Thursday, March 24, 2011

Healthcare Access Week

About Healthcare Access Week

Healthcare Access Week is an initiative to embark “Call for Action”, addressing lack of access to healthcare in India. Objective of this event is to congregate partners, students, participants, stakeholders on a common platform and raise awareness nationwide and ensuring access to healthcare for all. This issue will be spread across 4 cities in India, involving NGOs, Doctors, Students, Volunteers and stakeholders. 

The Week Long Activity would include:
  1. Release of Research Report with Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, Pune
  2. Release of Whitepaper on Health Insurance, Hyderabad
  3. Press Conference – Our initiatives towards better healthcare access, Mumbai
  4. Run for Access to Healthcare, Bengaluru
Initiating a mass movement for a week, we aim to bridge the gap of healthcare inaccessibility and instigate actions by public and private sectors towards attaining our objective.


Release of Research Report with Dr. D.Y.Patil Medical College

Date: Tuesday, 29th March 2011
Venue: Patrakar Sangha, Pune
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

India Health Progress in association with Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College Pune, launched a research study to understand the issue of “lack of access to healthcare” in India and highlight the issue among all stakeholders. The study points out principle reasons which are hampering the healthcare access to Indian patients.
Representatives from Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, representatives from IMA, Pune Chapter, Health officials from civic bodies and representatives from India Health Progress will be attending the event.


Release of White Paper on Health Insurance

Date: Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Venue: Dr. Marri Channa Reddy Human Resource Development Institute
Time: 3:30 pm – 5:00pm

India Health Progress organized a Roundtable Conference on Health Insurance in India on 24th January 2011. The aim of the conference was to bring all stakeholders on a common platform and deliberate upon the key issues/challenges in healthcare access vis-à-vis Healthcare financing, visualizing a healthcare insurance structure that meets the needs of India 10-15 years into the future and increase access to healthcare insurance, facilities and medicine.

Based on the roundtable conference, India Health Progress produced a White Paper meant for the Government of India on the best means to achieve higher healthcare spends.


Conference on Our Initiatives taken by Stakeholders to Improve “Access to Healthcare”

Date: Friday, 8 April 2011
Venue: YB Chavan hall, Churchgate
Time: 11:00 am – 1:15 pm

To observe Healthcare Access Week, various healthcare stakeholders are assembling together to gauge their contributions towards better healthcare in India. This conference called “Our Initiatives to improve Access to Healthcare” is being held in Mumbai on 8 April 2011. This activity will showcase the initiatives taken by NGOs, Hospitals, Doctors, Independent organisations, Pharmaceutical and other industries towards healthcare access. The initiatives would include the CSR activities as well.

The objective is to appreciate and showcase the initiatives undertaken to provide healthcare access to all, thus creating an environment for developing improved policy framework for healthcare in India. Furthermore, this initiative would act as a catalyst towards encouraging everyone for taking more initiatives for better healthcare in India.


IHP Run for Access to Healthcare

Date: Saturday, 9 April 2011
Venue: -
Time: -

Run for Access to Healthcare marks a beginning of an initiative to sensitive including policymakers through a joint effort in the first week of April 2011 (April 4-9). Healthcare Access Week is a “Call for Action” for all the stakeholders to bring the issue of lack of access to healthcare forefront where it gets noticed all across India and gets the required attention.

The marathon aims to make Healthcare Access Week as an annual calendar event for all the healthcare stakeholders and generate a high decibel level on lack of access to healthcare in India.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Resource that cannot be done without

Over the past decade the practice of in-house PR has grown as management of large companies and organisations better appreciate the value strategic communications can bring to their brand. 

Despite this, however, it is external PR consultants who are leading the way when it comes to 

 (a) Understanding today’s hyper-connected marketplace and,
 (b) Actively participating on the social web, thus making them an invaluable commodity in today’s cynical and information-overloaded world.

The fact that many in-house communications departments have grown significantly in size means in some ways the need for external consultants has, to a degree, lessened. In reality, though, the fact that agency PR professional are at the cutting edge of communication knowledge acquisition and implementation means they are a resource that cannot be done without.

Not quickly at first, but it soon became pretty apparent the social web was unlike anything the modern-day communications industry has ever experienced:

  • Blogging moved from being a geeky pastime practiced in a darkened room to a highly visible mainstream activity. Backyard podcasters started gaining an audience (and therefore influence).
  • YouTube became the world’s biggest search engine (after Google).
  • Mark Zuckerberg – if you believe the film ‘Social Network’ – ripped off the Winklevoss twins and guided Facebook to half a billion users in under seven years.
  • Twitter went from being a time-wasting novelty to an incredibly powerful, game – changing real-time medium.
Then, just when you thought you had handle on everything, Foursquare emerged and grew by an astonishing 3,800 per cent last year alone.

And now Quora is taking the world by storm, with some observers boldly declaring it the future of journalism.

 By Kalyan Chakravarthy

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dialogue: The Brand Ambassador of Peace

Crude protests spill in the Middle East. All for a democratic government. The jasmine revolution began in the North African nation of Tunisia, culminating in President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali’s ouster. It further spread to the land of the Nile; with the Egyptians vehemently protesting against the 30 year repressive regime of President Hosni Mubarak.

No sooner had the dust settled in Tunisia and Egypt; there began an uprising in Bahrain. It seemed Egypt’s protest crossed the Red Sea to spillover the Persian Gulf. This time, the revolt against the monarch rule of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifah. Bahrainis roared for a democratic government.

While the protest in Manama became fierce, its gale traveled through the Mediterranean Sea to Libya. Influenced by Bahrain along with its western and eastern neighbours- Tunisia and Egypt respectively, smoke of unrest billowed in the wells of Libya. Demonstrators called for the end of 41 year rule of its dictator, Col Muammar Gaddafi.

The presidents of Tunisia and Egypt, succumbed to the mounting pressure of protesters, and stepped down. The king of Bahrain proposed to have a dialogue with demonstrators. However, it was the defiant, Col Gaddafi, who had formulated a chemical equation to deal with the Libyans, and declared war on them.

On one hand, the leader of a country had ordered the use of tanks, helicopters and warplanes to be fired at his countrymen; and on the other hand, in a country like India, a Pakistani terrorist named Ajmal Amir Kasab, who had opened fire on hundreds, thereby, waging a war against the nation, is given all the rights to defend himself. By holding a free, fair and transparent trial of Kasab, India has truly branded herself as one the world’s largest democracy.

Democracy, the wish of every mankind is a test of one’s character. It’s a process of hope and wait, with the attributes of perseverance longer than the Ganges; and patience deeper than the Indian Ocean; leading to a cherished victory, higher than the Himalayas.

Though Kasab’s death sentence has been upheld by the Bombay High Court, yet he has the right to knock the doors of the Supreme Court, for being saved from the gallows. And if the Supreme Court upholds his death penalty, the 26/11 terrorist can file a mercy petition before the President. The wait for justice is excruciatingly long and painful, especially for the families, who have lost their loved ones.

Isn’t the transparency of the Indian judicial system laudable? Isn’t the bereaved families’ courage praiseworthy? Aren’t they the epitome of patience? The answer unequivocally is: “YES.” It’s been two-and-a- half years, yet affected people insist on following the due process of the law. These are the courageous, large- hearted people of a democratic country. Incredible Indians!

There were times when I became impatient with the slow pace of Kasab’s trial. But the crisis in the Middle East genuinely made me realize the fortune of being born and residing in a democratic country.

While the world condemned Col Gaddafi’s brutal action against protesters, it was heartening to see Bahrain’s king using the missile of “SOFT POWER”- a dialogue with protesters to put an end to the on-going crisis.

The one person who has influenced my thoughts with his unceasing conviction in the supremacy of “SOFT POWER” is Dr Daisaku Ikeda, a Buddhist leader, peace builder, prolific writer, poet, educator and founder of a number of cultural, educational and peace research institutions around the world. For Dr Ikeda, the impact of dialogue is not just limited to theory. He has actually set precedence for mankind through his actions.

Dr Ikeda is constantly engaged in dialogue with people from all walks of life, and has cemented ties with various countries, including the countries with which Japan had strained relations, post World War II. On the basis of “Soft Power”, he has been annually submitting Peace Proposals to the UN since 1983.

Nothing on earth can replace dialogue. You indeed need to be lion-hearted to have a dialogue with people against you. It’s this very move by the king, which has provided solace to my Indian friends in Bahrain. Their lives were clouded with anxiety and uncertainty, until the king offered to have talks with protesters to hear them out. So much so, the royal family preferred to put the issue of Grand Prix at the back burner, to douse off the fire of discomfort among its citizens.  

Though, there is still no clarity on the future course of action and the transition process in Bahrain. Nevertheless, the king has somewhat won the confidence of people. And “Dialogue” has once again become the brand ambassador of peace. 

By Shivani Venugopal
(Branch Head- Bengaluru)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Public Relations : Communication

Public relations means making corporations and other types of organizations more responsive to the demands of public opinion. In its simplest form, public relations means relating to the public.
Edward L. Bernays (1891-1995), an important founding father of modern public relations, began practicing public relations in 1920. He coined the term "public relations counsel" and taught the first university course on public relations in 1923 at New York University. That same year his book, Crystallizing Public Opinion, was published and became the first book on public relations.
If we examine some of the goals and objectives of public relations, it becomes clear that it is a multifaceted activity involving many different functions. Topping the list of objectives, public relations seeks to create, maintain, and protect the organization's reputation, enhance its prestige, and present a favorable image.
Studies have shown that consumers often base their purchase decision on a company's reputation, so public relations can have a definite impact on a company's sales and revenue. Public relations can be an effective part of a company's overall marketing strategy. In the case of a for-profit company, public relations and marketing may be coordinated to be sure they are working to achieve the same objectives.
Another major public relations goal is to create goodwill for the organization. This involves such functions as employee relations, stockholder and investor relations, media relations, community relations, and relations with the many other publics with whom the organization interacts, affects, or is affected by.

Effective  public relations requires a knowledge, based on analysis and understanding, of all the factors that influence perception of and attitudes toward the organization. The development of a specific public relations campaign follows these basic steps, which can be visualized as a loop that begins within the organization, extends to the target audience(s), and returns back to the organization.

By Mahesh Kumar
IMPRIMIS PR (Chennai Branch)