Xavier University Bhubaneswar hosted the inaugural ceremony of the 30th State Level Convention of OCHA (Odisha Catholic Health Association) on 13th of August 2015. OCHA is the regional Unit of CHAI (Catholic Health Association of India). It views health as a state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being, and not merely the absence of sickness and is committed towards promoting community health.
The theme of the convention was “Action 2020-Repositioning for the Future”. The Chief Guest for the day was Dr.S.C.Jamir, Honorable Governor of Odisha. The ceremony was also attended by Arch Bishop John Barwa SVD, Bishop Simon Kaipuram, Chairman, Health Commission, Dr Chittaranjan Nayak, Director of Health Services Odisha, Dr.Tomi Thomas, Director General, CHAI, Dr. Bikram Kumar Kindo, Additional Director of Health Service, Odisha, Fr. Paul Fernades SJ, Vice Chancellor, XUB, Sr.Alphonse SAB, Vice President CHAI, and Sr.Gemma FC, President, OCHA.
Fr.Paul welcomed the dignitaries on behalf of XUB and also talked about the need for strengthening of health services for people by following the mission of ‘Heal the Sick, Raise the Dead”. Sr.Alphonse enlightened us about the history, vision and values of OCHA. She emphasized on enhancing the health standards of the poor and the marginalized, to promote holistic health and restore their dignity. It was followed by an inaugural address by Dr.Bishop Simon who talked about the importance of physical, psychological, mental healing of people regardless of caste, creed, gender etc. Dr. Bikram Kumar Kindo while addressing the gathering, highlighted the issue of non-communicable diseases still plaguing the rural, interior pockets of Odisha. “Programs like Mahila Arogya Samiti and Gaon Kalyan Samiti have a crucial role to play”, he said. Dr.Tomi Thomas underlined the importance of CHAI being the largest provider of Healthcare after Govt. Of India and informed us about the statistics of the association. He specially emphasized on the changing health needs. The Chief Guest Dr.S.C.Jamir in his speech talked about the ideologies of Late. Dr..Kalam, Margaret Thacher, Confucius, provided us with action based guidelines for individual effort and reiterated that ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step”.
The event was followed by presentation of Mementoes and a Vote of Thanks by Sr. Shiji Jacob.