An effort to get 100 Indian companies under the category of "Healthy Workplaces" by 2016 was announced by a global health non-profit organisation to prevent the spread of non communicable diseases.
Committed towards changing the course of chronic disease, Arogya World announced "Commitment to Action" programme yesetrday to encourage companies to meet high standards for wellness, helping one million of those who work there to lead healthy lives."
"We have designed this ambitious and pioneering public health initiative to leverage the workplace as a platform for preventing Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs)," said Dr Nalini Saligram, Founder and CEO of Arogya World at the just concluded three-day 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting here.
The global health non profit is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the Government of India regarding this.
Joining Arogya World in the workplace wellness programme are several leading organisations such as Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Aon plc, and NationWide.
"With an external score-card that recognises companies for their commitment to workplace wellness, we want to encourage companies to meet high standards for wellness, and motivate others to follow suit", said Keshav Desiraju, Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
"India has a huge burden of NCDs - 20 per cent of Indians have at least one chronic disease, and 10 per cent more than one. For us to win against NCDs, multiple sectors of society must work together", he said.
"It is smart to target workplaces, where so many young people spend so much of their day, to influence health behavior," said Dr Srinath Reddy, President Public Health Foundation of India.
Companies who have committed to applying for Healthy Workplace awards, by benchmarking themselves against these criteria, this year include iGATE, Infotech, Quinnox, Aon, Reliance Infrastructure, Wipro GE Healthcare and Emami which together have a pool of more than 50,000 employees.
"Indians get diabetes 10 years earlier than counterparts in the West often in their 30s and 40s and half of India are under 25 years of age", Desiraju said.
Criterias that mark a workplace as 'Healthy' were previously developed by Arogya World for India, with the input of multiple stakeholders in 2012.