Bangalore, November 12, 2013: Nine companies based in India have received recognition for their workplace wellness initiatives with new Healthy Workplace awards from Arogya World, a global health non-profit organization with a domestic presence in Bangalore.
Winners were awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze awards at a gala presentation ceremony held in Bangalore this evening. Dr Satish Chandra, Director – NIMHANS was the chief guest. This is the first step to meet Arogya World’s 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action. All Arogya World’s partners on this Commitment were present at the event today – Public Health Foundation of India, Aon and NationWide – The Family Doctors.
This year’s Healthy Workplace award winners included iGATE, Wipro GE Healthcare, Reliance Infrastructure (Mumbai Transmission), MTR Foods, Emami Limited (Abhoypur), Infotech Enterprises Limited, Myntra Designs, Quinnox, and Aon which together have a pool of more than 50000 employees. With an external score-card and a formal assessment process, the intent of the program is to encourage companies to meet high standards for workplace wellness and chronic disease prevention and motivate others to follow suit. In addition, Arogya World will offer Healthy Workplaces innovative mHealth and lifestyle coach-led diabetes prevention programs, to help companies further their commitment to employee health.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Satish Chandra, representing the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, said, “We are very happy to see the good work done by the winning companies to tackle Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) – mainly cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), diabetes, cancer, and chronic lung diseases. Managing work life balance is critical for physical and mental well-being of the employee which in turn impacts productivity and I am pleased it is one of the criteria marking Healthy Workplaces.”
Congratulating participants in the awards program, Dr Geeta Bharadwaj – Head, Healthy Workplace Initiative, Arogya World, India said, “These awards have helped bring the many wellness initiatives companies are implementing to the forefront. Considering that many employees are in their twenties and spend a considerable period of their lives at work, it is smart that these companies, all trailblazers, are investing in workplace wellness to ensure the health of their employees, and increase productivity. We hope to see more companies embrace the spirit of the program and participate in the awards process in the coming year.”
Dr. Giridhara R Babu, Associate Professor, Public Health Foundation of India, said “India has a high burden of NCDs – 20% of the population is affected by at least one chronic disease. Cardiovascular diseases will increase rapidly in India and this country will be the locale of more than half the cases of heart disease in the world within the next 15 years. And there is high prevalence of high blood pressure in both urban and rural areas. Also, it is a matter of extreme concern that diabetes, a dangerous disease, currently afflicts 61.3 million people in India.” He stressed that “Efforts such as this that engage the private sector and leverage the workplace setting, can greatly help to reduce the burden of NCDs.”
The Healthy Workplace award process is efficient and transparent and matches international award models for integrity and rigor. It requires the company to review Arogya World’s Healthy Workplace criteria, do an initial self-assessment and submit an application listing its wellness efforts. This is followed by a half-day interactive site visit and formal assessment by a 3-person team (made up of Arogya World, Aon and NationWide representatives who provide broad cross-industry and health perspectives). The award level is determined based on objective scoring mechanisms, and is announced right after the site visit.
Assessors were impressed with the many ways this year’s Healthy Workplaces met the different criteria. For example companies met the No Tobacco use requirements with a documented no-smoking policy, and enforcing no smoking on campus, by providing counseling or nicotine replacement therapy to dissuade smoking, and in some cases, reimbursement, or by spreading awareness of the dire consequences of tobacco use, or conducting research on ROI of quitting smoking or even resorting to the simplest method of physical search to ban tobacco use.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that approximately 80% of heart disease and diabetes and 40% of cancers can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle and avoiding the use of tobacco, eating healthy food and increasing daily physical activity. Prevention is at the core of Arogya World India Trust’s work.
Arogya World’s previously established Healthy Workplace Criteria (http://www.arogyaworld.org/our-work-in-india/healthy-workplaces/healthy-workplaces-criteria/) institutionalized awards at three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Companies that met 80% of the criteria for a specific level that include: Ban Tobacco Use, Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Work Life Balance, amongst others, qualified for the award.
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 which reached 1 million Indians with text messages on diabetes and its prevention, is a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment the organization has just completed. To further advance this work, Arogya World India Trust has been set up in Bangalore.
For more information, please contact:
Dr Geeta Bharadwaj – firstname.lastname@example.org
Head, Healthy Workplace Initiative,
Arogya World, India
Anjana Kovoor, The PRactice – email@example.com