The famous Urdu phrase “Jaan hai toh Jahan hai” rings as true today as it did when it was first coined. In the mad rush of life, work, responsibility, output, targets and deadlines, one often tends to ignore health and health related factors, particularly when young. The ramifications of this come home to roost at a later time, often when it is too late.

It is occasions like World Health Day which remind us not only to give due importance to our own health, but to care and tend for the sick and infirm, show solidarity with them, do your small bit for them. It is in this spirit and backdrop that the World Health Day is observed annually on April 7.

World Health Day is a potent, useful annual reminder which jolts us out of our indifferent attitude to health. This year, the theme of the day is “Health Coverage For All” and the goal is simple- to provide each and every human on Earth with the basic necessities to live a healthy life. Not only does world health day include the every-day, factors related to our physical health, but also the mental health.

With the myriad aspects that govern our lives these days, it is all too easy to lose track of those critical factors that have a direct bearing on our lives. While deficiencies in physical health are discernible, deteriorating mental health is an issue that goes unnoticed and is often considered a stigma. That is perhaps why people tend to not be open with their problems, which in turn leads to even more complexities, that manifest over time and have devastating issues over one’s life.

This is one of World Health Day’s primary objectives- to spread awareness about leading healthy lives that make us not only physically fit, but also keep the mind sound. In India, the issue of deteriorating mental health has substantially grown over the past years and to combat that, each city in addition to government agencies has a few NGOs, hospitals and organizations that are working towards the cause. All of them organize several awareness drives and talks, wherein they create awareness about the ills of improper body and mental health.

Though it may seem like a stretch, you too can do your part by signing up with one of the NGOs in your city and work towards this charitable cause. If not that, you can also start your own awareness drive or campaign in your own society or locality, so that people become more educated and open about health issues and thereby get a platform to share their problems.

This world health day, take a pledge to help those in need and ensure that you yourself do not fall into the trap of physical and mental instability. At the same time, encourage as many as you can to tend to their mental and physical health. This would be your big contribution to a concern which affects all of us.

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