BAPS Medical Services, Inc., a sister organization of BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Sanstha, organized the annual Health Fair at the BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Mandir located in Stafford on Saturday, June 22, 2002. The Health Fair, which was open to all, attracted many families from all over the Greater Houston area.

The saints, Pujya Jnanpurush Swami and Pujya Anupam Swami welcomed the chief guest, Dr. William H. Fleming Jr. III, in a traditional manner. The saints then recited the Shanti Path and prayed for the health and prosperity of all. Dr. Fleming, who is currently the President of the Harris County Medical Society, inaugurated the Health Fair and in his inaugural address he expressed “deep appreciation” for the noble work inspired by HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the various fields of Spirituality, Education, Morality, Cultural Awareness, Disaster Relief and Health Care.

This year the theme of the Health Fair was Education, Exhibition and Examination. Seminars to educate the public on health related topics were organized throughout the day. Ms. Janice Hertz, a certified Diabetes educator spoke on “Know your Nutrition – Preventing Diabetes”. Dr. Saroj Bahl, a professor of Nutrition at the UT Austin spoke on “Healthy Vegetarianism” followed by a talk on “Complimentary Medicine and Yoga Therapy” by Dr. PG Parmeswaran. A TMA approved Category I ethics CME was also organized for Doctors. Over 30 pharmaceutical companies had exhibits that helped educate the participants in identifying the symptoms of diseases and their cures. Free physical examination – including eye, ear and dental screening, blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol, bone density test for women, pediatric care and massage therapy were offered to over 700 individuals throughout the day. The fair also provided several complex examinations like detailed blood analysis, mammograms and EKG for a very nominal fee. The EKG test was one of the more popular exams and renowned cardiologist Dr. Virendra Mathur personally checked the results of each EKG and counseled the individuals. Several other area doctors, pharmacists, nurses and medical technologists volunteered their services.

While the parents were undergoing medical tests and visiting the booths, the children enjoyed the fun and games. A Moonwalk was the main attraction along with other games. The children and youths of BAPS organized a number of activities including a bake sale, selling nachos & cheese and snow cones. Face painting and Mehendi were some of the other activities enjoyed by children and the car wash was a roaring success. The contributions raised from all these activities will go towards the construction of the first Traditional Stone Mandir in the Southwest Region of the USA. Everyone present applauded the dedication and devotion of the children towards the Mandir project in Houston, which is already underway and scheduled to be opened in summer 2004.

Ms. Jaywanti Mehta, the Honorable Minister of Power, Govt. of India also made a brief stop at the Shree Swaminarayan Mandir where she was given a traditional Indian welcome followed by a tour of the Health Fair. On learning about the various social, cultural, educational, medical, and relief efforts undertaken of BAPS, she profusely praised HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj for his compassion towards mankind. She was very impressed with the free health services offered at the Health Fair and despite her busy schedule she too took a medical test.

Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is a socio-spiritual organization with its roots in the Vedas. BAPS, under the leadership of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj, cares for the communities and families and individuals by dynamically contributing to their spiritual, moral, educational, environmental and social well-being. The organization’s compassion and spirit of service also incorporates curing and alleviating the pain and ailments of thousands through its modern hospitals, clinics and teams of dedicated doctors and other health-care professionals. BAPS achieves this via eight charitable hospitals and healthcare centers, financial help to needy hospitals, production of Ayurvedic medicines as well as free medical camps.

This Health Fair benefited many members of the community and many of them have requested that BAPS organize another one next year. For additional information on BAPS activities in the greater Houston area please call (281) 499-7974.

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