Using visarjan as the platform to promulgate the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a group of lady doctors formed a Lejhim troupe and performed before Tulshibaug, the fourth Ganapati of honour (Manacha Chautha). The doctors united under the banner of Pune Doctors Charitable Trust (PDCT).
The dance is a popular folk dance in the state wherein dancers carry a small musical instrument, which is a wooden rod fitted with metal discs producing jingling sounds. “The dance is good combination of mental and physical health, so we decided to convey the same message by performing it. Lejhim is also beneficial for persons afflicted with diabetes and heart problems, as it is a good cardio exercise,” said Dr Vaishali Lodha, director, PDCT.
Elaborating further on the benefits of Lejhim, Dr Girish Kamat, vice president of PDCT, said, “Total body movement is the major benefit of the dance. Various joints in the body get a complete workout. Also constant movement increases blood circulation, which is good for the heart. There is also coordination between hands and legs, which is important for mental health.”
Dr Smita Chaudhari said, “We had conducted practice sessions for all doctors since the last 15 days.” The group of 14 doctors from the troupe have been practising for around two hours daily. “Afternoons were reserved for practice. A lejhim expert was called upon to train all the doctors. We used to take some time out from our daily routine to be at the practice sessions,” said one of the doctor’s who participated in the dance.
The doctors also took out an ‘Arogya Rath’ to spread the message of following a healthy lifestyle. Decorating the chariot elaborately to garner attention, PDCT’s aim was to convey messages to sustain a healthy lifestyle. The Rath also aimed to convey various aspects of health, ranging from bad food habits and consumption of junk food among children. “There is a need to focus on mental health along with the physical health. This needed to be communicated to the people, and the immersion procession was the ideal platform,” said Dr Ravindra Chaudhari, secretary, PDCT.