A two-day training camp for the workers of Gram Vikas was organised in Surat from February. About 300 workers from different states participated in the camp and shared their experience. RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi addressed the workers on second day of the camp. He said when we think of individual development we try to achieve the goal on our own strength, but when it comes to the development of our own villages we depend upon the Governments or other agencies. “If we have to raise the status of our society we must take steps ourselves. When we move a step, the rest of the people would follow us. The RSS wants that the villagers should develop their respective villages themselves and they should abandon the habit of always depending upon the Government,” he said.
AROGYA BHARATI TO WORK FOR POSITIVE HEALTH IN A VILLAGE
Arogya Bharati, the premier organisation dedicated to the sphere of health in rural areas, has come up with a new initiative to spread positive health in rural India. “We have been working on ‘Swastha Gram Yojana’ from 7 years in a village in Gujarat. Results of our efforts in that village are very encouraging. We have demonstrated a positive impact on many health parameters. Hence we now want to replicate the experiment across number of villages in different parts of our country,” said Dr Hitesh Jani, HoD at Gujarat Ayurveda University in Jamnagar and convener of ‘Swastha Gram Yojana’.“We have developed a 10 point programme to be followed under the ‘Swastha Gram Yojana’, which includes environmental protection, clean drinking water, developing collective thinking about the health issues in the village and promoting discussion over such issues, developing ‘Health Card’ scheme for health monitoring, cleanliness drive, de-addiction etc. We are also in the process of enhancing the programme with the help of institutions and individuals who have worked in the area of rural health,” Dr. Jani added.
He said there is a vast gap between the health facilities in cities and the rural area which makes the task of rural welfare tougher. While working on the area, we realised that the scenario can be altered by creating awareness about positive health in the rural area. If we can create an environment where people will be motivated to follow a positively healthy lifestyle and they could be provided with guidance from experts in the field of health, health conditions of an area say a village can be altered within a stipulated time frame. Once we came to this conclusion, we started to experiment it at the Surya village in Jamnagar district of Gujarat and 7 years down the line we can easily see that this works, he said.
Association of Indian Physicians of Northern Ohio
Humanitarian Services Committee
Report on Medical Yatra -2014
@ Gandevi, Guj. Jan. 22-28, 2014
Jointly Organized by
Rotary Club of Gandevi,
American Association of Indian Physicians of North Ohio (AIPNO),
Gandevi Seva samaj of North America
Gandevi Taluka Seva Trust
Rotary Club of Gandevi, American Association of Indian Physicians of North Ohio, Gandevi Seva Samaj of North America and Gandevi Taluka Seva Trust jointly organized Medical Yatra in Gandevi and surrounding villages from January 22nd to 28th. A brief summary of the camp and beneficiaries is given below.
Educate/Train, Prevent, Save the Lives!
Medical Yatra was comprised of Six General Medical Camps-Screening Clinics at six different locations namely Bigari, Gandevi, Kharel, Gadat, Kesali and Amalsad followed by Specialty Camp for Cancer, Diabetes, Heart and Thyroid at Gandevi on 26th to 28th January 2014. In all General camp locations we had mobile Pharmacy to distribute free medicines, blood collection facility for testing, dental facility, CPR training to General population, blood pressure and blood glucose testing, and poster presentation for awareness for healthy life style and preventing diseases. All patients suspected of Cancer, Diabetes, Heart diseases and thyroid disorders were called again in Specialty Camp at Gandevi Canning Factory for further evaluation, investigations and treatment planning. We had Sanjeevani Rath from Gujarat Cancer Research Institute with mammography, sonography and PAP Smear testing facility in the van. We also had mobile pharmacy and blood collection facility at all General Camp locations and Gandevi Specialty Camp location.
Group of 25 Medical Professionals and paramedics from AIPNO, USA came on Thursday 23rd January from Dharampur. After a brief meeting, they formed two teams. Following
Screening clinics were organized for Super Specialty Camp Jan 26-27-28
C.J. High School,Gandevi
Naik High School,Kharel
Ambika High School, Gadat
N.B.Patel High School, Kesali
Patients who are suspected of Cancer, Coronary problems, Diabetes and Thyroid disorders were advised to come to Specialty Camp at Canning Factory location in Gandevi on 26th, 27th and 28th January .Patients who were examined on 23rd in General Medical Camp came on 26th, patients from 24th came on 27th and patients from 25th and 27th came for Specialty camp on 28th January respectively.
For Specialty Camp we had Medical Experts from USA, England, Mumbai, Amdavad, Vadodara and Surat. All these Medical professionals worked very hard and gave free services for this noble cause. Patients with following medical conditions took advantage of the specialty camp at Gandevi.
Super Specialty Camp @ Canning Factory
Mammogram, sonography, calcium deficiency and PAP smear testing were performed;
Prior to Yatra
@ BAPS Hospital, Surat
Patients with following Medical conditions were identified and efforts are being made by Rotary Club of Gandevi to treat these patients at no cost to them.
Medical Condition No. of Patients
CancerCervical Cancers 9
Cancer of Uterus 4
Mouth, head & Neck 10
Other cancers 20 43
Patients - Diabetic 677
For Bypass surgery 5
Valve disorders 6
For Angiography 29
For Echo & Stress studies 39
Other conditions 13 92
Patients already on treatment 34
Patients who needed treatment 3
Patients seen during general camp 23
Prescribed medicines were given to patients for immediate treatment of certain conditions free of charge. We set up a mobile pharmacy with medicines donated by pharmaceutical companies, medical stores and medical practitioners.
Many patients needed further investigations and treatment and the arrangement is being made to refer them to various major hospitals.
IMPORTANT to NOTE:
Investigations activities started in early part of January and shall continue the follow up activities until June-July, 2014. Gandevi Rotarians and NGOs have been committed to give each and every patient utmost satisfaction.
Vocational Training Program
The most important component of this Medical Yatra was to train and educate Local Medical professionals, bring awareness regarding these deadly diseases amongst rural and tribal communities in and around Gandevi and to take preventive measures for improving quality of life. To achieve these goals following activities were planned and successfully executed.
On Thursday January 23rd 2014, a seminar was organized at New Civil Hospital Surat. Similar seminar was also organized on Friday, January 24th at G.M.E.R.S Medical College, Valsad. The following expert professionals from AIPNO shared their experience leading to CME program.
Dr Adi Mehta, Cleveland Clinic, USA (Endocrinologist) Dr Sethu Reddy, Cleveland Clinic, USA (Endocrinologist)
Dr Martin Wiseman, Hillcrest-Cleveland Clinic,USA (Cardiologist) Dr Pushkar Khande,St.Vincent Charity Hospital, USA (Resident) Dr Mahesh Varia, University of N. Carolina,USA (Oncologist), Dr Indu Varia,Duke University, USA (Psychiatrist).
Total 32 doctors and lecturers of Civil Hospital at Surat and 62 at Valsad attended the seminar.
Academic meeting of AIPNO Super Specialist with Local Medical Practitioners
A meeting of local medical physicians of Gandevi and super specialist doctors of AIPNO was organized at Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple Hall on Sunday 26th January 2014 to discuss latest advancement for diagnosis and management of patients suffering from most deadly diseases like Cancer, heart disorders, and diabetes. Total forty three professionals attended the seminar.
Training of Government Paramedical staff Health program of Rural area is managed through Gandevi Taluka Primary Health Department. Gandevi Taluka has one block office, six primary Health Centers, two community health centers and two urban health centers. They have team of nursing staff and ASHA workers, who visits all people in villages to provide health care.There is also Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) of Government comprising of Anganwadi workers in every villages, who work for child and mother care program. There is also Nutrition wing of ICDS, who work to combat malnutrition amongst children. A seminar was arranged to train these paramedical government staff on January 27th in Koli Samaj Bhuvan Gandevi. Total of more than 650 staff attended the seminar. The seminar was addressed by Doctors from Civil Hospital Ahmedabad, and local Non-Government organization- Action Research in Community Health. This was one of the best way to impart training for rural health. Awareness Program for General Public A seminar was organized on Saturday January 25th, 2014 for General Public in Koli Samaj Bhuvan, Gandevi. Lectures by noted Nutritionist and Chair-person Indian Diabetic Association, Dr Niranjana Shah and her team were very informative to control diabetic and heart problems by proper diet. Mrs.Salome Samuel (Nutrition expert) and Mrs Nazin Husain (Dietician) also gave important information on diet. They also highlighted the role of Yoga to improve the quality life. This was one of the best seminars attended by more than 275 citizens of Gandevi and surrounding villages. Dr Adi Mehta, Consulting Endocrinologist from AIPNO, USA touched upon very important points for healthy life style in very hilarious way. We are sure that this seminar will change the life style of many to control diabetes and heart problems.
Dave Diffendal-Rotarian and others arranged CPR training with ‘Hands On” training for Nurses, Paramedics and general public est. 1,000 persons benefited from this half an hour training to save lives. So many places we left mannequins to continue the CPR training year around.
Public Awareness Campaign by street performance A team of Gujarati Movie Artist from Ahmedabad was invited to give street performance program called “BHAVAI”. They performed Bhavai at ten different villages during late evening and night few days before the General Medical camp. A village at Medical Camp site and the village near each site were decided for the Bhavai for awareness and attract more patients to take advantage of the Medical Camp. This performance was unique and designed to convey messages on cleanliness, avoid bad habits of drinking alcohol, tobacco chewing etc with comedy in local language. Video recording was prepared on local streets to cover major aspects of personal hygiene such as washing hands before meal, brushing teeth, keep streets clean, disadvantage of plastic usage, oral cancer due to tobacco chewing etc. This video was projected at different villages along with Bhavai. This was an eye opening event in Gandevi Taluka. We had large number of patients turn out who are suffering from Diabetes and this in turn end up with Heart and kidney problems. Most of the patients were economically poor and hail from rural areas of Gandevi. They were treated at no cost to them. Uncontrolled eating habits, consumption of country liquor and tobacco, uncontrolled use of plastics and polluted environment are the root cause of these deadly diseases. We could convey the message to prevent diseases and to remain healthy by seminars and awareness programs.
For this project we received help from many persons and organizations. We thank all people who helped us putting their time, talents and/or financial resources (SEWA-USA and others)or rendering honorary professional services for this noble cause. We also appreciate the hard work of one and all who helped directly or indirectly to make this Medical Yatra-2014 a grand success.
Mohan Patel, Parimal Naik & Ramesh Shah
SEWA MELBOURNE FUNDRAISING EVENT
In response to the appeal made by Sewa International Bharat for fundraising towards a computer center in Uttarakhand, Sewa (Melbourne) arranged a fund raising event on Sunday, the 23rd February at Annual Street Festival of Clayton. Funds were raised through two activities i.e., hand painting (Hena) with the help of female Sewa volunteers and sale of cold drinks with the help of male Sewa volunteers. Sewa also participated in Annual Australia Clean Up Day on 2nd March, attended by Mayor, Monash City Council and local Councillor.
HEALTH LINE FOR SPECIALIST MEDICAL ADVICE
INDIA Health Line (IHL), a unique social service in socio-medical field, was launched in Hyderabad on February 16 in the presence of eminent medicos and representatives of medical fraternity. The Health Line will have a National Call Centre to attend to patients calls who, after seeing the neighbouring general practitioners, want to consult specialists for further advice and necessary treatment.Launching the Health Line renowned cancer surgeon and VHP working president Dr Pravin Togadia said there are many half-treated diseases only because patients after primary examination by the doctor do not approach specialist doctors as advised. It is mainly due to poverty, fear of increased medical expenses if any serious disease is detected and sometimes even ignorance. “To avoid this, India Health Line aims at connecting Medical Fraternity with the needy patients. Doctors are a part of this great nation and the society. They always want to help. So for nation's sake thousands of specialist doctors like Cancer Surgeons, Neuro Surgeons, Cardiologists, Gynecologists, Nephrologists, Urologists and many other specialist doctors have got associated with IHL.They will see the patients per appointment arranged by IHL and advice further. To streamline further, thousands of Pathology Labs, X Ray / MRI / CT Scan Centers, Chemists Shops, Hospitals / Day Care Centers, Ambulances / Blood Banks have come ahead to be a part of this socially important initiative to help the needy patients and save valuable human working hours of the nation and of course to save manylives,” Dr Togadia said.
THE ART OF GIVING A SOCIAL ENTERPRENEUR WAY
There are many young Indians who dream of being employer to many rather than being employee. However, after facing all hardships throughout life even to fulfill basic needs, creating a cluster of world class institutions, generating employable human resource and at the same time, providing education, shelter, training and food to more than 20000 tribal kids is a social revolution in itself. This has become a key instrument in curbing conversions and fighting menace of naxalism by a single handed initiative of Dr Achyuta Samanta.
A rare combination of philanthropy, spirituality, revolutionary ideas and social entrepreneurial skills to provide space even for the man languishing in the lowest strata of the social order makes him a trend setter of different kind.
Samanta, who had the feel of being poor without his father’s hand on his head since the age of four, strength of shouldering agonies caused by the untimely death of his father, never ever shied away from putting a brave face to console his widowed mother, while still bleeding deep inside his heart. Samantha withstood the vagaries of circumstances to rise tall enough to dwarf everyone rich and influential, not by material richness, but by ethical values of life.
Setting up KIIT- a world class university all by himself with less than Rs. 5000 in his pocket is now history. It is no less a miracle to create an architectural marvel, spreading across 25 sq. kilometers of land in 20 wi-fi state-of-the art campuses, but it was not what he wanted to make. It was his experience that made him to think for millions of poverty-striken children. He dreamt of a world where poverty would not stand as an obstacle to one’s education. In his efforts, he created a slice of heaven on earth, christened it as Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), for fifteen thousand neglected and underprivileged tribal children living far away from out civilized world, as he strongly believes: Poverty creates illeterary, literary removes poverty.
Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) organised a mega guardian’s meet on Sunday February 2, 2014 with more than 50,000 parents and guardians of tribal students of the institution attending the meeting.
Assembly of such large number of triabls representing 62 tribes and 1 primitive tribal communities from Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Assam, is one of its kind.
While expressing gratitude to KIIT and KISS founder Achuta Samantha for securing the future of their children by providing free education at par with top public schools, the parents also stressed the need for government support to better the institution that has more than 20,000 tribal children in its fold. A guardian committee is to be formed to appeal to the government on problems faced by KISS.
KISS AT A GLANCE
Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar, with an humble beginning in 1993 with 125 children, has become the largest residential institute for the tribals in the world, providing Accommodation, food, Healthcare, Education from Kindergarten to Post Graduation, vocational training and all other basic amenities of life absolutely free with a job after completion of education. Today KISS has:-
Current Strength-15,083 children 60 per cent boys and 40 per cent girls as on June, 2011.
Land Area - 80 acres
Built-up Area - 8,00,000 sqft.
Students enrolled from 62 tribes of Orissa including 13 primitive Tribes.
Students from adjoining States
5% reserved seats in different professional courses of KIIT University.
Library in 15,000 sq.ft. building with over 20,000 titles
A DAY FILLED WITH THE WONDER OF SCIENCE
— Malini Hoizal
When I first saw a mail from my colleague regarding YFS volunteering opportunity, I thought it was one of the regular opportunities. The event was – Visit Indian Institute of Science with children. The description stated that the volunteers were required to take care of school children visiting IISc.
On the day of the event I reached the rendezvous point, met our YFS point of contact, Mr. Lakshmikanth and was in for a wonderful surprise. Indian Institute of Science was actually celebrating its Founder’s Day and had organized an Open Day in conjunction with the same!
The Open Day is a day when IISc opens its doors to the public, to Explore, Experience, and Enjoy the wonders of scientific and technological innovations, experiments, research and a whole lot of other things.
We were formed in groups of 25 children and 4-5 adults. Our group included children from Rajarajeshwari Nagar with their enthusiastic and cheerful teacher. Armed with a map of the humungous, gigantic campus, an eager group and a curious mind we proceeded toward our targets – the departments that would offer something interesting. We were blown away by the Glass-blowing demo and learnt about the different types of glasses and their uses. Each of us gaped when a glass tube was heated, blown, twisted and finally turned into a swan. Wow! What an experience!
We thought nothing else could top this experience. But wait, we were yet to visit the Civil Engineering Department. The Ground Penetration Radar won the children’s interest hands down. Everyone was allowed to move the radar on the soil surface and experience its operations. And the best part was when they “treasure-hunted” the chocolates “hidden” below the surface. Each department had its own fun way of demonstrating their work and had innovative ways to facilitate learning. We played fun games, watched Math movies, learnt about different types of rocks, saw a piece of a meteorite, did a nature walk, tried our hands at a few experiments and had a blast.
On the whole, it was an amazing experience that would remain as part of some fond memories. And guess what made it fun? Seeing all the demos, experiments, posters, the campus and the displays through the eyes of the school children we accompanied!
Birth centenary celebration of Balasaheb Deshpande
BALASAHEB DESHPANDE WAS A SAMAJ SHILPI
“Balasaheb Deshpande was a Samaj Shilpi, who not only served the Vanvasis, but also united them with complete honesty and integrity. He brought many nationalist and dedicated Vanvasi leaders like Hipson Roy, Anderson Mawari, NC Zeliang, Workle Dindopugh, etc to the Kalyan Ashram fold,” said RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Dattetreya Hosabale, while speaking at a function organised in Pune on January 19 to celebrate birth centenary of Kalyan Ashram founder Balasaheb Deshpande.
Kalyan Ashram vice president Shri Kripa Prasad Singh, noted businessman Shri Krishan Kumar Goel, Shri Fatehchandra Ranka, national award winner Smt Thamatai Pawar, Balasaheb Deshpande’s daughter Shobha Ghate, Kalyan Ashram State president Dr Mali and dignitaries like Dr Ramesh Kawadia, Shri Khichare, Shri Bapu Ghatpande and Shri Pandurang Bhandkar were also present on the occasion.
Shri Dattatreya further said that on the invitation of Deshpandeji, Rani Maa Gaidinlu attended the Kalyan Ashram’s first Akhil Bharatiya Mahila Sammelan in Bhilai as chief guest. She was so much impressed with the Kalyan Ashram’s work that she became a part and parcel of it. She then helped in starting the Kalyan Ashram work in the remote areas of Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman Nicobar islands.
ANOTHER FUNCTION IN SATNA
The birth centenary of Kalyan Ashram founder Balasaheb Deshpande was held at Satna Stadium also. Noted saint Mahamandaleshwar Swami Akhileshwara-nanda was the chief guest. Tribal Welfare Minister in Government of Madhya Pradesh Shri Gyan Singh Gond, vice president of Kalyan Ashram Shri Kripa Prasad Singh, Prant Sanghachalak Shri Shankar Prasad and Swami Manglanandaji from Prayag were also present on the occasion. Swami Akhileshwarananda described Balasaheb Deshpande as a visionary, thinker and ideologue who bridged the gap between the Vanvasis and the rest of the society. Shri Gyan Singh Gaur applauded the Kalyan Ashram work.
Shri Kripa Prasad Singh called upon the workers to expand the work in all 374 districts of the country. He appealed to the young graduates, post graduates, doctors and engineers to donate time for the cause. He said Kalyan Ashram runs a total of 16,221 projects across the country. He pointed out that the Kalyan Ashram activists planted 14,97,600 saplings from June 15 to September 15, 2013 and the pictures and message of Swami Viveknanda were taken to 42 lakh houses.
UTTARAKHAND REHABILITATION PROJECT:
A PROGRESS REPORT
Rehabilitation project in Uttarakhand was launched on the auspicious occasion of Sankranti festival on 14thJan 2014 by inaugurating the Computer training class at Ukhimath, Rudraprayag district. This activity is sort of a prelude to the project of “empowering community to organize and manage sustainable entrepreneurship models through agriculture”. The computer training centre, as expected, is attracting good number of youth from various surrounding villages and these contacts are being developed to reach out to some of the neighbouring villages. This centre has been sponsored by Sewa USA.
The activity in the first fortnight after the inauguration has been a bit slow because of the climatic conditions, being extreme cold on one hand while on the other it rained occasionally, retarding the pace of activity.
However, the initial preparatory activity is proceeding and the project team of SI is mapping out the areas and villages that are in bad need of empowerment through agriculture. Following are the villages which have been listed and are being contacted-
Most of these villages have not been approached by any organization or NGO for rehabilitation except for some of the abovementioned villages in the Agastyamuni Block wherein Care India is carrying on the house construction activity for the villagers.
The team could establish contact in 3 villages till 31st January and other villages are being contacted.
On the other front, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, the primary agricultural guidance centre for Rudraprayag district, has been contacted through G. B. Pant University for Agricultural Technology. Scientists from this University would be guiding and assisting the agriculture related activity including training and orientation of the farmers in the district.
Efforts for opening another computer training centre were also done and the search for hiring a suitable venue was carried out in Phata village as well as Chandrapuri village. This centre will be supported by Sewa Australia.
An amount of Rs.3 Lacs has been donated to Suryatanaya Sewa Samiti, Uttarkashi for relief activity, part of Uttarakhand relief and rehabilitation project.
Survey for construction of two school buildings in two towns have been carried out in association with Vidya Bharati. Both the schools were totally washed out to the extent that the ground also was washed away. In both the places Vidya Bharati has acquired plots for the construction of the building and Sewa International will build the class room complex. Sewa UK has committed to construct the school building in one of the towns while we are searching for a donor for funding the construction of the other.
Preparation for buying a Mobile Medical van was also carried out during the fortnight and fund for buying the Medical van have been disbursed to UDAPSS. The Medical Van would be operated by newly established Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission, Dehradun and will cover quite a good number of villages which do not have primary medical facilities available. This Medical unit has been sponsored by Sewa CanadaInternational.
MAKING BODY DONATION A MOVEMENT
At the time when lakhs of people die every year in the country in want of organ transplant, one million wait for cornea transplantation and about 30 to 35 young medical professionals are forced to study on one cadaver only, senior advocate of Delhi Shri Alok Kumar has taken a step to change this scenario. Through Dadhichi Deh Dan Samiti, he has so far provided 83 human bodies and 365 pair eyes to different Government Medical Colleges of Delhi. With the help of like-minded people and organisations he has now pledged to wipeout the entire waiting list for cornea transplantation in Delhi within 3 years.
DO you know around five lakh people die in our country every year because of non-availability of organs and two lakh of them die of liver disease only? Equally, about 50,000 die from heart disease and out of 1.5 lakh people waiting for kidney transplantation hardly 5,000 get one. Not only this about one million people suffer from corneal blindness and await transplantation. The reality is that just 0.08 persons Per Million Population (PMP) donate organs in our country. This is an incredibly insignificant number as compared to the organ donation statistics around the world. There is one more fact. Four medical students need a cadaver to complete their studies, but today 30 to 35 students have to study on one cadaver only.
On the other hand the countries like USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands, etc have seen the organ donations double per million population averaging between 10-30 PMP. Other countries like Singapore, Belgium and Spain have seen the rate of donations double averaging between 20-40 PMP. This all indicate to the speed that we have to move for body or organ donation. In such a situation the efforts of Shri Alok Kumar seem to be making a big impact in the lives of both, those who are waiting for organ transplantation and the young medicos who need cadavers for understanding the human body for advancing science.
“The seed of this initiative basically germinated during 1974-75 when I was a Sangh Pracharak in Amritsar. I frequently visited the Medical College there. The very first exhibit in the anatomy museum there was of a retired Head of the Department, who had written in his ‘will’ that ‘all my life I have been teaching my students on other persons’ bodies. Now, I wish that after my death my body is donated to this place’. I wrote to Dr Harsh Vardhan, who was then in Kanpur Medical College, about the wonderful idea of body donation. He wrote me back enthusiastically endorsing the idea. Later, the Emergency was imposed and we both were engaged in other things,” recalls Alokji while sharing his experience on February 10, 2014 in Delhi.
In 1994, when the Transplantation of the Human Organs Act was passed, Alokji and some of his friends decided to donate their bodies. They did it by registering their wills with the Sub Registrar. “My wife was in the court as a witness. On that day I had a wonderful experience. Sub Registrar was sitting on his seat. He called my name and I walked five-six steps towards him. In those steps I, in my mind, visualised as if I am dead. I saw my dead body and the friends, family members assembled there. Some of them were weeping, sobbing and some were satisfied that now they could work in politics free of me. And then I visualised a medical college van coming and taking my body away. The will was registered. Next morning as I just sat out, the meaning of it unfolded before me. I saw my dead body being taken away. But I am not the body. I am different form. Who am I? And then the answer came to me Main shuddha, buddha mukta atma hoon. I am not the body I am spirit and soul,” Alokji added.
Alokji believes that body donation is a spiritual work. He shared one more interesting experience: “When Yamuna inundated, I was assigned for the relief work that year. Naturally, it kept everybody busy 24 hours. I caught some infection in my eyes and they swelled. Everyday my father would ask me to go to a doctor and every day I would tell him that I have no time. One day he said, Alok! ‘you have donated your eyes’? I said, ‘off course’. ‘They have to be given for transplantation’? I said, ‘Yes’. Is it not that you are a mere trustee of your eyes now? ‘Yes’. ‘Is it not your duty to keep them good and usable’? That was the second idea that I got. In fact, we are just trustees of our bodies.”
Around 1997, when Nanaji Deshmukh expressed the wish to register him for body donation that the Dadhichi Dehdan Samiti came into existence. Alokji recalls: “When I was doing the documentation for Nanaji’s will, he said he is a Pracharak and remains on tours, what if death came outside Delhi. I said that will be the God’s will, as we cannot operate outside Delhi. Nanaji was very anxious on my answer. He thought for some time and called for cheque book. He made a cheque of Rs 11,000 in our favour and said ‘I am paying you the expenses. Now wherever I die, you have to arrange for bringing my body to Delhi and give to the AIIMS. This is how Nanaji became the Samiti’s first body donor. Later, when Nanaji left his body at Chitrakoot, it was brought to Delhi and donated to the AIIMS.” Other prominent body donors include two former MLAs, Bodhraji and DK Jain, and former BMS national president Rajkrishna Bhakt.
The Samiti accepts the pledge for body or organ donation only in a prescribed form having signatures either of a close family member or the person of the donor’s choice. It also asks the donor to donate at least a sum of Rs 150. “Like 16 samskars in our culture, we have made body donation also a samskar. Every year we hold a festival of body donors, in which the donors come with their witnesses. We executive their will and give them identity card and certificate. The event prominently has four presentations—one by a person who has donated the body in his family that year, second the person who pledges for body donation, third a top person from spiritual field, and four a top person from medical field. The whole exercise firms up an understanding in the donor and his family that this donation is a pious obligation,” Alokji adds.
So far, 83 whole bodies have been donated to Maulana Azad Medical College, AIIMS, Nehru Homeopathy College, University College of Medical Sciences, Hamdard Medical College, etc. The eyes were prominently donated to Gurunanak Eye Centre. “We have resolved that within three years we would wipe out the waiting list for eye transplantation in Delhi. The RSS Delhi Prant has also decided to take it as a common endeavour with us,” he points out.
The initiative has received the blessings of many big personalities like RSS Sanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat who attended a function in Patna. Didi Maa Sadhvi Ritambhara, on 80 birth anniversary of her guru, decided to gift 80 pledge forms for body donation. But the number of forms that were actually given was 126. Around 3,500 people including VHP patron Ashok Singhal, senior leader Acharya Giriraj Kishor, former Dy CM of Bihar Sushil Modi are now registered with the Samiti for body donation.
When asked how the bodies are collected after death, Alokji says: “When the death takes place all that the family members have to do is to call our helpline number. The entire subsequent arrangements are made by us, which include coordinating with the family, arranging a vehicle to collect the eyes or body ensuring that the body is delivered to a medical college in time.”
Changing the mindset is the biggest challenge in such cases. Replying the queries of some mediapersons, who asked how one would get salvation if the body is not cremated, Didi Maa said Shastras prescribe methods for it. One can do his pindadaan in his lifetime. If somebody does it and his body is not cremated then non-cremation is not an abstraction to body donation. “Former RSS chief Rajju Bhaiya once pointed out that the Ayurveda has proper methods of studying the human body. It even provides for the instruments by which it is cut and the way it is to be studied. It shows that body donation has been a long practice in our country,” points out Alokji.
The Samiti works in the National Capital Region only. Some people in Patna, Pune and Mumbai have formed separate units. “It is the work which needs timely action. If the eyes are not taken within four hours they become useless. Equally, if the other organs are not taken in time they cannot be transplanted. That is why we cannot operate outside Delhi,” concluded Alokji. When we see the human organ rackets flourishing in different parts of the country, this initiative shows the way.
THE ART OF GIVING: A SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR WAY
A rare combination of philanthropy, spirituality, revolutionary ideas and social entrepreneurial skills to provide space even for the man languishing in the lowest strata of the social order makes Achyuta Samanta a trend setter of different kind.Samanta, who had the feel of being poor without his father’s hand on his head since the age of four, strength of shouldering agonies causes by the untimely death of his father, never ever shied away from putting a brave face to console his widowed mother, while still bleeding deep inside his heart. Samantha withstood the vagaries of circumstances to rise tall enough to dwarf everyone rich and influential, not by material richness, but by ethical values of life.Setting up KIIT- a world class university all by himself with less than Rs. 5000 in his pocket is now history. It is no less a miracle to create an architectural marvel, spreading across 25 sq. kilometers of land in 20 wi-fi state-of-the art campuses, but it was not what he wanted to make. It was his experience that made him to think for millions of poverty-striken children. He dreamt of a world where poverty would not stand as an obstacle to one’s education. In his efforts, he created a slice of heaven on earth, christened it as Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), for fifteen thousand neglected and underprivileged tribal children living far away from civilized world, as he strongly believes: Poverty creates illeterary, literary removed poverty.Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) organised a mega guardian’s meet on Sunday February 2, 2014 with more than 50,000 parents and guardians of tribal students of the institution attending the meeting.Assembly of such large number of triabls representing 62 tribes and 1 primitive tribals communities from Odisha and Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Assam, is one of its kind.While expressing gratitude to KIIT and KISS founder Achyuta Samantha for securing the future of their children by providing free education at par with top public schools, the parents also stressed the need for government support to better the institution that has more than 20,000 tribal children in its fold. A guardian committee is be formed to appeal to the government on problems faced by KISS.
BIHAR PRANT SEWA SANGAM IN PATNA
“SEWA is the supreme duty of a man. Majority of the people live for their individual needs, but those who are sensitive live for others too. Sewa is the manifestation of God,” said RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sewa Pramukh Shri Ajit Mahapatra. He was speaking at Bihar Prant’s first Sewa Sangam organised at Shakha Maidan of Patna on February 2. Around 300 sewa organisations of Bihar attended the Sewa Sangam.
Speaking at the inaugural session, Rashtriya Sewa Bharati (RSB) joint secretary Shri Gurusharan Prasad said an atmosphere of untrust is generating all over the country and the sewa sector too is not untouched from it. There are about 50,000 registered sewa organisations and most of them are rendering valuable services. There is a dire need to strengthen coordination among them so that they can work more effectively.
Kshetra Pracharak Shri Swant Ranjan said sewa cannot be a business. He said the blind
alley of the western model has led to many misconceptions. Representatives of many service organisations including Shri Ashok Priyamvad from Vikas Bharati Siwan, Smt Jyoti from Jyoti Kalyan Kendra, Shri Sudama from Gram Vikas Manch, etc also shared their experiences. Uttar Poorva Kshetra Sanghachalak Shri Siddhinath, RSB organising secretary Shri Sunderlakshman, Smt Rama Popali of the RSB also spoke on the occasion.
Dadhichi Dehdan Samiti function in Delhi
TIME TO THINK BEYOND SELFISHNESS
“THERE is no better deed than donating the body organs. No religion can call such a holy act as sin. Instead of living for ourselves, we should live for others and it is time to think beyond the selfishness,” said founder of Vatsalya Gram Didi Maa Sadhvi Ritambhara in Delhi on February 2. She was speaking at a function organised by Dadhichi Dehdan Samiti. Didi Maa also declared to donate her body organs after death.
Dr Meena Thakur, who donated the body of her husband after the last year’s event, said: “Don’t curse darkness, light a candle. Whenever, I think that my husband’s body organs have been useful to someone, I feel very proud. She said donation of body organ is the only way to make our soul eternal.” Divya Arya, editor of Jangyan said even after the life ends, we can continue to doing good works. She said Dadhichi Dehdan Samiti is a motivation for her.
Shri Alok Kumar, president of Dadhichi Dehdan Samiti said the only motive of the organisation is to create awareness among the people about body donation. He said in India due to the religious and old conception people don’t like to do such donations but they don’t know that through this process they will give life to somebody.
Shri Harsh Malhotra, general secretary of the Samiti said through the organisation, they have almost helped 1,000 people till date. Last year 74 people came forward to donate their body organs and they hope the number would increase every year. Prof MC Mishra, director of AIIMS, spoke about the benefits of body organs donation.
The Samiti is working for the cause of body donation for humanity in Delhi/ NCR for 24 years and till date it has provided 82 bodies to the Anatomy Departments of Government Medical Colleges in Delhi for research. The Samiti has also helped with donation of eyes to 338 persons and bones to one person for transplantation. Dr Vijay Anand Gupta and Dr Nityanand Agasthi were also present on the occasion.
COMPUTER TRAINING CENTER "SEWA PATH" INAUGURATED IN UKHIMATH, RUDRAPRAYAG
After the completion of first phase of relief work in Uttarakhand, Sewa International Bharat, carried out an intensive survey in the affected villages and realized that there are good number of educated and degree-holder youths living in these villages of Uttarakhand. But most of them are not utilizing their education and unable to play any role in the upliftment of their family and society. They are lacking in computer skills, confidence, presentation etc. Considering this, it was decided to develop their personality by adding some value and making them more useful for the family and society. Sewa International and its team had been involved in relief activities since June 2013. Shri Manver Singh Rawat, a local social worker has been appointed by SIB as a full-timer to build up better relations with people for successful run of rehabilitation projects.
keeping this in mind, a computer training center named “Sewa Path” was inaugurated in the main market of Ukhimath, Rudraprayag district on Makar Sankranti day, 14th January 2014. Hawan was performed in the presence of local peoples. As chief guest, Shri Manwar Singh Pawar, (Principal, Inter College, Ukhimath) inaugurated the center and explained its utility to the audience. Shri Devendra Padiyar, an active local social worker was also present on the occasion and addressed the youth.
So far, five computers have been installed in the center. A well qualified and experienced computer teacher, Kavita Rana is appointed to guide students. Presently, 23 students are enrolled at the center. More students are still approching to join the center. The target is to start 4 batches per day till the end of this month.
To attract more and more interested youths, a very nominal fee Rs.50/- per month is charged which is almost one fifth of normal rates. For an easy start, basic courses like Basic, MS office, internet and typing are being taught at the center. In the future, the professional courses like Photoshop, Corel Draw, Pagemaker, Tally etc will be added in the course to make them more competent for jobs. The certificate will be awarded to the students in the end of the course after examinations. SIB has engaged local computer suppliers, furniture-makers, electricians etc. in the establishment of center to provide them more opportunity for business and earnings.
Sewa International Bharat is also planning to start two more computer centers in other blocks of Rudraprayag district by the end of March.
A mationalist tribute to a nationalist social leader
THE LEGEND CALLED BALASAHEB DESHPANDE
The late Ramakant Keshav alias Balasaheb Deshpande, founder of Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, was a top ranker legendary personality in modern Bharat. Born in a traditional Brahmin family on December 26, 1913 at Amaravati in Vidarbha, he became an RSS swayamsevak in his teen age and received indelible impressions in patriotism, discipline and Hindutva. A graduate from Hislop College, Nagpur, Balasaheb was appointed by the then Ravi Shankar Shukla Government to work in tribal dominated Jashpur area as ‘Regional Officer’ of the ‘Tribal Development Scheme’. In this area, Christian missionaries were those days converting the simple tribal people to their religion by using all means fair and foul. The entire education system was controlled by these missionaries there. No other agency was allowed to work without the permission of the missionaries. Balasaheb opened 100 government schools in 1948 in just one go in the tribal areas to counter the missionaries work, overruling all objections and difficulties. Surprised at this achievement, Thakkar Bappa visitedJashpur and as a token of appreciation, gave him Rs 251/- as prize for his accomplishment. But the goverenment machinery was not in a mood to give free hand to Balasaheb in his mission in Jashpur. Shri Guruji advised him to give up the government job and start an independent mission for the welfare of the tribal brethrens. The Christian missionaries had been working in Bharat since 1793 with a mission to convert the people here to Christianity. These missionaries concentrated in Bastar, Chhota Nagpur, Assam and North-eastern areas and other tribal areas of the country. Balasaheb vowed to change this situation and with a firm resolve he resigned from government job and started the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in 1951. He was assisted by Morubhau Ketkar, a senior Pracharak of RSS on the instructions of Shri Guruji. The Jashpur principality and its royal family always supported the activities of Kalyan Ashram. The work was two-fold: To bring back those tribals who were converted to Christianity by fraud, allurement or some other means and to inculcate in them a strong sense of belonging to the Bharatiya culture and religion. At the same time, the Niyogi Commission, appointed by the Madhya Pradesh Government exposed the anti- national character of these Christian missions and their missionaries. Balasaheb accepted the challenge of the tribal areas and with his undaunted courage, untiring zeal and uncompromising commitment plunged into the mission of his life. Education was his basic instrument to reach to the tribal people and once he made a place for himself, he served them treating them as his ‘god’. He gave them love and affection which they wanted very much and in turn realised the highest satisfaction of his life- both mundane and spiritual. Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram is a mission of national renaissance. It has been the most difficult and daunting task. Balasaheb pioneered this seemingly difficult mission and achieved success. The late Ramakant Keshav alias Balasaheb Deshpande, founder of Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, was a top ranker legendary personality in modern Bharat. Born in a traditional Brahmin family on December 26, 1913 at Amaravati in Vidarbha, he became an RSS swayamsevak in his teen age and received indelible impressions in patriotism, discipline and Hindutva. A graduate from Hislop College, Nagpur, Balasaheb was appointed by the then Ravi Shankar Shukla Government to work in tribal dominated Jashpur area as ‘Regional Officer’ of the ‘Tribal Development Scheme’. In this area, Christian missionaries were those days converting the simple tribal people to their religion by using all means fair and foul. The entire education system was controlled by these missionaries there. No other agency was allowed to work without the permission of the missionaries. Balasaheb opened 100 government schools in 1948 in just one go in the tribal areas to counter the missionaries work, overruling all objections and difficulties. Surprised at this achievement, Thakkar Bappa visitedJashpur and as a token of appreciation, gave him Rs 251/- as prize for his accomplishment. But the goverenment machinery was not in a mood to give free hand to Balasaheb in his mission in Jashpur. Shri Guruji advised him to give up the government job and start an independent mission for the welfare of the tribal brethrens. The Christian missionaries had been working in Bharat since 1793 with a mission to convert the people here to Christianity. These missionaries concentrated in Bastar, Chhota Nagpur, Assam and North-eastern areas and other tribal areas of the country. Balasaheb vowed to change this situation and with a firm resolve he resigned from government job and started the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in 1951. He was assisted by Morubhau Ketkar, a senior Pracharak of RSS on the instructions of Shri Guruji. The Jashpur principality and its royal family always supported the activities of Kalyan Ashram. The work was two-fold: To bring back those tribals who were converted to Christianity by fraud, allurement or some other means and to inculcate in them a strong sense of belonging to the Bharatiya culture and religion. At the same time, the Niyogi Commission, appointed by the Madhya Pradesh Government exposed the anti- national character of these Christian missions and their missionaries. Balasaheb accepted the challenge of the tribal areas and with his undaunted courage, untiring zeal and uncompromising commitment plunged into the mission of his life. Education was his basic instrument to reach to the tribal people and once he made a place for himself, he served them treating them as his ‘god’. He gave them love and affection which they wanted very much and in turn realised the highest satisfaction of his life- both mundane and spiritual. Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram is a mission of national renaissance. It has been the most difficult and daunting task. Balasaheb pioneered this seemingly difficult mission and achieved success.
A nationalist tribute to a nationalist social leader
THE LEGEND CALLED BALASAHEB DESHPANDE
The late Ramakant Keshav alias Balasaheb Deshpande, founder of Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, was a top ranker legendary personality in modern Bharat. Born in a traditional Brahmin family on December 26, 1913 at Amaravati in Vidarbha, he became an RSS swayamsevak in his teen age and received indelible impressions in patriotism, discipline and Hindutva. A graduate from Hislop College, Nagpur, Balasaheb was appointed by the then Ravi Shankar Shukla Government to work in tribal dominated Jashpur area as ‘Regional Officer’ of the ‘Tribal Development Scheme’. In this area, Christian missionaries were those days converting the simple tribal people to their religion by using all means fair and foul. The entire education system was controlled by these missionaries there. No other agency was allowed to work without the permission of the missionaries. Balasaheb opened 100 government schools in 1948 in just one go in the tribal areas to counter the missionaries work, overruling all objections and difficulties. Surprised at this achievement, Thakkar Bappa visited Jashpur and as a token of appreciation, gave him Rs 251/- as prize for his accomplishment. But the goverenment machinery was not in a mood to give free hand to Balasaheb in his mission in Jashpur. Shri Guruji advised him to give up the government job and start an independent mission for the welfare of the tribal brethrens. The Christian missionaries had been working in Bharat since 1793 with a mission to convert the people here to Christianity. These missionaries concentrated in Bastar, Chhota Nagpur, Assam and North-eastern areas and other tribal areas of the country. Balasaheb vowed to change this situation and with a firm resolve he resigned from government job and started the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in 1951. He was assisted by Morubhau Ketkar, a senior Pracharak of RSS on the instructions of Shri Guruji. The Jashpur principality and its royal family always supported the activities of Kalyan Ashram. The work was two-fold: To bring back those tribals who were converted to Christianity by fraud, allurement or some other means and to inculcate in them a strong sense of belonging to the Bharatiya culture and religion. At the same time, the Niyogi Commission, appointed by the Madhya Pradesh Government exposed the anti- national character of these Christian missions and their missionaries. Balasaheb accepted the challenge of the tribal areas and with his undaunted courage, untiring zeal and uncompromising commitment plunged into the mission of his life. Education was his basic instrument to reach to the tribal people and once he made a place for himself, he served them treating them as his ‘god’. He gave them love and affection which they wanted very much and in turn realised the highest satisfaction of his life- both mundane and spiritual. Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram is a mission of national renaissance. It has been the most difficult and daunting task. Balasaheb pioneered this seemingly difficult mission and achieved success.
A NEW DESTINATION,A NEW HOSPITAL AND A NEW CHALLENGE
Qualifying as an Operating Department Practitioner back in 2005 I could never have imagined that eight years later
I would be preparing a theatre ready for a list of paediatric cleft lip and palate patients in a hospital in the Maharashtra region of India.
As the recipient of the 2013 Hilda Winifred Mears Award I was able to travel with the Northern Cleft Foundation’s team as they journeyed to the Dr Hedgewar Hospital in Aurangabad to perform life changing surgery on those who would otherwise be unable to access this form of speciality treatment.
The Northern Cleft Foundation (NCF) is a UK based charity founded in 2001 by Dr George Teturswamy, a consultant anaesthetist from Blackburn. The NCF charity has previously visited a number of cities in India to perform their charitable work including Mysore, Hyderabad, Irinjalakuda and Nagpur. In 2012 the NCF were introduced to an organisation called SEWA UK, a humanitarian charity of Indian origin, and successful links were formed that resulted in Aurangabad being the next destination for the Northern Cleft Foundation. Excited anticipation seemed to be the mood amongst the team as we ﬂew out of the UK. Although many had been on previous trips before with the NCF this was a new destination, a new hospital and a new challenge. I had started a new job at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester only four weeks prior to this trip so had recent experience of working in a new environment however I didn’t know what to expect at the Dr Hedgewar Hospital and neither did the team.
The reception we received in Aurangabad was fantastic; we were even recipients of an unexpected presentation by the medical director and representatives from The Dr Hedgewar Hospital as we arrived at the airport. The warm and friendly welcome was to set the tone for the entire trip. Day one and a 5:45am wakeup call by our hotel reception was followed by a short bus journey through Aurangabad which brought us to the Dr Hedgewar Hospital. The hospital was founded in 1989 on land donated by the Maharashtra government. It began with seven doctors and a philosophy to re-establish values in medical practice including honesty, teamwork, service orientation and care with cure. Through an impressive program of non -government funded development it now has over 45 doctors and eight operating theatres as well as facilitating numerous community projects enabling the hospitals objectives of providing quality and affordable healthcare with a focus on the poor and to work as an instrument of social change to be achieved. The Northern Cleft Foundation had the honour of being one of the ﬁrst teams to work in some of the hospitals new operating theatres and as such we had a short inauguration ceremony to official open them. The previous evening’s discussions regarding the numbers and types of patients expected, the equipment which would be available and the theatre environment itself was now to be revealed!
I was allocated to theatre two along with an experienced paediatric anaesthetic consultant. As a multi skilled practitioner keen to maintain my skills in both scrub and anaesthestics the exposure to paediatric anaesthesia on this trip would undoubtedly beneﬁt my continuing professional development. I was aware that I had an opportunity to increase my knowledge and skills in this specialised area by working alongside many experienced clinicians and practitioners. The NCF is a consultant led team who are keen to share their expertise with the local clinicians and staff as well as the surgical and anaesthetic trainees who make the trip. I was relieved on day one to see that the anaesthetic machine in theatre was similar to those we have in the UK and not the old Boyles machines that had been present on previous trips. There was the ﬂ urry of activity as we all assumed our roles in preparing the theatres for the lists. The local theatre nurses had prepared some pre packed bags of syringes and venﬂ ons etc and made biurets and ﬂ uids readily available. There was also an emergency tray in each theatre with a bag and valve mask and some emergency drugs. The preparation of a safe perioperative environment has always been important in the delivery of a high standard of patient care but I reﬂ ected especially so in those environments that are new and unfamiliar to you. The standard of care the Northern Cleft Foundation team delivers is the same high standard as delivered in the UK, it was important not to send for our ﬁ rst patient until everyone in the team was ready and the theatre environment safely prepared. We had a small delay to our list as we waited for an oxygen cylinder to be brought to theatre. The local nurses pointed out that we had a pipeline supply but we explained as is our practice in the UK we required an oxygen cylinder supply as a backup for safety reasons. This also gave us time to put up an improvised count sheet on the theatre wall as there wasn’t a swab board in theatre. These and other small differences in practices led to friendly discussions and exchanges of ideas over the course of the week as we worked together in partnership with the local nursing staff. The local scrub nurses were very keen and enthusiastic to learn as much as they could. They were very interested in the sharps pads that we had brought with us and readily adopted them along with the swab count, using the count sheets we had put together. There were even attempts by the local nurses to teach us to count to ﬁ ve in Hindi. Nothing was too much trouble for the local team as requests for equipment and supplies were enthusiastically facilitated wherever possible. A few brief power failures and a minor problem with an autoclave were soon overcome as everyone pulled together. Alongside increasing my knowledge and skills in paediatric anaesthesia one of the areas of practice that this trip has had an impact on is resource management. Utilising resources appropriately has become increasingly important within the NHS in recent years and this experience in India deﬁ nitely reinforced this point. With limited resources available we all were careful to utilise everything and waste nothing. From an anaesthetic perspective the trip generated plenty of challenges for the team. We had patients with varying degrees of cleft deformity ranging in ages from three months to 57 years. We also came across patients with Pierre Robin syndrome, a patient with Goldenhar syndrome and one young patient with Treacher Collins Syndrome, all cases requiring expert airway management. In terms of difﬁ cult intubation kit we had a number of different laryngoscope blades available including Macintosh, Miller and a McCoy. We also had the usual bougies and airway adjunts along with a glidescope which we had on standby for all potentially difﬁ cult cases and of course we had expertise. The patient with Treacher Collins came to us in theatre two and I had every bit of kit that I thought we might need along with three consultant anaesthetists and three anaesthetic registrars. A mac 2 blade, a stylet and that expertise made for a smooth intubation.
Over the course of the week we successfully operated on 86 patients utilising three theatres, often worked 12 hours a day. It was hard work but incredibly rewarding and the teamwork was exceptional. I learnt a great deal from all those I worked with. Patient care is at the heart of everything we do as healthcare professionals wherever in the world that care is delivered. I would deﬁ nitely recommend utilising the skills we have as theatre practitioners to participate in voluntary work overseas. The Hilda Winifred Mears Award made this trip possible for me and I am very grateful to the AfPP for their support.
I feel privileged to have worked with such an incredible team alongside our dedicated friends at the Dr Hedgewar Hospital. The partnership between the Northern Cleft Foundation and the Hospital, together with the support of SEWA UK, looks set to continue to develop and ﬂ ourish for many years to come. Hopefully the success of this ﬁ rst trip by the Northern Cleft Foundation to Aurangabad will lead towards developing a cleft lip and palate service in the area and helping the many patients who would otherwise have difﬁ culty accessing such a specialised area of care.
Claire Phillips ODP
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester.
Claire Phillips ODP
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, ManchesterClaire Phillips ODP
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, ManchesterClaire Phillips ODPThe Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester
Solapur based Udyogvardhini’s Chandrika Chauhan grooms 400 women
entrepreneurs; makes around 15,000 women self-reliant
HOUSEWIFE GROOMING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
undefinedTrapped in troubles from all sides Smt Chandrika Chauhan had decided to migrate from Solapur with her family in 1993, as she did not have meals to feed her family and all sources of income had dried. At a fine morning she cleaned her old sewing machine and took up tailoring work from neighbours. That activity has now turned into a big movement joined by thousands of women in and around Solapur city. Not only saving the families of around 1,000 women who were at the verge of disintegration, through counselling and also rehabilitating even the unwed mothers, Smt Chauhan has also made many visually challenged girls self-reliant. Chitrakoot Shilpi Nanaji Deshmukh is her inspiration, who in 1997 turned down her request to join the Samaj Shilpi Yojna and directed her to start women empowerment work in Solapur. The name Udyogvardhini was also given by Nanaji. Since then she did not look back and is moving forward setting new milestones in women empowerment. Affectionately called ‘Bhabhi’ among the women of her group, she always avoid acting as a leader, rather joins all the activities whether kitchen, counselling, tailoring or other activities as a ground worker. When asked how she started the work she says: “Though I had started the work in 1996, I started expanding the work in different localities in 1997. Since I have also worked as a corporator in Solapur Municipal Corporation for some time I was aware of the problems of women. Later I dedicated myself to Udyogvardhini connecting women in distress with any of the activity of Udyogvardhini.”
Today Udyogvardhini mainly runs three kinds of activities—catering, counselling and old age home. It is firm not to start its own industry on large scale, rather develops individual entrepreneurs. Undoubtedly women, both in rural and urban areas, do not get sufficient money for investment, because even the family members do not trust them for investment. That is why Smt Chauhan suggests minimum Rs 500 and maximum Rs 10,000 investment by women for starting any activity. Majority of the women who are now doing good business had started their activity with this meager investment only.
The activities started for self-reliance include Beauty Parlour, Bhaakri Making, Book Binding, Catering Service, Fire Wood Seller, House Maid Placement, Small Grocery Shop, Tailoring Shop, Vegetable Seller, Groundnut Chatni Making, Manufacturing Units, FMCG Products, Gift Items, Handicrafts, etc. Apart from it the training is imparted for chalk making, cookery class, incense sticks making, hand paper making, hand work on dress materials, rangoli workshop, adult literacy programme, self-help group orientation, two-wheeler driving, etc.
“Majority of the women visiting us come with some or the other trouble. In that condition telling them to first get training and arrange money for investment is impractical. The hunger cannot be satisfied with speeches. First we discuss with them their real family condition. I personally talk to each and every individual at least for an hour to understand their condition—what she knows and what she can do. If she can contribute in catering, she is connected to that work at any of the three places. We everyday prepare the meals for at least 2,000 people. Those who know tailoring work are told to prepare any such item. They are paid even for this evaluation work,” Smt Chauhan points out. The old age home has proved to be a boon for the destitute women. The interesting experiment done by Udyogvardhini is for empowerment of visually challenged girls. The government provides them some help till the age of 18. But the girls, who do not have families, face many hardships at that age. Such girls are accommodated in the old age home. This has been named as Mangal Drishti Bhavan—‘Mangal’ is for old age people and ‘Drishti’ for blind girls. All girls are first taught to carry out the house hold work including preparing meals, cleaning floors, cleaning utensils, etc. Their lodging and boarding is free and they normally earn about Rs 3,000 per month. Eight of such girls have now been married off. Even now they come from their houses for work.
The women who can work independently are allowed to work with Udyogvardhini only for two years and then they are motivated to start their own work thus making them ‘owner’ and not the ‘worker’. They are fully trained in all activities like taking raw material, preparing items, marketing, billing, taking orders, supplying material and even filing tax returns. Udyogvardhini enjoys taking up new challenges. Lok Mangal Group which owns a chain of retail outlets and Malls in Solapur organises mass weddings in the city every year. “We provide them at least one lakh chapattis on every occasion. Like vegetables, chapattis cannot be prepared in advance. But we have the manpower to provide the chapattis in the shortest duration. We have the record of preparing one lakh chapattis in 22 hours. We are doing it since 2009,” Smt Chauhan says. Udyogvardhini has emerged as a hope for the women in distress. Its team is efficient enough to extend all possible help required by an individual. It boosted the confidence level of the average women to the extent that they now export their products to developed countries like the USA and UK.
LARGEST SOLAR COOKING SESSION
As many as 3,484 children from over 80 schools participated in the largest solar cooking initiative Suryakumbh in Uttan village near Bhayander, Mumbai on January 4. The event has qualified as an entry to the Guinness Book of World Records. The emergence of renewable sources of energy as an answer to the imminent exhaustion of conventional energy sources pushed a Bhayander NGO, Keshav Srushti, to start with the most influential members of society, children.
“We provided each child with his own solar cooker to assemble and, later, take home to share the knowledge with his family and friends. This activity will help them understand the importance of solar energy and also how it works,” said Satish Sinnarkar, vice-president of Keshav Srushti, who claims they got more applications than the number they had allotted for the activity. The earlier record was set last year at Jalna in Maharashtra, where 2,200 students took part in a solar cooking session. The children were amazed by the construction and working of these solar cookers and were surprisingly well informed.