Pangi valley is located in the Western Himalayas of North India.It is one of the remotest areas of the state of Himachal.It remains cut off from the rest of
the world for most parts of the year due to heavy snowfall.
Healthcare facilities are very poor as no specialist wants to serve in these hostile conditions.Healthcare is largely in the hands of a few general practitioners.These practitioners too, are located mainly in Kilar,the headquarters of the valley, leaving the remote parts without even a semblance of medical facilities. Government and some foreign NGO’s conduct occasional camps in the valley but again only in the headquarters.
CEVA is an organisation working for the people of Pangi since 2010.It was founded by Mr.Haresh,a renowned social worker of the region. As he was born and brought up in this valley he is someone who has first hand knowledge of the plight of the people.
As part of our charitable healthcare program we had been organising healthcare camps with CEVA for the past couple of years. This time it was to be Pangi.Without any deliberation it was decided to hold the camps in the remote villages rather than the headquarters.
After a detailed survey conducted by CEVA,remote villages were selected.Seven camps were to be held over a period of nine days.
After about 18 hours of journey we reached Udaipur,a small village which is the gateway to Pangi valley.The journey beyond here was to be done in a jeep as cars cannot venture into the valley.This is a strikingly beautiful valley yet it is largely untouched by tourism because of the sheer hostility of terrain. Modernisation has not yet spread its wings here.
The camps were first conducted in low lying villages followed by villages higher up also known as ‘Bhatori’ (place where the Buddhists live). Bhotias
(Buddhists) are very spiritual people and that is the reason why they seek refuge in such high mountains.We had to trek several kilometres to reach these villages.
Right from the outset, the camps attracted huge crowds and there was tremendous enthusiasm. It was evident that the people were in dire need.
Despite the large numbers we did not hurry through any of the patients.Unlike other health camps, our camps are always focused on treatment of the condition rather than distribution of medicines. In keeping with our working principles,each patient was thoroughly examined,medicines were prescribed and dietary changes were advised.We went on till late in the evenings braving cold winds and dark.
Some of the cases which required surgical intervention were referred to surgical centers with proper guidance and direction.
Most of the ladies were suffering from Leucorrhoea. Hard labour and lack of hygiene were the obvious causes.Children were suffering from an outbreak of Viral Parotitis (Mumps).Lung diseases were also fairly common.We believe Ayurveda can go a long way in tackling all these problems effectively.
Thanks to CEVA these camps will be an annual affair now. Next year onwards we are planning to adopt a village whose health will be solely our responsibility.