This organisation charges patients just Rs 60 (Rs. 20 in urban areas) in return for a consultation, diagnosis and a week-long supply of medicine free-of-cost
My day at RHCF commenced with a visit to their center on Jyotish Roy Road in Kolkatta, which is one of three urban centres that they run. This particular centre is situated on the edge of a slum, whose inhabitants cannot afford to pay for doctor’s appointments nor medicines. This center was set up in 2013 and as of March 2014, 8,177 patients have been treated here.
Rural Health Care Foundation (RHCF) is an NGO that provides affordable and sustainable primary healthcare to low income groups, in West Bengal, having reached out to over 10 lakh patients till date. It prides itself on its organisational working model that is scalable, sustainable and can be replicated and applied to different rurally deprived communities around the world.
RHCF was set up by brothers Anant and Late Arun Nevatia, in continuation of the philanthropic legacy of their late father. Arun Nevatia, was diagnosed with Cancer at the age of ten and struggled through treatment all his life until 2013, when he sadly passed away.
RHCF receives around 5 volunteers every year and openly encourages individuals to come forward and assist where they can. Previous volunteers have contributed by staying at the rural centres, assisting doctors and gaining feedback from the beneficiaries. Struggles may arise in rural centres due to language constraints but volunteers are always accompanied by an individual who speaks the local language. RHCF has a small team due to funding restrictions, as a result of which administrative opportunities for volunteers are also available.
Rewards and Recognition
RHCF’s greatest achievement is its operating model – from the bulk buying of medicines to paying a small cost for prescriptions. It prides itself on being a pioneering organisation and an example that can be replicated. Special recognition includes:
• The Rising Star India NGO Award 2014
• The Bihar Innovation Forum Award, 2014
• The Social Enterprise of the Year and the Indian Affairs Business Leadership Awards at the 3rd annual Indian Leadership Conclave 2012
• Special Consultative status as part of the United Nations ECOSOC. RHCF also featured as a case study published in the UN volunteer’s book 2012
• The Salaam Bengal Award 2011 initiated by the ABP group
• Awarded the Karamveer Puraskar, 2012, for contribution to society
• Awarded the Mahindra and Mahindra “Spark the Rise Award”, 2012 for innovation and social entrepreneurship
• The RHCF working model was one of the winning entries at 3rd IDIYA Challenge Competition, 2011 organised by Indian School of Business, Hyderabad
• A case study on RHCF has been published by the Harvard Business School.