Health begins in the mouth! For this reason, Parmarth Niketan, in partnership with Oral & Dental Health Care from the United Kingdom (UK), held a special initiative for dental health in Rishikesh. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji blessed and graced the Swami Shukdevanand Trust Clinic for the inauguration of the camp with a sacred lamp lighting ceremony. He said, “To me the service of humanity is truly the greatest form of worship. I am so proud of all of you for coming all the way from the United Kingdom not necessarily on a tourist vacation to India but rather to dedicate your time, talent, technical expertise and tenacity to the service of sisters and brothers in India. To me this is the Aarti, the prayer, the worship and the Yoga. Please always remember that this is your home and you are welcome here anytime.”
The camp took place from the 2nd to the 4th of April. A team of 11 dental students from the University of Birmingham and 2 dentists from UK were working together with 3 dentists from India and 6 translators to provide a quick but efficient and proper dental service, treating pain as a priority.
Vinod Lodhia, a sevak at Parmarth Niketan, has been organizing camps for almost 15 years and this is the 6th project. “So far we have done 2 eye camps, 1 prostate camp, 1 surgical camp and 1 medical camp. It has been initiated for the last two years and now is coming to fruition with the support of Dr. Upen Patel and students.
The aim was to attend 500 patients in 3 days with hygiene instructions and treatments. “We give them one to one instructions, we sit them down, we show them how to brush their teeth, the right technique and we watch them doing it. So we confirm that they have learnt it,” says Dr. Upen Patel, who is coordinating and helping the students. For the more advanced treatments such as extractions and fillings, the camp has dentists from India.
“It’s been brilliant! We are provided with all the facilities for us to do this, running water, cleanliness, I’m just so impressed! We are here because we want to help people. We have seen 120 patients yesterday and for the second day we have got registration of 250 people. We’ve also provided medicines, antibiotics and little things to get them to have a health mouth and a healthy life. We want do this at least once a year. The students loved the experience and the atmosphere of Rishikesh. They will tell others and the project can potentially happen twice a year so that we can look after the patients as they need regular maintenance and care.” – Dr. Upen Patel