We had a chance to speak to Dr. Priyanjali Datta, CEO of Aaroogya Carnage Breast Cancer Foundation, sociopreneur and dentist. GiveHer5 collaborated with Aaroogya for the Maha Swastha Kumbh Mela held last month.
From a Bengali family, Dr. Priyanjali was a part of the Indian hierarchical education system. Her dream to become a doctor began with her grandmother, who always wanted her to be a doctor, passing away due to lung cancer. What began with childhood dreams of creating an injection that would cure cancer resulted in Dr. Priyanjali Datta working towards a social cause.
She founded Aaroogya in 2017, to make preventive and cure-oriented healthcare accessible to people from all walks of life. She began with a movement to spread awareness about breast cancer, and when we asked her what her dream for Aarogya was, she said –
“Other than carrying the message forward, I want to make the country cancer aware, cancer affordable, and cancer accessible. I want to establish Aarogya as the finest non-profit organisation that believes in social innovation and design, as a tremendously and vigorously hard working body.”
Talking about the various states she has visited, Dr. Priyanjali shared that, “Bihar has been a big challenge, considering the language barriers, it was tough to work there. Moreover, a lot of the villages were plagued with backward thinking, going as far as to not allow the women to even go for a breast examination. However, the Hindon Project in Uttar Pradesh was taken surprisingly well covering 800+ villages. Meghalaya, was the easiest as it is a matriarchal state where the status of women is strong and self-sustained, which was a joyful experience.”
She was approached by the health ministry with regard to the kumbh mela. Dr. Priyanjali then made a plan, including the entire health set up, took all the machinery, pharmaceutical drugs, Saafkins, niramaya devices, medicare, and carried world class diagnostic kits with her. She didn’t want to conduct just another camp where a few doctors prescribe and distribute a few medicines. She covered health care in its entirety.
Alongwith GiveHer5, Aaroogya conducted 265 ANM workshops, they expected most barriers here considering the taboo of the topic however, this aspect was least worrisome.
When asked how a common person can make a contribution, she informed us about the volunteer programme that they aim to launch by July 2019, and you can always contact them here. Just the basic awareness about cancer, and being considerate is enough, she says.