After three years of working at the Sion Family Planning Clinic, suitable
premises were located at Andheri, in Dr. Nandiís bungalow, known to Dr.
(Mrs.) Usha Krishna. L&Tís Family Planning programme covered 1,256 of
the eligible employees. As on 31st December, 1972, the Company had 215
employees with three or more children who were not practising Family
Planning. Of these 105 employees were, however, following some system of
Family Planning though they were not utilising the services of the Companyís
Health Centre. 11 of them were using oral pills, 46 condoms and 48
rhythm/abstinence. 110 employees were personally contacted, but they were
not interested in Family Planning and refused counselling also, their
argument being that they would manage to limit their family size by their
Therein lay the challenge. Condoms, loops and vaginal jelly were made
available by the Bombay Municipal Corporation free of cost. Oral
contraceptive pills were obtained at a special price and were distributed as
per the advice of L&Tís Family Planning consultant/gynaecologist at a
highly subsidised rate. The employees earning less than Rs. 500/- per month
were charged 50 paise per pack and those earning Rs. 500/- or more, Re. 1/-.
The market rate was Rs. 5/-. Loop insertions were done free of cost. Pills
and condoms were issued at the factory premises or at L&T House
depending upon where the employee was working.
The total number of married employees at L&Tís Powai Works in 1973 was
2,084. Out of these only 1,598 employees were eligible for Family Planning.
The other 486 were either already sterilized before the first survey was
carried out or had crossed the age limit.
During its surveys, L&T focussed on different
health-related issues such as child health, etc., ultimately giving
importance to Family Planning. Dr. Krishna, along with her team of
volunteers, visited other corporate houses, including the Godrej Group of
Companies, to get a first-hand account of how Family Planning programmes are
effectively implemented. She personally met the late Mrs. Soonuben Godrej,
the late Mr. Sohrab Godrej, Dr. & Mrs. G.D. Bhatia, and others, and saw
for herself how successful Godrej was in educating its employees in Family
Planning and family welfare as also the employees?children through the
Udyachal Schools. Family Planning gradually started becoming only one of the
components of total health care in L&T. Subsequently, a total health
care centre was developed by the Company catering to maternal child care,
chest infections, skin problems, cancer ...
The process of motivation in L&T has been a continuous one and is done
through contacts with the spouse at the Health Centre. To popularise Family
Planning, monetary and non-monetary incentives are offered. In the early
seventies, L&T employees undergoing vasectomy operations were given 4
days special leave along with Rs. 100/-. For tubectomies, the corresponding
amount was Rs. 150/-. These benefits were in addition to those provided by
Government and the financial benefit was available even if the spouse
underwent sterilization. Today, 3 days special leave is given along with Rs.
500/- for both vasectomy and tubectomy operations to employees. However,
these benefits are no longer extended to spouses of employees. Printed
leaflets on Family Planning in regional languages are distributed from key
Personalities like Mr. Vijay Merchant, who has not only been a successful
cricketer, but also Managing Director of Hindoostan Spinning & Weaving
Mills Ltd., Dr. D.N. Pai, Prof. of Preventive Medicine at KEM Hospital, and
Mr. N.M. Desai, Managing Director, L&T, were invited to these
discussions. Their frankness received an overwhelming response from workers
and more than 3,000 vasectomy operations took place, some of which were
performed by Dr. Fardoon Soonawalla, Specialist and Urology Surgeon, who
came with his team at the Health Centre. Various exhibitions on different
aspects of health care are organised, such as the baal mela, where childrenís
books, games, fancy dress competitons, health care, dental care, ophthalmic
care ... and, finally, the importance of a small family are exhibited.
The Andheri Health Centre was surrounded by slums, where Family Planning was
extremely necessary. So in 1980 the Health Centre was opened to the entire
community, rendering health services, including Family Planning, mother and
child health care (immunization included), skin and leprosy, tuberculosis
clinic and sonography. These services are provided free of cost through
integrated outpatient, operating and counselling services. Only sonography
services are on chargeable basis at highly subsidised rates.
The Larsen & Toubro Health Centre, after utilising the premises of Dr.
Nandi for 25 years, shifted its operations in 1999 to Landmark Building in
Andheri itself. A well-ventilated 6,000 sq. ft. built-up area spread over
two floors, has 7 air-conditioned consulting rooms, a clinical laboratory
with semi-autoanalyzer, a fully equipped air-conditioned operation theatre,
spacious post-operative ward, fully air-conditioned training hall, lift
facility for patients, computerised data management and EPABX telephone
exchange, apart from a sonography machine, audio-visual for health education
and safety equipment. Ten gynaecologists and a surgeon visit the Centre for
carrying out various Family Planning procedures.
A pre-operative check up is done for all the patients who wish to undergo
abortion and/or sterilization. Laparoscopic sterilizations are carried out
in the morning and patients are sent home on the same day. Also, vasectomies
and MTPs are carried out. Oral contraceptive pills and condoms are
distributed freely. Copper-T insertions are also carried out at the Centre.
Apart from these, the Centre also boasts of an Infertility Clinic and
in-depth investigations in cases. The Centre has carried out 36,000
sterilization operations, out of which 3,800 are vasectomies. Abortions are
always followed up with counselling in Family Planning, which plays a
crucial role in L&Tís activities.
Mother and child health care is another important activity of the Centre. It
includes free consultations for mothers and children with competent
paediatricians and gynaecologists. The Centre also carries out immunization
of children against the six major childhood hazards, namely T.B.,
poliomyelitis, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and measles. Doses of
Vitamin ĎA?and B.C.G. injections are also given.
A Well-Women Clinic, introduced by L&T Health Centre in October 1993,
provides consultation for problems that can occur in adolescence, menopause
and other problems related to women.
The L&T Health Centre has also installed a Clarity Ultrasound Scanner, a
sonography machine, which is manufactured at the Companyís Mysore Works.
Sonographies of the abdomen, pelvic and endovaginal parts, along with 2-D
echocardiography investigations, are performed.
A qualified Social Counsellor helps clients in making an informed choice of
a temporary or permanent Family Planning method. The individual/family is
also provided counselling in related areas like MTP, infertility as well as
other health and psycho/socio/economic problems. Patients are also referred
to other institutions for help as per their requirement.
Cross-checking of laboratory samples.
>>Refrigerator exclusively used for storing vaccines with optimum temperature control.
>>Refrigerator exclusively used for storing laboratory reagents.
>>Regular servicing and inspection of lift.
>>Periodic safety audit.
>>Regular testing of drinking water.
>>Regular pest control.
>>Disinfection of medical waste before disposal.
>>System for retrieval and storage of medical records.
>>Regular staff meetings for enhancing team spirit.
All this would not have been possible without the encouragement of Mr. Henning Holck-Larsen, one of the founders of L&T, who visited the Health Centre regularly. ďHe was full of humour and anecdotes. He would always enter with a smile, shake hands and talk to the medical staff, nurses and even the wardboys,?recalls Dr. Usha Krishna. Besides, every consultant would take personal interest in the patients. According to Dr. Krishna, ďour pillar of strength is our staff. We believe greatly in health education. We have well-educated volunteers, who are wives of top executives in L&T, who take great interest in running the Health Centre.?No wonder, a programme which was started with a small budget of Rs. 6,000/- per annum is today given a substantial amount to spend for the Health Centre.
Battle Against AIDS
There is also a Welfare Dept. of L&T, located at Powai Works, which is working towards the employees?wellbeing. Here, welfare activities are designed to help each employee realise his/her potential to the fullest in all spheres of life. L&T counsellors, who are qualified professionals, help employees tackle various problems ranging from alcoholism, marital conflicts, problems with children, personality disorders and bereavement in the family. Workshops are also held to guide and help employees facing such psychiatric problems. Therapeutic workshops are held regularly for addicts and their families.
Emphasis is also laid on educating the employee and the spouse on various aspects like parenting, relationships, coping with stress, medical emergencies, etc. There are also programmes for children on vocational guidance, computer familiarisation and rewards for good academic performances. L&T also assists bereaved spouses by way of counselling sessions, which not only help them cope with their loss and obtain their dues from the Company, but also gives them legal and investment guidance and education schemes for their children.
Various programmes are conducted for employees and their families to heighten social awareness. The Welfare Dept. started the AIDS awareness campaign in 1997 through seminars, lectures and exhibitions. In 1999 it won an international award instituted by the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS, for the Companyís battle against HIV/AIDS.
L&T is perhaps the first corporate in the country to initiate a concerted battle against HIV/AIDS. The objectives, besides prevention, are to ensure a healthy workplace, maintain productivity and morale, and fulfill the Companyís social responsibility.
Another significant contribution was the outreach community development programme against gutka (tobacco) addiction, carried out in the vicinity of Powai Works.
In order to make women socially aware, L&Tís Welfare Dept. also conducts regular programmes for the wives of employees. Workshops on managing emotions, intimate relationships: how to make them work, health for women, stress management, effective parenting, safety and first-aid, dealing with medical emergencies at home, etc. are conducted.
Some of the important and unique medical facilities provided at Powai with a full-fledged state-of-the-art medical centre include handling emergencies like industrial accidents and acute illness, periodic medical check-up of factory workers, canteen personnel and drivers, detection, treatment and post-treatment of infectious diseases like TB, leprosy, diabetes, cancer and coronary heart diseases, awareness programmes on the importance of hygiene conducted by expert nutritionists for canteen personnel, training of 100 employees in first-aid by the staff of the medical centre every year, continuous training to L&Tís medical staff, including doctors, to keep them up to date with the latest advances in the field of health and medicine.
L&T has also made significant strides in community welfare with its programme called VIKAS (Village Improvement Know-how and Skills) launched in 1982. Around L&Tís state-of-the-art cement plants are thriving townships inhabited by L&T employees and their families. Since these townships are at a distance from the city, the Company has set up health centres to give the employee access to good medical facilities.
VIKAS strives to bring about progressive changes in these villages. A multi-pronged developmental scheme, which begins with improving health and increasing awareness about health issues, has been effected. Services include Family Planning, laparoscopy and tubectomy operations, immunization, ante and post natal care and TB eradication. This programme, which is based on knowledge, gives priority to accelerate development through education. L&T has not only set up schools called Balwadis for village children, but also constantly monitors their academics and spurs them towards a better performance, with rewards.
Children are the future of any country, but they are the mothers who shape their destiny. L&T launched a path-breaking scheme in 1995 called the ďMahila Head Family Finance Scheme and Self-Employment.?Here, VIKAS encourages destitute women and widows, who are sole breadwinners of the family, to set up
small-scale businesses of their own. Training in various aspects of business management like marketing, sale and purchase, and accounting is provided. Most of all, VIKAS helps in providing the crucial factor required to jump-start a
business an interest-free loan. A library has also been set up to inculcate reading habits.
Another scheme started by L&T called the Mahila Vikas Varg was launched in 1997, with the objective of providing non-formal education to women in villages and helping them stage a successful march towards self-reliance. L&T also started encouraging women to become computer literate.
Every company has a vision in mind and a goal in sight. The underlying target, undoubtedly, is SUCCESS, which may come from a breakthrough in technology or a brilliant turnover.
But there is also SUCCESS of a different
genre the kind that traverses the confines of a corporate world. It stems from an indescribable satisfaction when one sees a broad smile on a motherís face, content in the knowledge that her child is well cared for. The pride that a father has when he is confident that he can support his family and educate his children. This is the kind of intangible success that L&T has aspired for and achieved. L&Tís efforts have translated into empowerment of individuals and greater dignity of life.
& T Health Centre
We shall be
centre of excellence dedicated to achieve total patient satisfaction
through professional service and quality health care.
pledge our devotion and commitment to serve those who enter our
centre with a helping hand and a warm heart.
shall continue to learn and develop ourselves and impart health
education to others.
shall strive to be a benchmark in the field of health care.
Courtesy: Dr. (Mrs.) Usha Krishna &
Dr. S.V. Datar