What is a Mass Gathering ?
More than a specified number of persons (1000 people to > 25 000 people)
- at a specific location.
- for a specific purpose.
- for a defined period of time.
A modified definition by-Polkinghorne et al :-
Events attended by a sufficient number of people and of sufficient duration to strain the planning and response resources of a community, state or nation.
If your interest is piqued enough….read more about Mass Gatherings
A presentation on the fundamental concepts of Mass Gathering Medicine in the context of the Kumbh Mela was recently given to students of a premier Science Education Institution in Pune (no guesses).
The students were very receptive in their attention and the questions were indeed thought provoking. The future of Science and the Country seems to be in safe hands with these young people , given their interest and curiosity.
If you would like to have a look at the detailed presentation, given elsewhere as a Webinar for the World Association of Disaster Medicine, with a target audience of Public Health and Disaster Medicine Professionals, just click on….. (its about an hour long)
After this tremendous opportunity to lead a Study team from the Armed Forces Medical College Pune, India, to evaluate the preparedness status of the Kumbh Mela , first at Allahabad, India in 2013 and then at Nashik, India in 2015, a comprehensive, layered module on Mass Gathering Medicine, with an extensive interactive component including table top exercises, was developed and rolled out for Undergraduate and Post graduate students of the AFMC, as also for MPH students of the University.
I am indeed grateful to my then HOD, Dr Mahen and the overall Head of the Medical Services, Dr Joshi, to have afforded me the opportunity to witness and study at close quarters the spectacular spectacle of thronging humanity.
As an aside, I did not bathe in the waters during the Kumbh Mela, maybe in the mistaken belief that I had no sins to wash away, or maybe I was sceptical in my faith about the quality of the water.