Dr Cijith Sreedhar : Meet yet another Inspired Life. Dr Cijith Sreedhar is a renowned naturopathy doctor in Kerala. An Internationally Certified NLP practitioner. His works in the field of Healthcare, Education, Eradication of Poverty and Tribal Welfare has been exemplary. We are delighted to meet him and discuss about his teams fantastic works.
Let’s hear from him.
What is your Education & Professional Background?
“I am a Bachelor of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences (BNYS) and Yoga Naturopathy graduate from JSS INYS, Coimbatore. (First & the Largest BNYS College in Tamil Nadu and 2nd Largest in India).
I am an expert in holistic healing and Life style modification.
I am also an Internationally Certified NLP practitioner. As part of my Professional engagement I believe that as a doctor, my duty is to teach my patients how the body heals by itself, when a chance is given.“
Dr Cijith Sreedhar, How did it all start? What was the inspiration behind Santhana Dharma Trust?
It all started during Floods in Wayanad (Kerala), 2 Tribal villages were extremely affected. One of my friend who was associated with “Friends of Tribal Society” contacted me for immediate help. I spoke to my colleagues & friends and within 24 Hours we could mobilise most of the essentials required for those 2 villages. Post Wayanad Floods thoughts kept endearing us! “If in 24hours we could do this why shouldn’t we expand”. The learning then was that people are ready to help but they lack connectivity. So we decided to be the connecting point. That’s how Sanathana Dharma Trust was formed.
A Brief Note on Santhana Dharma Trust?
Our NGO started its operations in the year 2009. Currently we are present in 3 Southern States (Kerala, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu).
Give us a background of your core team and the average age of your team?
Our Core consists of Advocates, Chartered Accountants, Doctors & Professors. The average age of our core team is about 45. We are guided and mentored by Dr Sathish (A renowned Urologist). He is the backbone of our organisation.
Please give us details of your Trust activities?
- Sanjeevani Program – Free Medicine & Treatment including Free Hospitalisation & Surgery through Doctors Forum.
- Education – Set Up Ekal Vidyalaya (One Teacher Schools), Career Orientation for Under Privileged Students.
- Free Rice Distribution (One Fold Rice)
- Rehabilitation of destitute Women & Children, which includes Counselling women who face domestic violence post forced / induced marriages.
- Free Legal Support – Support the Poor & marginalised in getting justice through our Advocate Forum
- Flood Relief work in Kerala (We had done extensive work during Kerala Floods in 2018 & 2019)
Free Medical Services Including Free Medicine, Surgery and hospitalisation? Can you please explain about Sanjeevani Program in detail?
Since most of our friends are doctors (Both Allopathy & Naturopathy) we formed a network of Doctors (Doctors Forum) across 3 states of South India (Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu). In this forum we have over 400+ doctors with varied specialisation. Each Doctors in our forum based on their specialisation consult | treat 1 patient free either everyday | Week | Month irrespective of insurance claim. Eg : General Physicians consults 1 Patient free of cost including medication every day. Endocrinologist consults 2 Patients per week free of cost. For Surgeries which includes Oncology, Neurology, Nephrology, Urology 1 Patient is treated free of cost every month including Surgery & post surgery medication.
Free medical aid and life support is given to poor, critically ill patients. Primarily we serve critically ill patients. Eg. Cancer, kidney failure, etc under Sanjeevani Program.
Free medication drive is majorly done for Diabetics apart from Post surgery medications. Sanjeevani Program has been very successful and inspirations of our working model are being adopted | incorporated in other states by different NGO’s. Sanjeevani Program was appreciated by The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment & Ministry of Tribal Welfare.
Pl elaborate the Education activities your Trust undertake?
We set up One Teacher School in Tribal Areas of Idukki and tribal areas of Wayanad & other remote locations of KA, KL & TN. Apart from this we work with Government Schools for Creating Career Awareness | Career Development Program. Our Primary target is Under Privileged Children. This Program is executed with the support of IIT Madras Alumnus. It has so far been the most successful program after Sanjeevani. The School Dropout ratio has come down drastically due to this program (My Choice My Future). This Program helps children choose an appropriate career that suits them best.
What is One Fold Rice Program? Why are you distributing Rice than Feeding People directly?
The difficulty of Preparing food and serving it to the needy is a challenge. It requires extensive Supply Chain Management. As a NGO our focus is to ensure people are fed. So instead of serving cooked food we decided to collect rice and distribute the same to Tribal / Slums / Under privileged People. This scheme is very popular.
This Program One Fold Rice is implemented by the Head Women of the Family. We hand over a cloth bag to our enrolled household (Head Women of the Family). The Ladies who collect our bags will fill the bag with 1 fold Rice everyday before they cook food for their family. Our volunteers at Taluk level visit the household every month to collect these filled Rice bags. Appx we collect 3 to 4Kgs of Rice Per house Per Month.
When did you start One Fold Rice Program? What is the quantity of Rice you distribute every month?
This Program was started in Kerala in 2014. Currently we collect between 900 to 1000 Kg of Rice every month. We will be launching this Program in Karnataka & Tamil Nadu in the year 2020.
Dr Cijith Sreedhar, Pl elaborate more on your rehabilitation work?
We Rehabilitate destitute Women & Children, which includes Counselling women who face domestic violence due to forced | induced marriages. It is a very challenging task as in most of the cases it is due to forced marriages. We under take this work with the help of Clinical psychiatrist & Advocates.
How many women & children you have rehabilitated since inception?
Since 2010 we have rehabilitated 600+ Women. Most of these women work with us either as Full Time Coordinators (or) as a Volunteer and they contribute to our growth story significantly.
How many active members do you have in your Advocate Forum & what are the activities you do?
Our Advocate Forum has over 600 Advocates across Karnataka & Kerala.
Primarily it all started with the intention of providing free Legal assistance to Destitute Women and it further expanded to help the poor, deprived, needy downtrodden and Divyangs to protect their rights.
In addition to this we also create awareness among people about issues that concern everyone from Civil Liberties to environment to Heritage Conservation to Legal literacy.
What is your Trust’s volunteer base?
We have 1 Full Time Coordinator in each Districts and Every district has over 50 Volunteers.
How are you funded / Supported?
We are supported by like minded people. They share the same values as us. We are also supported by leading organisations as part of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).
What are the Future plans for Sanathana Dharma Trust?
Expand our Scope and implement all the Programs (Sanjeevani, Education & One fold Rice) across Karnataka & Tamil Nadu in the next 2 Years.
Your suggestions to youngsters interested in pursuing a career in Social Entrepreneurship?
It’s a great decision if you have decided to be a Social Worker (or) Social Entrepreneur. First of all, you’ll never run out of motivation in social work (or) Social Entrepreneurship.
Start working at ground level and start it right now. Don’t leave it for too late.
Make important networks in your field. It’s important that you stay connected with the people who have already been working on it. Use their experience. The work will be challenging and their experience will be very much useful, specially at initial stages.
If you wish to help Dr Cijith Sreedhar & Dr Sathish Kumar you can reach them here (They are 80 G Approved & FCRA Compliant)
Mail ID : firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone No : 9447039097
SANATHANA DHARMA TRUST
SBI PONEKKARA BRANCH, KOCHI, KERALA IFSC : SBIN0018168