collaboration with Americares India Foundation is aiming to invest approximately 6 crores in the year 2023-24 for enhancing schools and PHCs across Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, and Tamil Nadu. The initiative aims to cover various aspects like improving medical and school infrastructures by renovating the buildings and providing them with the highest quality medical and educational advancements. 

Impact Created

The 2021-22-year tenure observed an astonishing investment of 17 crores for upgrading 104 PHCs impacting 30 lakhs of rural lives. An investment of 4.5 crores in the year 2022-23 by HHSIF has undertaken the advancement of 48 PHCs across Sangli, Satara, Nashik, Dehradun, Bhiwani and Kaithal. 

The venture aimed to renovate the PHC structures and equip them with high-quality diagnostic devices. Delivering medical equipment in departments like dental, maternity, ophthalmic, etc., has upgraded the capabilities of these centers to provide quality medical aid to rural people. 

The past year's collaboration with Americares India Foundation has led to generating 6 crores for investment in healthcare facilities. Around 54 projects (30 in Maharashtra, 12 in Uttarakhand, 10 in Haryana, and 2 in Tamil Nadu) have been completed and impacted 21 lakh rural lives. Apart from medical advancements, HHSIF has also invested 1.5 crore through project Anandgaon to upgrade educational facilities and infrastructure in these regions. 

The project aims to provide quality education in rural areas. The initiative aims to cover multiple aspects like school renovations, improved classroom conditions, establishing smart classes, and providing WASH facilities like toilets, drinking water, and handwashing units. 

The collaboration of HHSIF and Americares India Foundation has positively impacted 104 PHCs and 10 schools, enhancing the lives of more than 30 lakh individuals. 

The initiative of recognizing the grassroots problems and prioritizing enhancements of medical and educational facilities has been a commendable task carried out by the two corporate ventures and has set an example of how corporations should realize the ground realities and take strides toward the betterment of marginalized communities. 

Innovation at The Core

Obstacles often create gaps but with innovative approaches, bridging those gaps can help communities thrive and ultimately rise above all hindrances. The basic facilities that any community, whether rural or urban, requires are well-built healthcare and educational units. By recognizing the primary problems we can ensure that solutions are tailored according to the community needs. 

Innovation starts with engagement. No private or public entity can suddenly one day start building a hospital or a school until engaging with the residents and having a complete idea of the problems they are facing. 

Therefore, the viewpoints of locals about the condition of medical and educational facilities should be the primary step before initiating any task. With better research, approaches will be innovative, and thus enhancement in medical and education aspects will create a future where each community thrives for their betterment.

Also Read: Driving Change: Tata Motors' Dairy Development Initiative Empowers Women in Rural Gujarat


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