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  • Writer's pictureKrishna

Saving lives in more ways than one - Chat with Dr Lalitha Regi

Updated: Sep 19, 2021

How often do you get to meet a doctor who chose to be a physician for people with limited or no access to medical facilities ? And who feels, this was the most obvious choice for her right from her teens! Though ensuring medical facility is what brought her to this remote village, she chose to dream so much more and continues to do so. And in the process, she has touched the health and lives of hundreds of people across many villages. And if she is not featured in New Indian Woman, who else can be ?

In this episode, we chat with Dr. Lalitha Regi from Sittilingi. We start from her current engagement with Porgai craft centre, yes, craft centre led by a medical doctor. And then we move to the past and Dr. Lalitha shares her challenging but wonderful journey over the last almost 3 decades. Her thoughts, what led her to make such daring choices. She shares what is the toughest aspect of pursuing a dream and why only some people manage to do that..

This is Part 1 of a 2 part conversation with this amazing lady. There are a lot of learnings for us in Part 2 as well. For now, don’t miss this Part 1 episode.

Listen on ..

What the New Indian Woman podcast is about

As you may already be aware, this podcast has 2 focus areas. One, We examine the challenges faced by today's Indian woman and proposes ACTIONABLE strategies in the Indian context, on a wide variety of topics - right from identifying their passion to better productivity and parenting. Second, We meet women who chose to aspire or have a dream beyond their defined roles and facilitates sharing of what worked and what didn’t, for them. Today's episode falls in the second category.

And in the process, my aim is to help you, The New Indian woman, to realize your potential, chase your dreams and aspirations, utilize the wonderful opportunities available in today's world.

What's in this episode:

Dr. Lalitha Regi starts sharing her current primary roles and that is not a small list to start with! If you think being a senior Dr in a hospital in a remote village itself can be demanding, then listen to her introduction of her primary roles!

Then she starts introducing Porgai to us and shared about how she has gone about reviving an ancient type of embroidery. And this is not about it being an area of interest. Dr. Lalitha, thru this intervention of revival, has focussed on helping women artisans earn from their home and have a healthy and more dignified life. And, please don’t forget to check out the beautiful hand embroidered items you can buy - the website shows just a sample though!

She talks about how she and her husband chose this village(you will be surprised by the criteria), set up a 1 room mud and thatch clinic that has now grown into a 35 bedded secondary hospital with 95% staff from the tribal community itself.

If achieving this itself is great, wait…. She then talks about their decision to explore after the first 10 years and how they did it. And what this resulted in - again, something touching the lives of hundreds of people differently. Yes, organic farming.

We then move on to looking at this journey from a personal context in terms of what led her to these decisions, what kind of challenges they faced and especially, she, as a woman..

But then, did she feel tempted to come back to the "regular medical profession" ??

In the process of listening to her life, there are valuable insights for each one of us. We are bound to reflect on what it means to look at challenges from this perspective, what it means to live in response to needs of people around us.

Yes, this is just Part 1..stay tuned for Part 2.

I would love to hear feedback from you on this episode. Write to me at

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To know more about the hospital, Porgai and the Farming Society


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