Divya Sathyaraj, daughter of actor Sathyaraj, is on a mission to bring proper healthcare to the poor in Tamil Nadu.

A nutritionist, she is also an ambassador of Akshaya Patra, one of the world's largest mid-day meal programmes.

She is passionate about the problems of vitamin deficiency in rural areas and have requested the health minister of Tamil Nadu to address iron deficiency anaemia in pregnant women in the state.

A self-proclaimed health freak, she confessed to be obsessed with health and decided to focus her life on food and its therapeutic value.

She said, "I believe food is medicine and food can heal. There is an elaborate healing mechanism within the body, but it can perform its functions only when it is supplied with the right nutrition."

Currently, she is focused on being providing the poor easy access to medicine. She feels like the government hospitals in Tamil Nadu are not doing much to help the poor. Aside from the lack of medicine, she claims, "Operation theatres and corridors in hospitals are not cleaned on a regular basis. Since patients have low immunity and are susceptible to infections, it is important to maintain hygiene."

"It was also upsetting to hear that most hospitals do not stock enough blankets and pillows and patients have to bribe staff to get them. The authorities should also make sure that there is an adequate supply of vaccines of acceptable quality for effective immunisation."

"I would also like to request pharmacies to have a system to ensure they do not stock medicines that have expired. Very few people check the expiry date before buying products. Not just medicines, we should check the expiry date of every single product we buy, including snacks, coffee, tea, etc. For people who have children at home, it is extremely important to check the expiry date before buying products. The concerned authorities should initiate a framework to improve the health sector. I believe only a healthy person can be productive."

A woman who is ambitious and determined to change Tamil Nadu, she is thinking about entering politics.

"I believe, we desperately need a universal healthcare system that brings hope and healing to people in the lower income group. It is unethical to deny medical assistance to people who desperately need it. We need a healthcare system that serves all. Since I am a nutritionist, my focus has always been on health and nutrition, but there are also other issues also that need attention in our country. I have realised that one has to be in the system to improve the system and I want to be a part of the system. I will therefore, get into politics soon," she said.

Source: Times of India
Photo source: Deccan Chronicle, Tamil Unity & Chennai Vision