Meeta Walavalkar has over 15 years of experience working in the telecommunications industry, but she has been regarded as a pioneer in the organic breakfast products industry with her own organic bakery in Bangalore. She brings her fan following and marketing savvy to Arogya World. Here is her story:
Tell me about your role in Arogya World and how you got involved.
Having worked in the telecommunications industry through most of my career, mobile technology-related projects are my domain in Arogya World too. I handle the mHealth program across India for Arogya World. A friend and ex-colleague who knew that Arogya World was looking for a telecommunications professional with a social entrepreneur bent of mind thought I was the right fit and referred me to Nalini and that is how my journey with Arogya began.
How has your experience shaped your understanding of NCDs?
As any educated and socially well placed person in India, I thought I knew enough about health and wellness. I run 10K races and I have also built an organic bakery from scratch. This, I thought, made me an expert in knowing enough about health and wellness. This myth was debunked after I joined Arogya World. There was so much I did not know about NCDs. This made me realize how important and impactful the work is that Arogya World is doing. It is the need of the hour, to make people more aware about NCDs and take corrective actions now.
How has Arogya World changed the conversation on NCD prevention?
I am simply amazed at the multi-sectoral approach of Arogya World. The awareness programs are designed and planned for various target audience in different ways. The 18% percent behavior change improvement through mDiabetes program is phenomenal and very impressive.
Meeta was interviewed by Arogya World Fellow Mallika Rao.