Mabelle and Raj


Drs. Raj and Mabelle Arole came from very different backgrounds but found unity in common purpose. Raj Arole, born in 1935, was raised in the village of Rahuri in Ahmednagar District. In contrast, Mabelle Immanuel, born in Jabalpur in 1935, led a secluded and secure life at the college campus where her father was a professor. Mabelle & Raj met during their studies at Christian Medical College, Vellore and graduated in 1959, with Mabelle topping her class and Raj coming second. They found each other in their common purpose of serving the poor and marginalized and were married in April 1960, vowing to each other to devote their lives to this cause. Before founding CRHP in 1970, the couple worked in the Marathi Mission Hospital in Vadala from 1962-1966 and spent time in the US completing their medicine & surgery residencies as well as obtaining MPH degrees at Johns Hopkins University. The idea of CRHP was born during the Aroles’ time at Johns Hopkins and was also based on their prior experiences with the rural poor. They realized that they were seeing the same problems over and over again without producing a solution to the root cause of the ailments they were treating. With this in mind, the Aroles realized the narrow scope of curative medicine was not enough to improve the lives of their patients in a meaningful way. The Aroles decided that they needed to provide holistic care and create empowering framework that galvanized communities to come together to solve their problems sustainably. Over 40 years later, their Jamkhed Model lives on and has been regarded as the most successful template for community-based health and development the world has seen.