Dr. Falguni Navetiya (West Bengal), Social Worker

Dr. Falguni Navetiya

Daughter to a prominent businessman in Calcutta and a Gujarati by birth – Falguni, faced great opposition from her family when she decided to marry Arun. Arun – a cancer patient since he was 10 years old had been subject to many relapses and various other ailments. She refused to succumb to her family pressure and went ahead to marry the love of her life. Happily married, Falguni and her husband travelled frequently to Mumbai for doctor consultations, treatments and the medical care Arun required. This highlighted the need for improved healthcare facilities in Calcutta. Over time, they both decided that they would help as best they could to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for all. Falguni gave up her career of 20 years as a Maths teacher and along with Arun set up a primary health centre – Rural Health Care Foundation, in Mayapur in the Nadia District of West Bengal. Started in March 2009, the Rural Health Care Foundation aims to provide affordable medical assistance to the poor in rural areas of West Bengal. Till today around 425000 patients have been treated.

Falguni tirelessly balances her work and family. She looks after her household, helps support her husband’s ill health and manages the supply chain management and medicine supply for the Foundation. Falguni is an epitome of inspiration for all women who want to follow their dreams, help others and manage a successful work life balance. Rural Health Care Foundation started with one centre in Mayapur in the Nadia District of West Bengal and now currently operates 5 centres in 4 different districts across the state. They charge a nominal amount from patients for registration and provide 7 days free medicines along with consultation from a qualified doctor. In 2012, the Trust won the ‘Social Enterprise of the Year” Award by the Indian Leadership Conclave. Falguni and Arun continue working for the people in their state and pledge to open centres in every district of Bengal by 2015.Quote:“I belong to a community where men don’t like women taking decisions or giving opinions. But I chose to be different, I chose to be me. And I’m proud of all my decisions, be it marrying a guy knowing that he has cancer, or leaving my job to dedicate my life for a cause that I care for. Only when women realize their true potential and overcome their fears, will they achieve their true status in the society.”