Project Update: Bhagat Puran Singh Health Initiative

OUR INSPIRATION

We modeled our organization after Bhagat Puran Singh Ji’s devotion to humanity and selfless service which inspired us to go above and beyond the call.
Starting with nothing but 2 rupees and the clothes on his back after the partition of 1947 and starting with two patients, Bhagat Puran Singh Ji created the biggest and most successful charitable foundation northern India has ever seen. Puran Singh took up anyone that could not support themselves: abandoned children with Down’s, adults with mental retardation, Tuberculosis cases…. anyone that other people wouldn’t touch. Since then, tens of thousands have found homes, treatments, and education.


By the end of 2017 we are hoping to accomplish the following & more:

  1. Hire our first paid staff member through a fellowship. This individual’s responsibilities will include helping start new chapters in other states, utilizing our community data to write grants, and designing fundraisers to enhance our clinics.
  2. Foster development of two new chapters starting this upcoming semester, and we are in contact with a third school.
  3. Host our third annual Pan-BPSHI Conference in April, our Leadership Retreat in February, and a new line of projects headed by our variouschapters. 

BPSHI is a non-profit public health organization and we need your help to sustain our efforts. ​If it is in your capacity to give, we greatly appreciate all donations of time, knowledge or funds.



2016 IN REVIEW
United by one common goal of serving the Punjabi-Sikh diaspora, each BPSHI chapter has a unique path of service. In 2016, BPSHI demonstrated the ability to accomplish wonders and help improve lives. Here are some accomplishments from 2016.

 In 2016 alone, the Bhagat Puran Singh Health Initiative saw over

4,000 SANGAT MEMBERS

hoping to keep growing in 2017.


In the past 6 years, BPSHI expanded across the United States through

14 CHAPTERS

committed to improving the health of our Punjabi and Sikh sangat.


PAN-BPSHI CONFERENCE
In April, we had our second annual Pan-BSPHI Conference, during which all our chapters congregated to discuss their past year’s projects. We also held workshops and presentations, including a discussion on mental health in the South Asian community and its detriments and the political climate and its potential effects on healthcare.


GRANTHI NUTRITIONAL AWARENESS

One of the most high-risk groups in the community is the granthi (Sikh priest) population. Residing in the gurdwara means eating butter-drenched langar every day of the week, for every meal of the day. To combat this problem, UC Berkeley’s team began working directly with local granthis.

SAIR: WALKING AS AN EXERCISE
At a general meeting, UCLA’s team collectively came up with a Sair” resource sheet that discusses the benefits of walking, how to alleviate knee pain pre and post walking, and what is a good walking protocol. Additionally, cholesterol checks were introduced at clinic sites; this is a huge learning experience for our sangat, who many times are unaware they are at risk of dangers such as blood clots, inflammation in our arteries, heart attacks, and strokes.

 

 BEYOND THE VITALS

The Bakersfield BPSHI chapter reinforced personal care by bringing a dental hygienist on site at clinics! With a free visual dental exam, the sangat was well advised for their dental care. Recognizing the significance of exercise, they also set up exercise stations in which they conduct floor exercises and use exercise equipment (such as resistance bands) to best work with the service recipient’s physical challenges. Additionally, they offer physical therapy consultations alongside the exercise stations for a very personalized visit.


OUR FINDINGS
With each clinic we have, we are gathering data to better understand health in the ​Punjabi-Sikh diaspora and what resources need to be made to best serve our sangat. ​From our last few clinics in Bakersfield, CA, we found… 


For women, overweight is a BMI of 27.3 or more, while overweight for men is a BMI of 27.8 or more. In Bakersfield, the average man and woman at a gurudwara are on the verge of being overweight, as shown in the chart above. With health education, we hope to improve these numbers and provide tips for physical health.

In the pie chart, we see that almost 40% of the sangat in Bakersfield is either uninsured or not aware of their insurance; this can be attributed to a number of reasons such as immigration complications, financial restrictions, language barriers, etc. It is our mission to assist in increasing the number of insured individuals and invest our time in helping those that do not have access to information or resources.

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