Deccan Chronicle

Maharashtra Minister eyes Guinness with check-up camp

Deccan Chronicle| vivek bhavsar

Published on: January 24, 2016 | Updated on: January 24, 2016

The minister had organised a mega health camp in Jalgaon

The thought of setting the Guinness World Record occurred to Mahajan after the mega camp elicited a very good response.

The thought of setting the Guinness World Record occurred to Mahajan after the mega camp elicited a very good response.

Water resources minister Girish Mahajan has set his eyes on finding a place in the Guinness Book of World Records by organising the world’s largest eye check up camp in his home district Jalgaon in north Maharashtra in about two month’s time.

Mr Mahajan had organised a mega health camp in Jalgaon two weeks ago. The idea of setting a world record came to him after the health camp became a big hit among the people.

Mr Mahajan has been organising health check up camps for the past several years at Jalgaon in North Maharashtra. He said he believes people can be won over by keeping them healthy rather than wealthy.

Mr Mahajan had recently organised a mega health camp in Jalgaon in which top surgeons within the state were present and they conducted around 4,500 angioplasties and equal number of angiographies at the camp.

"We made arrangements with private and government hospitals to conduct the mega camp," said Mr Mahajan.

"The eye check up camp will be a milestone in the state’s medical history," Mr Mahajan said. "We will conduct not only cataract surgeries but also the eye replacement surgeries. Yes, the world record is on my mind," he said. More than 10,000 eye check ups are planned to be conducted on the day of the camp, which will be held in March or April 2016.

Mr Mahajan, who spends two hours daily on fitness workout, said, "The rural public cannot afford heavy expenses for good medical services. Not everyone can travel to big cities like Mumbai for better treatment. What is the harm if the medical treatment is made available to them at their doorstep?"

However, there might also be political reasons behind Mr Mahajan’s initiative.

Mr Mahajan is trying to displace his former mentor and a heavyweight BJP leader in Jalgaon Eknath Khadse, the revenue minister, from his position as the district’s uncrowned leader.

And with elections to Zila Parishads in the state scheduled in early 2017, a local BJP leader said Mr Mahajan is trying to establish himself as a decision maker as far as the local elections are concerned.

However, when asked about his political motive behind health camp, Mr Mahajan denied it and said, "I have been helping the poor in medical treatment since we won the Lok Sabha election (in May 2014). I have deployed five state-of-the-art medical vans to ferry poor patients from Jalgaon to Mumbai. The doctors in Mumbai can monitor the patient’s condition through satellite images while he/she is on the way to the hospital. We charge the patients only the cost of the fuel. People had elected me even when I was not doing this," said Mr Mahajan.

"I also have helped cure at least 120 physically impaired children. Such is the response that I am planning to buy a bus to carry the patients to Mumbai. Of course, I am planning to institutionalise the initiative through a trust. I had started a procedure to register the trust, G.M. Foundation. It will become a reality soon," he said.

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