States & UTs

    Char Dham 24': Uttarakhand Health Dept To Offer 'Quality Medical Assistance' To Pilgrims

    Inam Ansari
    May8/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Char Dham 24

    Dehradun: The Uttarakhand Health Department has launched an initiative to ensure the safety and well-being of pilgrims and completed all groundwork to offer pilgrims quality medical assistance for the revered Char Dham Yatra.
    According to an official release, "Dr R Rajesh Kumar, Secretary of Health, has spearheaded efforts to create a vast network aimed at providing quality medical assistance to visiting pilgrims, many of whom are over 50 years old."
    This initiative, unprecedented in both India and the world, reflects the department's commitment to ensuring a safe passage for pilgrims to the holy shrines.
    With last year's pilgrimage drawing 56.31 lakh visitors, this year's numbers are expected to surpass that figure.
    The comprehensive health infrastructure includes a network of 49 permanent health facilities and 26 Medical Relief Posts (MRPs) strategically positioned along the Yatra route in Chamoli, Rudraprayag, and Uttarkashi districts, as well as in Dehradun, Haridwar, Tehri, and Pauri districts.
    At least, 50 additional screening points have been established at strategic locations to provide health promotion and preventive care, particularly for pilgrims over 50 years of age. Moreover, 26 MRPs along the footpaths offer primary and first-aid care to pilgrims.
    Dr Rajesh Kumar elaborated on the deployment of medical personnel, including specialists, medical officers, pharmacists, and nurses, to various health facilities along the route.
    Additionally, the concept of "Swasthya Mitra" volunteers stationed at footpaths provides immediate assistance and connects pilgrims to MRPs.
    To address emergencies, a fleet of 79 departmental and 77 '108' ambulances will be deployed along the Yatra route. The initiative also utilizes 50 Point-of-Care Testing Devices (PoCDs) and Health ATMs for rapid health assessments.
    Two new hospitals, one each in Kedarnath and Badrinath, are under construction, with AIIMS Rishikesh providing trauma and emergency medical response training to doctors deployed in Yatra Marg facilities.
    To further enhance safety measures, pictographic SOPs and advisories, translated into 11 languages, have been distributed to all states for dissemination to prospective pilgrims.
    Additionally, the Department of Tourism website will display health parameters for self-disclosure during the mandatory registration process, and bulk SMSs with health advisories will be sent to registered pilgrims throughout the Yatra.
    This initiative underscores the Uttarakhand Health Department's commitment to ensuring the well-being of pilgrims and their seamless experience during this sacred journey.
    Driven by the vision of Dr. R Rajesh Kumar, this unprecedented effort sets a new standard for providing healthcare assistance to pilgrims on challenging yatra routes.
    This year, the Char Dham Yatra will begin on May 10, with the opening of three of the four shrines, including Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Kedarnath.
    The Char Dham Yatra holds profound spiritual significance in Hinduism. This journey typically occurs from April-May to October-November.
    It is believed that one should complete the Char Dham Yatra in a clockwise direction.
    Hence, the pilgrimage starts from Yamunotri, proceeds towards Gangotri, onto Kedarnath, and finally ends at Badrinath. —ANI