The travel from USA to New Delhi is about eighteen hours; however, it is much easier in comparison to the journey from New Delhi to Mandi, that is in the Indian side of the Himalayan ranges. The flight was booked from the USA to New Delhi and onwards to Kullu via a small propeller airplane only to find out that Air India had cancelled all flights to Kullu until April 15, 2014.
We had two options remaining, one to go via the road to Mandi which is an arduous, fatiguing and long journey or to fly to Dharamshala and have cars receive us at the airport to drive us to Mandi. Dharamshala is the Indian residence of his eminence the Dalai Lama. We were fortunate to procure bookings on the flight to Dharamshala. We proceeded to Mandi via road transport which took us through treacherous mountain terrain, hair pin bends and a dizzy ride that gave motion sickness to most of us. Even though the weather was not very cooperative as it was rainy, wet and bone chilling cold, our determination to stay on course with our steadfast determination to provide medical service at the Health Camp of the AAPI Charitable Foundation prevailed.
The celebration for the twenty years of continued service that was arranged and orchestrated, was well attended. In the four days, a team of physicians from the U. S. A. counseled, treated and carried out second opinions for about three hundred patients and also provided medications, and percutaneous procedures at no cost to the patients.
Drs. Onaly and Chander Kapasi who are veterans of many such past health camps, this was a pleasing routine experience, but for Dr. Sajani Shah and Dr. Sameer Kapasi, it was indeed a profound, exciting and an immensely gratifying experience.
The local committee & the Health Minister of Himachal Pradesh were very appreciative of AAPI-Charitable Foundation's contibutions. They thanked Dr. Jayesh Shah & the executive committee of AAPI, Dr. Nick Shroff & executive committee of Charitable Foundation, and presented them with momentoes in absentia, which we carried with us to give them.
Please double click on the link to view a short video clip of the Health Camp. The narration is by Dr. Sajani Shah, co-chair, AAPI Academic Committee and President of Indian Medical Association of New England. This may give you a glimpse of the work done by the AAPI Charitable Foundation's Mandi Clinic.