The first thing I noticed, after driving past the beautiful airport grounds (random youtube clip but it gets the job done), is the large degree of construction ongoing in the heart of Hyderabad. As Dr. Yadavalli explained to us, Hyderabad is building a new inner city rail system that is a large-scale project that promises to be world class! From the looks of the work done thus far, both he and their website do not seem to be far off! India is really doing impressive things as it relates to infrastructure development. Now, we need to transfer those skills toward development of our impoverished citizens because as of 2010 ~70% of the Indians live under 2$ per day! (Gapminder – www.bit.ly/1DPbfgh).
As we continued our drive from the airport to our flat, another interesting feature of Hyderabad that I noticed was the large Muslim population (41.2% of the population – 2001 Census Data) – every other intersection that we passed had either a Mosque or Mandir. This was very interesting because I had just traveled from Ahmedabad (known more for its Hindu-Muslim tension) and in comparison has a large minority Muslim population (11.4% of the population – 2001 Census Data). Fascinating to think that the tensions appear to be less in Hyderabad, a religiously heterogeneous city. From a global health standpoint, the diversity that exists within each state within India, from their widely different languages to their widely different demographics, makes it both difficult and engaging!
Finally, one feature I have started to observe in India is the burgeoning number of healthcare related businesses that have sprung up (since my previous visits) and this is also true of Hyderabad. As you drive down any commercial road you will surely pass either a (or multiple) private diagnostic MRI office, street-side pharmacy, or even a small private super sub-specialty hospital. In addition to these businesses, I have also noticed a myriad of workout gyms and bariatric surgery centers (very interesting…). Now my assumptions are that these facilities are targeted toward higher end customers and as India’s middle class begins to grow (westernize) these types of facilities will also continue to rise. Unfortunately most of these places are likely out of reach for a majority of India’s population, which makes light of income and health inequality within India.
I thought I would end on a lighter note… here is picture of our group (minus Gopal) in our SUV going somewhere in Hyderabad.
– Sivananda Rehabilitation Home!