CHENNAI, India – In 1999, Sanjeevi Health center opened its doors to provide medical assistance to people in the Maramalai Nagar neighborhood, along with areas that surround Ford India’s manufacturing plant in Chennai. Since its inception, Ford India has supported the center and its efforts to provide medical services to the people in the community, further demonstrating the company’s Go Further philosophy towards community development and bringing alive an integral part of Henry Ford’s vision—that of a Better World.
“When we were in the process of building the Chennai plant, we identified the lack of basic healthcare facilities for people from the local communities,” said Tom Chackalackal, executive director, Manufacturing, Ford India, while talking about how Sanjeevi was started. “Together with administering primary healthcare support, the center has also come to the aid of several accident victims on the busy national highway adjacent to the plant.”
Over the years, Sanjeevi Health Center has grown to help an increasing number of patients in the neighborhood and nearby areas with healthcare support and medicine, all free of cost.
“When Sanjeevi started, I was the only person attending to the patients. The center soon grew in popularity with the local community,” said Dr. Achutha Rao. “To help a greater number of people, we now have three doctors with five support staff and we attend to an average of 70 patients every day. As well as providing healthcare support, we have also started creating awareness about preventive healthcare and conduct several free health checkups to detect signs of health risks ranging from diabetes to heart problems.”
Ford India has supported the center since the very beginning and the Ford management team has been extremely supportive of the work being done there. Jim Vella, president, Ford Fund, visited the center last year and was impressed with the services and goodwill the center was generating. Nigel Harris, Ford India’s newly appointed president, recently visited the center and had a chance to interact with the team and the beneficiaries and he was amazed by the work that Sanjeevi was doing to benefit the community.
Over time, Ford has increased financial support to meet the growing needs of the community through the center. Ford has also committed to support the expansion of the project to positively touch more people, making it one of the most successful and sustainable projects in Ford India’s Better World focus.