India has a large shortfall of doctors. According to the World Health Organization, India has seven doctors for every 10,000 people, half the global average. 50,000 critical care specialists are required as per data from the Indian Medical Association, but India has just 8,350. Adding to the shortage is the fact that the geographic distribution of doctors is uneven: with urban areas having four times greater number of allopathic doctors compared to rural areas. These shortages exist despite India having one of the largest medical education systems in the world, with more than 410 government and private medical schools and an annual intake of 50,000 students for MBBS courses.
Unwillingness of doctors to work in rural areas is another challenge. Considering these challenges, the objective of Udaan program has been to nurture the potential of rural students from disadvantaged backgrounds and create a platform which they could leverage on towards a MBBS degree. It is hoped that these enabled students would fulfil their dreams of becoming able physicians, have a multiplier effect among students and practice ethical healthcare thereby serving the larger community.
The project Udaan is a collaboration with Mindtree and works towards helping meritorious students from marginalized rural families to pursue a degree in medicine. The program inspires and mentors deserving students from Kanakpura district in Karnataka. In 2016-17, 56 students were selected for this long-term programme with a nine-year tenure. Currently, in collaboration with Jain University, Udaan students were provided free seats in the science stream and are currently being coached for their Pre-University final exams.
In August 2017 Udaan Bidar program was initiated in association with Shaheen Group of Institutions to provide financial support and mentoring for deserving yet underprivileged students from rural backgrounds in Bidar who have the aptitude and potential to become doctors.