For immediate release
Media Contact: Thea Joselow
Arogya World Aims to Recognize 100 “Healthy Workplaces” in India
Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action Promises to Help One Million Lead Healthy Lives
New York, 24 September 2013: Arogya World announced today a new Commitment to Action at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, as chronic disease prevention took center stage at CGI. The global health non-profit pledged to get 100 companies in India to become recognized as Healthy Workplaces by 2016, helping one million of those who work there lead healthy lives. Joining Arogya World on this workplace wellness Commitment to Action are several leading organizations: Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), which will present awards with Arogya World to the Healthy Workplaces, Aon plc, the leading global provider of risk management and human resource solutions (NYSE:AON) which is serving as funding partner and knowledge partner, and NationWide – The Family Doctors, a knowledge partner. In addition, Arogya World is collaborating with the Department of Health & Family Welfare at the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India on this important effort.
“We have designed this ambitious and pioneering public health initiative to leverage the workplace as a platform for preventing Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs),” said Dr. Nalini Saligram, Founder & CEO of Arogya World. “With an external score-card that recognizes companies for their commitment to workplace wellness, we want to encourage companies to meet high standards for wellness, and motivate others to follow suit. We thank our partners and the companies for their confidence in us and for joining us on this journey to prevent chronic disease in a generation of Indians.”
Mr. Keshav Desiraju, Secretary, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, said, “India has a huge burden of NCDs – 20% of Indians have at least one chronic disease, and 10% more than one. For us to win against NCDs, multiple sectors of society must work together. We are encouraged by efforts like this in which a non-profit organization issues a challenge and the private sector responds with bold workplace wellness investments.”
“Indians get diabetes 10 years earlier than counterparts in the West, often in their 30s and 40s, and half of India is under 25 years of age. It is smart to target workplaces, where so many young people spend so much of their day, to influence health behavior,” said Dr. Srinath Reddy, President Public Health Foundation of India.
Criteria that mark a workplace as ‘Healthy’ were previously developed by Arogya World for India, with the input of multiple stakeholders in 2012. http://www.arogyaworld.org/our-work-in-india/healthy-workplaces/healthy-workplaces-criteria/. Companies who have committed to applying for Healthy Workplace awards, by benchmarking themselves against these criteria, this year, the first year of the initiative, include iGATE, Infotech, Quinnox, Aon, Reliance Infrastructure, Wipro GE Healthcare and Emami which together have a pool of more than 50,000 employees. “We congratulate these trailblazers for participating in our program and leading the national dialogue on workplace wellness in India,” said Dr. Geeta Bharadwaj, Head, Healthy Workplace Program, Arogya World India Trust.
Aon and NationWide are partnering with Arogya World on the implementation of the award program. Together, the three organizations will form an assessment team that will perform on-site evaluations to confirm award status. Following that, Healthy Workplace awards will be distributed in November 2013 at an event in Bangalore. To mark World Diabetes Day (November 14), a newspaper ad congratulating the winners will further recognize these pioneers, and inspire other companies to participate. In the future, Arogya World will offer these Healthy Workplaces innovative mHealth and lifestyle coach-led diabetes prevention programs, to help them further their commitment to employee health.
“While the health of employees will improve with focused efforts like this, what is also of interest to us is the value to the business – improved retention, reduced attrition, and increased productivity,” said Pavan Bhalla, Executive Vice President and India Managing Director for Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon. “We are pleased that this program will encourage Healthy Workplaces to help gather data in India that can demonstrate the return on investment from workplace wellness.”
“Shaping the corporate culture to become health promoting requires sustained effort, and we are pleased to partner with Arogya World on this tough challenge,” said Dr. Santanu Chattopadhyay, CEO, NationWide – The Family Doctors.
NCDs, which include diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and chronic lung disease, are known to be preventable. The WHO emphasizes that approximately 80% of heart disease and diabetes and 40% of cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyles such as avoiding tobacco use, eating healthy foods and increasing daily physical activity. Prevention is at the core of Arogya World’s work.
About Arogya World
Arogya World (www.arogyaworld.org) is a global health non-profit organization, committed to changing the course of chronic disease, one community at a time. Arogya means ‘good health’ in Sanskrit and denotes living life without disease. The organization believes deeply in prevention and is implementing programs for diabetes prevention through lifestyle changes in schools, workplaces and the community, in India. mDiabetes is a CGI Commitment the organization has just completed. To further advance this work, Arogya World India Trust has been set up in Bangalore.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.
CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, which will bring together Latin American leaders to identify, harness, and strengthen ways to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.