World Brain Day 2023 in India

images of newspapers covering world brain day in india

A sampling of the media coverage of WBD in India 2023.

Unique activities enhanced World Brain Day in India.

Chandrashekhar Meshram, Gagandeep Singh, Nirmal Surya, and U. Meenakshisundaram

World Brain Day 2023 was celebrated with great enthusiasm and commitment in India by the Indian Academy of Neurology. The campaign extended over several days.

The 2023 theme was Brain Health and Disability, Leave No One Behind, and  generated a lot of interest. The activities were focused toward increasing awareness among common people and students about brain health and disability. Chandrashekhar Meshram issued a press release.

This year, we at the Indian Academy of Neurology changed the approach and focused on reaching a few hundred thousand people through the most popular TV channel in the country. The activity was in the form of panel discussions on brain health and disability. WFN President Prof. Wolfgang Grisold was one of the panelists. Other panelists were IAN President Dr. Gagandeep Singh, WFN Trustee Dr. Chandrashekhar Meshram, IAN Past President Dr. Nirmal Surya, IAN Secretary Dr. U. Meenakshisundaram, and IAN Treasurer Dr. Lakshmi Narsimhan.

The panelists discussed the importance of World Brain Day, dementia and disability, epilepsy, stroke and disability, and the role of rehabilitation in disability. People could watch the telecast twice on July 22. The session is also available on YouTube

Articles were published in newspapers to educate people about brain health and disability, the importance of exercise for brain health, information about Guillain-Barre Syndrome and its outbreak in Peru, stroke and disability, and brain health as a human right.

Walk for Your Brain was organized and held July 23 in Nagpur. People from various walks of life participated in the activity. The event was led off by Ravindra Thakare, tribal commissioner. People carried placards that displayed messages such as “Our brain, our future,” “It is your brain, use it or lose it,” “Proper diet for healthy brain,” “Epilepsy is treatable, don’t hide it,” “Clean city, healthy brain,” “Exercise, diet, and sleep. Three pillars of brain health,” and “Avoid air pollution for a healthy brain.” Chandrashekhar Meshram explained the importance of World Brain Day and provided tips for preserving brain health and preventing neurological diseases.

The Indian Federation of Rehabilitation (IFNR) conducted several activities on World Brain Day. Dr. Nirmal Surya, president of IFNR, presented on family- and community-based rehabilitation in which he emphasized the role of family participation in delivering rehabilitation in developing countries.  He said this model would be a way forward in providing affordable rehabilitation for all in developing countries. Dr. Abhishek Srivastava, secretary and director of the IFNR, explained prevention and rehabilitation of poliomyelitis and how we win with community-based rehabilitation. The talk was elaborate on the various rehabilitative aspects that were undertaken to uplift the daily living of patients with poliomyelitis.

IFNR organized an awareness drive with a video contest, in which participants submitted videos on the theme of World Brain Day: Prevention, Awareness, Education, Advocacy to uplift the brain health. Over 80 submissions were received. The top five submissions were showcased on the World Brain Day Webinar Platform and given prizes.

Epilepsy Foundation India organized a public awareness program for people with epilepsy. The program kicked off with a painting competition and a welcome address by Dr. Nirmal Surya. He talked about the importance of brain health and the theme of leaving no one behind and how to keep the brain healthy and disease-free.

Prof. Tissa Wijeratne, co-chair of WBD and WFN, talked about brain health and disability and why it is important to have awareness in developing countries. Dr. Chandrashekhar Meshram, trustee of the WFN, emphasised the need of brain health in epilepsy as well as other diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s, and dementia. A dance and lecture session by members of the Epilepsy Foundation was also organized.

The World Brain Day campaign will certainly contribute toward promotion of brain health, awareness and prevention of disability, early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of neurological disorders, and in turn improving the patient care.

The IAN’s Plans for World Brain Day 2024

In continuation of the campaign Brain Health for All, the WFN has decided the theme for WBD 2024 is Brain Health and Prevention. The Indian Academy of Neurology will participate in the 2024 campaign in a big way. India has a high incidence of young strokes. With the increase in life expectancy, the problems of diseases such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease are on the rise. Lifestyle medication, diet, and air pollution are important issues that need to be addressed. Public awareness for causes and prevention of neurological diseases will be the top priority during the 2024 WBD activity in India. •