As India reaches new pandemic crisis levels, Jagran New Media has been looking back on its celebration of the country’s health heroes.
Health and lifestyle verticals business head Megha Mamgain tells in an INMA blog how the Onlymyhealth.com health website decided to break the cycle of panic and fear by shifting the focus to positive stories.
“By September 2020, people seemed to have had enough of the bad news,” she says. “This was reflected in the mental state of people who were living with continuous stress.”
Jagran New Media created the Healthcare Heroes Awards as a reminder that heroes still existed. “Healthcare workers were working ten, 12, 16, sometimes 24-hour shifts without recognition, and very little was known about the innovators who were fighting against time to develop tools and weapons against the virus – the scientists fighting fake news, the activists feeding the hungry, the artists, the educators, the lone wolf warriors, first responders, the caregivers ... the list was long,” she says. “While some of us were fighting the pandemic by staying home, others were fighting by showing up – each time – undeterred.”
Mamgain says the OnlyMyHealth.com team looked for those who gave hope for a better tomorrow. “Through our network of reporters in the print wing of Jagran Prakashan, through stringers spread across the country, through social media outreach, and with a lot of leg work and editorial vetting, we created a nomination list.”
Nominations were placed under five categories, each with three sub-categories, and teams spent more than four weeks understanding and appreciating the impact of the work of the nominees.
As well as names such as Turtle Shell Technologies and Asimov Robotics, were nominations included individual efforts by doctors, nurses and paramedics who went beyond the call of duty, and those disproving fake news around COVID.
“In our interviews and interactions, we found one commonality,” she says. “Despite our heroes being from different parts of the country, often speaking different languages or praying to different gods, the thing they all believed in was putting others before themselves and an unwavering resolve to make a difference.”
The OnlyMyHealth.com website received unanimous support from the health community, with the best and most credible names of doctors, policymakers and researchers happy to join the jury panel. Support also came from the union health minister, as well as brands that believed in the power of credible, positive stories.
“The final event was a virtual awards ceremony and turned out to be an emotional evening for all attendees who, no doubt felt reassured and hopeful because India’s Healthcare Heroes were at work for no credit or praise,” she says.