Friday, March 13, 2015

Our author, Dr Rani Bang, wins the coveted
Times of India Social Impact Award 2015

Rani Bang with Sunanda Khorgade and Rupa Chinai
Foreword by Rahul Goswami

8.5”X5.5” hb, 312pp, ISBN 81-85604-96-1 £50

Trained in India and at Johns Hopkins University where Dr Rani Bang and her husband, Dr Ajay Bang, studied public health and research methodologies, the couple returned to India to set up a health clinic in Maharashtra’s neglected Gadchiroli district, about 170 km from Nagpur, where the Gonds are the dominant tribal group. Dr Rani Bang and her husband started the Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health (SEARCH) and to practise medicine that explicitly catered to the tribal and non-tribal poor people who live in the area. Rani Bang’s research found that 92 per cent of women had no access to treatment for gynaecological disorders in the absence of women doctors. In their own way, the Bangs have set in motion a revolution that equips people, communities and administrators with the tools to build an indigenous expression of development.
Rani Bang has run a health clinic in Gadchiroli for over twenty years; Rupa Chinai writes on developmental journalism with a focus on health; Sunanda Khorgade works with the women’s health programme at SEARCH; Rahul Goswami is a policy analyst and writer, based in Goa and Delhi.

TOI Social Impact Awards 2015:
Thank goodness, these men & women make a difference
TNN|Mar 9, 2015, 02.10 AM IST
Lifetime achievement: By taking neo-natal care to the doorstep of the poor, the doctor-couple of Abhay and Rani Bang have managed to control infant mortality in 39 villages of the Naxal affected district of Gadchiroli, where they have worked for nearly 30 years. The Bangs’ model of home-based newborn and child care is now being practised across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and in African nations such as Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi.
A doctor couple who have revolutionized the delivery of healthcare to tribals in Naxal-hit Gadchiroli district, a civil hospital in Ahmedabad which defies stereotypes about state-run institutions, a government programme to take science to children who live in the forgotten interiors of the country, and a corporate's effort to bring the girl child into the warm, nurturing embrace of education were among the path-breaking initiatives and inspiring human endeavours and that got the nod from the high-powered Jury that met to choose the 2014-15 winners of the Times of India Social Impact Awards. In its third edition, the SIA has become the gold standard for socially empowering work as evidenced by its 1,100 entries.
The Jury, chaired by Naresh Chandra, ex-Cabinet secretary, governor and ambassador to the US, had the unenviable task of choosing the most deserving from among the 40 finalists shortlisted for their consideration, after multiple rounds of elimination. The Jury rose to the occasion, spending the next three hours in intense discussions and even resorting to a vote a couple of times. The eight-member Jury, which bonded over a light vegetarian lunch before starting discussions, looked for impactful, scalable work, especially in remote corners of the country or aimed at vulnerable social groups like the girl child, manual scavengers and leprosy patients.The tone for the afternoon was set by Times Group CEO Raj Jain. Welcoming the distinguished Jury, he said, "We believe the Social Impact Awards is the most significant professional work we do at The Times of India."