Dr. Abhay Bang received schooling in the Nai Taleem school at Mahatma Gandhi’s Sevagram Ashram, his MBBS and MD (Medicine) degrees in Nagpur and his Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. Taking into consideration the needs of health in rural India, he started SEARCH (Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health) with Dr. Rani Bang, in Gadchiroli. Their program for reducing Infant Mortality Rate has proven to be groundbreaking and 77 countries implement it today. The scaled up version of ‘Home Based Newborn Care’ program that he designed is implemented across India as ‘Asha’ and it was based on his study that the state has implemented a minimum wage policy based on nutrition for farm laborers. He and Dr. Rani Bang also initiated a people’s movement to reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption in Gadchiroli and the ‘Muktipath’ program now continues that mission.
Dr. Abhay Bang is a recipient of over 60 awards, including Padmashree, ‘Society of Scholar’ award of Johns Hopkins University, ‘Public Health Champion’ award from WHO, the McArthur Award, Mahatma Gandhi Award, Maharashtra’s state government’s ‘Adivasi Sevak’ award, etc. His book ‘Maza Sakshatkari Hridayrog’ (My Enlightening Heart-disease) is very popular in Maharashtra.