Rani Bang – India

Linked with SEARCH.org.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Rani Bang’s work in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra has changed the face of the tribal pockets in the area. Where healthcare was once nonexistent, there are now a friendly hospital, experienced healthworkers, and trained traditional birth attendants. Rani also worked actively towards reviving traditional medicine, realizing that community mobilization combined with the optimum use of existing facilities is the only way to solve the crises in the interior areas, largely overlooked by policy and planners alike. (1000peacewomen).

She says: “Rani Bang’s forte is her responsiveness to what the people identify as priority areas of concern. She uses research to understand their needs, and then uses community-based solutions to solve them”.

National Award for Women’s Development through application of Science & Technology Conferred on Dr. Rani Bang.

Like many great medical breakthroughs, Drs. Abhay and Rani Bang’s discovery of how to reduce child deaths in the developing world as much as 75% came from a deceptively simple premise … (full text).

.abhay-and-rani-bang-india-rog.jpg.

Abhay and Rani Bang – India

She works for the Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health (Search).

Two hundred kilometers to the south of Nagpur lies Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra. It is located on the borders of Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. This area is known to be one of the most backward regions of Maharashtra. In this forlorn place, a brilliant doctor couple, in their fifties, has been working for over two decades, taking medical care to the poor people … (full text).

Her profile on Ashoka.
Dr. Rani Bang comes from a family with strong commitment to medical and public service. She is also the daughter-in-law of well-known Gandhian Takurdas Bang. She completed her medical degree in India with several gold medals, and went on to Johns Hopkins University in the US for a Masters in Public Health.

Having obtained the degree, Rani returned to India. In the early 1980s, she and her husband, Dr. Abhay Bang, decided to relocate to the internal tribal pockets of Maharashtra. Abhay and Rani set up the Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health (SEARCH) to provide community healthcare to the tribes in Gadchiroli district.

In the southeastern corner of Maharashtra, Gadchiroli is almost entirely rural. It has a large tribal population, only 22 per cent literacy, scant transportation, and no industry to speak of. Healthcare was almost entirely nonexistent.

Rani and her husband have built a friendly tribal hospital and a campus, Shodha Gram (Search Village), and trained healthworkers and traditional birth attendants in 50 villages to manage reproductive and child health problems. They have also pioneered a mass movement against alcohol in the district. Rani works on healthcare delivery and community medicine, with special emphasis on reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and HIV/AIDS.

The distinguishing feature of her work in the area is her responsiveness to what the people of the region identify as priority areas of concern. She uses rigorous research to understand the priority needs of the people, and then uses community-based solutions to solve these problems.

The result of her two decades of work is that the region today has improved healthcare facilities and pioneering work in community medicine. The most heartening feature of this effort is the revival of traditional medicine. It is Rani’s endeavor also to utilize, and improve upon, existing government medical facilities through community mobilization and awareness.

Due to SEARCH’s efforts, the mortality rate has dropped from 120/1,000 between 0–5 years in 1995 to 30/1,000 in 1998. The Maharashtra government honored SEARCH’s work among the tribes, and the Indian Council of Medical Research bestowed the Sheshadri Gold Medal on it in 1996 in recognition of its outstanding contribution to community medicine.

Rani, a qualified medical practitioner, could have spent her life in the comfort of the city making more than adequate money. Instead, she chose to spend years providing health services in the Wardhal area of Central India, helping rural people take charge of their lives by working on issues ranging from grain banks to minimum wages.

She has clearly devoted her entire life to the cause, challenging government officials and the powerful people in the region in the course of her work. It is a challenge they haven’t taken up. (1000peacewomen).

Abhay and Rani Bang.

After years of study and reflection, while earning masters in public health with great distinction at Johns Hopkins University, Drs. Abhay and Rani Bang have returned to launch a program that is as practical as it is sweepingly creative. It promises significant changes both in the public delivery of services and in public health priorities and policy … (full text).

Find her and her publications on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search.

links:

The Clinton Global Initiative;

Maharastra Medicos;

the book: Investigating Reproductive Tract Infections and Other, page 163/482;

the publication: Voluntary health programmes should not try to become economically self-sufficient, by Abhay Bang & Rani Bang.

Comments are closed.