While most people spend mornings on weekends by sleeping in late, members of the Public Garden Walkers’ Association (PGWA) are the early birds preying upon fresh air and exercise. They also keep one Sunday aside every month to stay informed of the latest health issues and developments through an interactive session with some of the top doctors in the city.
The PGWA hosts health lectures by renowned doctors on the first Sunday of every month. The series started on November 9, 1995, with a talk on ‘Walk & Vision’ by well known ophthalmologist, Dr. P. Siva Reddy, and is now in its 20th year without a break. The Association organized its 240th lecture on October 4, the man responsible for this initiative and continuous effort, Ghulam Yazdani, Senior Advocate and Chairman of PGWA is content with the way the venture has sustained for so long, “The PGWA is about fifty years old and this series started incidentally twenty years back when one of our walker friends agreed to give a lecture. I feel this humble beginning gradually developed into a full-fledged beneficial regular affair as a number of non-walkers from the city and suburban areas also made it to these lectures”. In 2012, the 200th lecture was celebrated with the launch of the book ‘Health Spectrum’ that carried the gist of all the health lectures delivered prior to it. Dr. Shakti Gupta, Medical Superintendent, AIIMS, Delhi, was invited to give a talk on ‘Increase Public Awareness & Reshape to promote a Safer Healthcare System in India.’ The talks over the years have dealt with a variety of common health concerns from hypertension, diabetes, cancer to other related topics such as laughter therapy and medical insurance. It has given the audience an opportunity to ask queries and clear their doubts without having to pay anything.
“The audience benefitted from the advice and experience of eminent specialists and super specialists of allopathy, homeopathy, yoga and so on,” said Mr. Yazdani.
Prevention and awareness are clearly better than cure, “The talks are very informative and worthwhile. I have incorporated a lot of helpful tips in my life after hearing these lectures. It happens early in the morning on a Sunday but I make it a point to be there as it’s not everyday that you get a chance like this,” insists Sameeha Jameel, a non-member but regular attendee. The organizers hope more people will follow suit.