(Dr Shankar Chatterjee)
In school days we all read health is wealth. This is undoubtedly true because if one’s health is not well a person is mentally disturbed also. An unhealthy person cannot concentrate on work. So maintaining a healthy life is important and for this, consumption of appropriate food and drinking plenty of pure water is the sine qua non. In this regard, keeping in mind World Health Day, a few points collected from the website of the World Health Organization/ popularly known as WHO (www.who.int/news/item/06-04-2022), are presented for the benefit of readers.
On this World Health Day (April 7, 2022), WHO has made an urgent call for accelerated action by leaders and all people to preserve and protect health and mitigate the climate crisis as part of an “Our planet, our health” campaign marking the organization’s founding day, which falls at a time of heightened conflict and fragility. According to WHO, 99 percent of people breathe unhealthy air mainly resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. “A heating world is seeing mosquitoes spread diseases further and faster than ever before. Extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, land degradation, and water scarcity are displacing people and affecting their health. Pollution and plastics are found at the bottom of our deepest oceans, the highest mountains, and have made their way into our food chain and bloodstream. Systems that produce highly processed, unhealthy foods and beverages are driving a wave of obesity, increasing cancer and heart disease while generating up to one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. This health and social crisis is compromising people’s ability to take control over their health and lives”.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “The climate crisis is a health crisis: the same unsustainable choices that are killing our planet are killing people”. He further said, “We need transformative solutions to wean the world off its addiction to fossil fuels, to reimagine economies and societies focused on well-being, and to safeguard the health of the planet on which human health depends.” WHO’s Manifesto to ensure a healthy and green recovery from COVID-19 prescribes protecting and preserving nature as the source of human health; investing in essential services from water & sanitation to clean energy in healthcare facilities; ensuring a quick and healthy energy transition; promoting healthy and sustainable food systems; building healthy and livable cities; and stopping the use of taxpayers’ money to fund pollution.
In the context of World Health Day, a case from Hyderabad, India may be presented viz., Pragati Resorts. Pragati Resorts was established in 1994 near Hyderabad city which was totally barren with terrible climate conditions such that even lizards would not lay eggs there. The water in the area was at a low level due to the mining of limestone which made the land unfit for cultivation. Dr. G.B.K Rao selected the land on the basis of three criteria – i) it is away from the city and also away from the highway, ii) the area is totally non-cultivable /barren, and iii) totally depleted of water (pragatiresorts.com/about-pragati/). Now, the area has been turned into heaven and the people call it “Pragati is Heaven on Earth”. Around 800 varieties of herbal heritage and medicinal plants, other rare mother plants, and trees inter alia are Kalpavriksha (also known as Kalpataru), have been planted in Pragati. This is spread over an area of 2500 acres. In the Resorts, there is a provision of ‘Amrutha Ahaaram’ (meaning Amrita/lifesaving foods), and this special 3-day package has been designed to boost immunity levels naturally to fight against any type of virus or bacteria.
On World Health Day 2022, I am wishing all in the world a healthy and happy life.
(The author is a former Professor & Head (CPME), NIRD & PR (Govt. of India), Hyderabad)