Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, the Founder and Director of Ujala Cygnus Hospitals, was honored with the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award in India’s fourteenth edition, which took place on August 25. The recognition was bestowed upon him for his outstanding efforts in providing affordable healthcare services. The event was organized in New Delhi by The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, an affiliate of the World Economic Forum.
Ujala Cygnus Hospitals has established itself as a prominent provider of high-quality intensive care for marginalized individuals across five states in India. Operating on the principle of delivering healthcare through a high-volume, low-cost model, Ujala Cygnus aims to make medical services economically accessible. The hospital network also pioneered the implementation of the Indian government’s Aayushman Bharat Yojana initiative.
Dr. Shuchin Bajaj highlighted the significant impact of healthcare expenses on India’s population, with more than 6 crore people falling below the poverty line annually due to medical costs. In response, he initiated the establishment of 20 hospitals across five states, offering critical care for various medical conditions, including emergencies, heart attacks, head injuries, and intensive care, all at a cost significantly lower than private hospitals.
A noteworthy approach employed by Ujala Cygnus involves renting buildings to house hospitals, a strategy that facilitates scalability. The hospital network also engages in a program called Sehat Chaupal, which involves regular screenings in villages. Each day, the hospitals conduct one or two Sehat Chaupals, screening residents for tuberculosis, eye diseases, diabetes, and hypertension during village-to-village visits.
Dr. Shuchin Bajaj’s future plans for Ujala Cygnus include expanding to four additional states, with the overarching goal of enhancing the quality of life for individuals by providing accessible healthcare services.
Among the other contenders for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award was Dr. Aparna Hegde for Armman, which focuses on improving healthcare services for pregnant women and children through a technology-infused approach; Bijal Brahmbhatt for Mahila Housing Trust, an initiative empowering women through responsible urban development; and Dhimant and Anuradha Parekh for The Better India, a platform that leverages storytelling to inspire positive change among citizens. The Better India, founded by Dhimant and Anuradha Parekh, has evolved into a hub for stories of change, resonating with over 200 million people monthly across multiple languages.
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