By Mahadev Desai

On the beautiful sunny morning of Saturday, April 16, a long queue of people of diverse nationalities and cultures from all over Atlanta began registering for various health-care services including consultations with physicians from 15 specialties, free EKGs, bone density tests and diabetic education, at the Banquet Hall of the Hindu Temple of Atlanta. At the end of the momentous day, Dr. Sujatha Reddy notched up yet one more highly successful humanitarian project marking her determined mission of social service.
The well-known Macon-Atlanta physician Dr. Sujatha Reddy, who in the past has organized seven successful Health Fairs in Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, once again spearheaded the 8th SAI Health Fair, held to mark the Mother’s Day, and as a tribute to all the mothers- “ Of all the privileges of the woman, the greatest is to be a mother” By this laudable example of outreaching, by providing cost effective basic quality health screenings- too often we hear of illness that could have been prevented if it had been protected earlier, an opportunity to consult face to face with specialist about ongoing and newly diagnosed medical problems.

For several weeks, the Hindu Temple of Atlanta, Ravi Ponangi of 'India Tribune' newspaper , TAMA; Tamil Sangham and Kannada Sangham publicized the event to the public in general through various print, and internet,( ; ) media, among others.. Inspired by compassion and commitment, many Physicians, Health care professionals, volunteers, Community and Faith-based organizations devoted their time, expertise and energies to make the SAI Health Fair worthy of emulation.

The hallway and well-lighted hall had tables manned by over 35 doctors representing 15 specialties and 10 nurses who attended to the various health care needs of the people as they walked in. 8 technicians helped with the EKG, bone density and Glaucoma tests. EKGs were provided by the Commerce Cardiology Group from Commerce, and Southern Heart Specialists, Riverdale and Atlanta Heart Associates-Stockbridge. Clayton County Health Department also participated and its Chairman of the County Commissioners, Eldrin Bell visited the Fair. About 350+ participated in the fair. 165 availed themselves of the blood work, which was offered with an exhaustive blood report at a very nominal fee of $15. It is noteworthy that the results of the bloodwork were mailed within 48 hours! “Forewarned is forearmed!” The test results helped identify several life threatening situations, which were immediately notified to the patients concerned 200 had EKG tests while 60+ had bone density tests. More than 40 underwent glaucoma tests and over 20 were bone marrow and stem cell donors. 30 Rectal Exams were also performed

Those who attended expressed their appreciation and gratitude at the courteous, efficient and reassuring service and requested more such health fairs. They also said that they would exhort their neighbors and friends to attend too. “You are doing a pioneering work in preventive health care in USA”, some said.

Pfizer/Udipi restaurant served continental breakfast for the participants, whereas Eli Lilly/ Udipi restaurant provided sumptuous lunch. . Ravi Ponangi (India Tribune), and K.C. Patel helped with photography and video services. Geeta Mehrotra gave a ‘PowerPoint’ presentation on diabetes. Lakshmi Narsimhan, Manager of the Hindu Temple and Joann Tucker, Housekeeper of the Hindu Temple also rendered excellent support.

Certificates of Appreciation designed by Dr. Sujatha Reddy and signed by her and Aruna Prasad Kancherla, President of the Hindu Temple of Atlanta, was presented to all the participating physicians, nurses and volunteers.

The Chief Coordinator of the SAI Health Fair, Dr. Sujatha Reddy said she was very happy with the large turnout. She thanked the team of physicians, nurses, clerical staff, sponsors and numerous volunteers who together helped make the Health Fair a big success. “I feel an inner joy in helping all those who cannot afford the medical services provided by the private sector and hope to organize more such health fairs in the future, to increase the awareness of the public on preventive health care. I am sure the doctors, nurses, Health Care providers left the Fair with the complete satisfaction of having served the community in which they reside and with the satisfaction of having given something back to it with their skills and knowledge”

The successful Health Fair was a clear proof that more such Fairs were needed to outreach countless needy and often neglected uninsured sector of the community. The indefatigable Dr. Sujatha Reddy is not the one to be complacent, as she is already planning the details of the next SAI Health Fair, on September 24, as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s 136 Birthday Anniversary .