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RAKSHA - A Save The Girl Initiative

IRIA -  Indian Radiological and Imaging Association includes radiologists from all over the country and has a strength of approximately 15000 members. 

The association has undertaken a social initiative called as “RAKSHA -  “ Radiologist for the girl child “. The idea being mooted is that we radiologists support the girl child. Majority of the radiologists in these days are of the female gender and a lot of us also have only female kids and are proud of both facts. Hence, we radiologists, do recognize the importance of the girl in the society.

At the same time, we are aware that certain sections in the Indian society do not favour girl children. So in our own little way, we are trying to bring about a change at the  grass root level, by promoting and supporting the girl children in the country. RAKSHA aims at uplifting the self esteem of the girl child and make her proud of her gender by educating her and providing her with skills to earn income, so that she can be independent and important in the society.

We, radiologists, directly and indirectly, provide a great deal of inputs in the management of patients. We also do a significant amount of charitable work. However, our contribution as well as the charity extended by our members has  not been adequately acknowledged by the community at large, including the government, as well as our colleagues in the other fields of medicine. Using RAKSHA, we aim to enhance our rightful place and make known our virtues.

The initiation was in the Aurangabad city of Maharashtra, by the Maharashtra state chapter, called as MSCRIA, as a pilot project. Money has been donated for a for the non-profit organization called as Bhagini Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan (BNGVN), run by Neelima Mishra, a Magsaysay award winner. The money came from the efforts of the Thane chapter. It has been used for the training of 11 tribal girls for paramedical health care, with an aim of making the villages of these girls better equipped and the girls empowered to help themselves, their families and the community. Other city chapters, such as Navi Mumbai, PCMC, Kalyan etc. continued the work throughout the year.

The project touched the hearts of the President and the Secretary and rest of the committee of the National IRIA team. It was, hence, adopted as a national project, in January 2018, and officially launched by Mr. Amitabh Bachchan at an International Conference called as AOCR – 17th Asian Oceanian Congress of Radiology, combined with 71st National Annual Congress of IRIA.  More than 4500 delegates from the radiology fraternity and related industry participated in the event.

Now, the same work is being done in all the states of India, under the banner of RAKSHA.

Kerala, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Chandigarh state chapters are already seen to have embarked onto the project in their own ways. Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are making the project plans with their respective leaders. 

We feel, that if taken in the right spirit and as a team, we can bring about a change in the way society perceives a radiologist and his / her work. We look forward to the support each one of you could provide to this fledging project and it’s wings to grow so that it can fly. It cannot happen without a vision and a strong commitment.

On a personal note, I did start with the idea in a small way, but as I see RAKSHA growing, I feel that RAKSHA has a destiny of it’s own and is finding it’s own way to grow and survive. It is becoming beautiful and adorable with time, as our members take it to heart and use their creativity to make it better. It was born like a small unwanted child who needed support and now has grown beautiful and lovable, AS ANY GIRL CHILD. We need to empower it till it becomes self-sustainable.

I am grateful to all the team members who have encouraged me to undertake this beautiful project and also, my family for their unquestioning support.


Sona Pungavkar,
National Co-ordinator






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