Nation Builders 2024: Roche Diagnostics India: Project Roshni Lighting Up Lives In Palghar District
The Logical Indian Crew

Nation Builders 2024: Roche Diagnostics India: Project Roshni Lighting Up Lives In Palghar District

Roshni Symbolizes Roche Diagnostics India's Commitment To Creating Impact In The Community.

As a company committed to making a meaningful difference, Roche Diagnostics India recognizes the pressing need to address socio-economic disparities and healthcare challenges faced by marginalized communities. With a steadfast belief in the power of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to enact positive change, Roche Diagnostics India endeavors to create lasting impact through initiatives that improve healthcare access, promote education, and foster sustainable livelihoods. In alignment with this ethos, Project Roshni shines as a guiding light, paving the way to a brighter future for marginalised communities in Palghar district, Maharashtra. Through Project Roshni, Roche Diagnostics India seeks to not only address immediate needs but also to empower communities to thrive, creating a ripple effect of transformation and resilience.

In the heart of Maharashtra's Palghar district, around 5,00,000 people reside in 222 villages, with more than 30% belonging to tribal communities, as per state census data in 2011. For too long, these resilient communities have endured poverty's grasp and the shadow of neglect, facing obstacles in accessing healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. Among them, women bear the brunt of marginalisation, enduring myriad deficiencies and ailments that impair their well-being.

While giving her statement to The Logical Indian, Manjira Sharma, Head of Communication & CSR, Roche Diagnostics India said,
“Roshni symbolizes Roche Diagnostics India's commitment to creating impact in the communities we serve. Through this initiative, we've not only addressed critical health concerns but also ignited a spirit of resilience and hope among the residents of Palghar. As we reflect on our journey, we're humbled by the positive impact in the lives of more than 10,000 families and we remain steadfast in our dedication to empower local communities by improving their educational, livelihood and health prospects”

Below are the measures taken to empower, uplift, and build a healthy community in the district:

  • Regular health screening for Haemoglobin (HB), thyroid, diabetes, menstrual health and more.
  • Regular doctor visits and examinations.
  • Monthly distribution of fortified food grain and medicines to beneficiaries.
  • Awareness programmes on healthy nutrition, women’s hygiene, and economic independence
  • Project Roshni started as a program focused on women’s health and problems caused by anemia. Apart from medical support in the form of nutritional support and medicines , we have also educated the tribal beneficiaries of Saphale on simple nutritional meals that can be easily prepared using local kitchen garden produce.

How did it all start?

When Roche Diagnostics initiated Project Roshni in 2015, it was prompted by a stark realization of the dire health conditions faced by tribal women in Maharashtra's Palghar district. Insights from clinicians at nearby Primary Health Centers (PHCs) and municipal hospitals shed light on the precarious state of their well-being. Collaborating closely with the Society for Human and Environmental Development (SHED), an NGO with over 35 years of service in the region, the CSR team gained an understanding of the community's challenges and needs. The assessment revealed a troubling scenario: tribal women in the area were grappling with alarmingly low levels of hemoglobin (HB), leading to a host of health complications including menstrual disorders, maternal and infant health issues, and thyroid disorders. Compounding these health concerns were pervasive educational deficits and deeply entrenched orthodox beliefs that deterred many from seeking medical assistance even in emergencies. In response to this, Roche Diagnostics embarked on a transformative journey to uplift and empower the residents of Palghar district. The first crucial step involved conducting a comprehensive health survey to assess overall health indicators. Seventeen villages, grappling with severe malnutrition and anemia, were identified as priority intervention sites. Medical camps were promptly established to conduct HB testing thrice annually, providing women with low hemoglobin levels access to vital medications and nutritional support. Today, the project covers around 90 villages.

Touching lives
Since 2019, significant progress has been observed in the health trajectory, with over 220 women out of 700+ beneficiaries sustaining HB levels above 12, poised to transition out of the program. Some volunteered to become ambassadors and enrolled as Asha workers. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges, amplifying vulnerabilities within communities. In response, the Project Roshni team extended support to 300 families, ensuring access to essential supplies and healthcare services. By 2021, out of 420 beneficiaries in the anemia management intervention, 52% of women were categorized as having mild HB levels, decreasing to 35% by 2022. The proportion of women with moderate HB levels increased from 31% to 37% in 2022, with those in the normal range rising by 14.2% over 2021 figures. Conversely, severe HB cases decreased from 5.7% to 4.52% in 2022. Livelihood support initiatives led to a 30-35% increase in living standards and financial stability compared to 2018 levels. In 2023, over 50% of beneficiaries (410 women) achieved healthier, self-reliant lives, with reduced infant mortality rates and improved birth outcomes. Project Roshni expanded its reach to include three new villages, addressing malnutrition and childhood anemia. Regular screenings enabled timely diagnosis of critical conditions like TB, malaria, and hepatitis, facilitating early intervention and treatment. Over the past eight years, Project Roshni has impacted over 10,000 families, bringing tangible improvements in health and economic empowerment. The commitment extends to enhancing education, especially for girls, and upgrading Zilla Parishad school infrastructure. Since 2022, through scholarships and remedial classes, Project Roshni has nurtured the next generation, enabling underprivileged children to pursue higher education and reach their full potential.

Conclusion :
Roche Diagnostics India's commitment extends beyond CSR initiatives to encompass a broader mission of advancing healthcare infrastructure and improving diagnostic accuracy, ultimately transforming the health trajectory of communities across India. Apart from our direct CSR programs like Project Roshni, Roche Diagnostics India’s presence across 450 cities in India offers the benefits of an industry-leading test menu to many who need it urgently. Moreover, initiatives aimed at growing healthcare infrastructure, improving methodology, efficiency, and the way things are generally practiced while reducing the burden of disease could possibly address access constraints and improve health trajectory. As the rays of Project Roshni continue to illuminate the lives of the residents of Palghar district, hope shines brighter than ever before. Through its holistic approach to community development, Roche Diagnostics India has not only improved health outcomes but also empowered individuals to strive for a better tomorrow. With each passing milestone, the project reaffirms the transformative power of collective action and the enduring impact of compassion. As Roche Diagnostics India marches forward, it remains committed to building a healthier, more resilient future for all, guided by the principles of integrity, courage, and passion.
As a platform for inspiration and aspiration, The Logical Indian's Nation Builders series aims to shine a spotlight on exemplary CSR efforts. To share your CSR stories click here

Contributors Suggest Correction
Writer : Eshaan Sanjay Patil
Editor : Saneesh Cherian
Creatives : Eshaan Sanjay Patil

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