Dr. Vasudev Rawal Charitable Trust campaigns to fight juvenile diabetes

Gujarati Doctors Convention Dr.Smita Joshi, Dr.Ajeet Kothari,Dr.Ketan Joshi @Atlantic City, on 11th June 2023. PHOTO: Dr. Smita Joshi

“I am here in the US because 140 crore people in India don’t understand that children can get diabetes,” says the soft-spoken but strong fighter for the cause of children with Type 1 diabetes, Dr. Smita Joshi.

Recently, on April 3, 2023, the Government of India’s Ministry of Health passed National Guidelines for Non-Communicable Diseases in Children. That was a singular victory for Dr. Joshi and four generations of her family who have espoused the cause of treated Type 1 diabetes through their Dr. Vasudev Rawal Charitable Trust,.

“With the implementation of the new regulation, every child with Type 1 diabetes in India will get free insulin,” she says joyfully, adding, “India becomes the torchbearer for the world,” with this initiative.

But Dr. Joshi, who is traveling around the US with her sons, Dr. Raja Joshi and Dr. Mann Pancholi, as well as her sister Dr. Shukla Rawal, is not here to raise money.  It is more about raising awareness about a major disease.

Dr. Sudhir Parikh, senior advisor to the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, AAPI, and publisher of News India Times, said physicians in the US have been helping this initiative in several ways. “We met India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya on this issue. In India, juvenile diabetes is a very serious problem for which insulin is needed from day one and government health program had no special funding.”

Washington DC on 23rd June, 2023, with PM Narendra Modi, at Ronald Regan Hall, Washington DC, Indian Diaspora event. PHOTO: Dr. Smita Joshi

Dr. Joshi notes that the three ways in which here family has been trying to help is through the Dr. Vasudev Rawal Charitable Trust, an example in social entrepreneurship, in which she and her sister have been using their own funds. “Social responsibility toward the nation and the planet is our effort,” she said. The family trust helps the 2,000 children directly in its care in Vadnagar, a place near Visnagar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home town. During the COVID lockdown, the Trust made sure to make the insulin available to these 2,000 children.

She led a car drive from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes. And in US, followed it up with the San Francisco to Atlanta drive, ending up at the AAPI Convention where she was a keynote speaker. Even though insulin for Type 1 diabetes was discovered as long ago as 1922, she said, “There is a complete lack of awareness, and children live an average of 25 years if they have the disease.”

At Chicago on 28th July, 2023, Dr Smita Joshi with Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi,, D-Illinois,. PHOTO: Dr. Smita Joshi

She has been speaking not just at AAPI, but also at the JAINA Convention in Tampa, the Gujarati Doctor’s  Convention also in Atlanta, and at the Indian American Leadership Committee meeting held in Washington, D.C., July 26, attended by Indian American Congressman. She also made an appeal to the US-India Partnership initiative to take up the issue of supplying insulin.

She is putting faith in organizations like these to spread awareness about Type 1 diabetes and the need for insulin distribution.

“We are not here for any fundraising. This is purely an example of social responsibility,” she said about her sons, her sister and herself. “We four fight like an army for the betterment of children.”



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