The inaugural ceremony of the two -day (11th-12th September2015 )72nd Annual General Body meeting of The Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) was held at 9.00 am on 11th September 15. The theme for the AGBM; “Action 2020: Repositioning for the Future.”
DSC_0765Around 500 representatives from various member institutions of CHAI gathered to celebrate the occasion.  The inaugural function started with Holy Mass  and his Grace Most Rev. Thumma Bala, Archbishop of Hyderabad, presided over the function. Most Rev. Prakash Mallavarapu, Ecclesiastical Advisor, CHAI;  Msgr. Joseph Chinnayyan, Deputy Secretary -General, CBCI, Delhi; Dr. Freddie Loh, Chairman, World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations  Membership Committee; Rev. Fr. V.M Thomas, SDB, National President CRI; Rev. Dr. Mathew Perumpil, Executive Secretary, CBCI Office of Health; Dr. Shobha Arole, Director of Comprehensive Rural Health Project, Jamkhed; Rev. Fr. Julius Arakal, CMI, President of CHAI; Rev. Sr. Thomasamma, JMJ, President of Catholic Health Association of Andhra Pradesh; and Rev. Dr. Tomi Thomas IMS, Director-General, CHAI, were the other dignitaries present on the occasion.
Following the prayer and invocation, Rev. Fr. Julius Arackal  in his welcome speech reiterated that  the healthcare  system in India is unjust and uneven. He emphasized the role of CHAI in  providing affordable healthcare to people ,especially the poor.  Rev. Dr. Tomi Thomas presenting  presenting the highlights of the AGBM mentioned that the focus of the organization will be to re-position itself for the future. Before concluding he said that the strength of CHAI lay in its member institutions who are very active in reaching out to various corners of the country.  This was followed by the Keynote address by Dr. Shobha Arole, Director of Comprehensive Rural Health Project. In her address, she spoke on the importance of sharing knowledge and working together to empower oneself as well as others. In the country there is a failure of policies. A change in the health care policy is vital to safeguard the health women and children. We also need to take steps to contain domestic violence.  Everyone in the health care field has to work together and become change makers .
Following the Keynote address,  Most Rev. Thumma Bala, in his Presidential address mentioned that the distinguishing feature of CHAI is that it changes according to the needs of people, it looks always to the past and to the future, introspects and improves upon its performance. Most Rev. Prakash Mallavarapu  releasing the booklet titled “Actions in the Field” said that CHAI has begun the process of re-positioning itself physically, mentally and psychologically to serve people more efficiently.
Special messages were delivered by Msgr. Joseph Chinnayyan, Dr. Freddie Loh, Rev. Fr. V.M Thomas and Rev. Dr. Mathew Perumpil. They all complimented the way CHAI is functioning , reaching out to the people with compassion and concern.  They also said in one voice that collaborating with like minded organizations will help the organization to re-positioning itself and eventually become a powerful influence in the country.
CHAI Herbal Calender 2016 was released by Msgnr Joseph Chinnayan . He placed on record the wonderful work done by CHAI in collaboration with CBCI and other networks.
The inaugural session concluded with a vote of thanks by Rev. Sr. Thomasamma, President, of the Catholic  Health Association of Andhra Pradesh.

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