Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dakshin Durgapur boys get a library of their own

"The road to knowledge begins with the turn of the page."-Anonymous

November 12th saw the inaugration of a small library in the Dakshin
Durgapur Home set up mainly by the collaborative effort of members of
CRY and PRAJAK. AID Kolkata had also been associated with the project, that's Y
Satabdi, Bhavya, Bodhisatta, Sombodhi and Indraneel –AID Kolkata
volunteers were present on this occasion at the home.
The library was dedicated to the fond memory of Subhankar,volunteer of
both Prajak and AID.The aim behind this small library is to inculcate
the habit of reading among the young kids. It consists of books of all
types ranging from stories,general knowledge to academic as well, in
both English and Bengali language.
A small inaugration programme was held which started with some
preliminary speeches by Subhankarda's father,"Dadu" and some other
guests.The kids put up a small programme after that where they sang
and recited poetry and seemed pretty enthusiastic about the
library.Even the volunteers took part in the programme enthused by
their high spirits.
Afterwards a collage made of hand prints of the kids and the
volunteers with their respective names were taken on a piece of cloth
which would be later hung in the library room.Separate identity cards
were issued for each child.The older children of the home were also
given tips by the volunteers on ways of efficiently managing the library.
After the inaugration of the library by "Dadu" a meeting was held
where Prajak members intimated all volunteers present about their
future activities in the year 2007.A common consensus was also reached
that the creation of the library mustn't mean an end to the work we
have begun-we must all ensure that it runs efficiently and that we
should try and increase the number and variety of books that are there.
We do hope that this library proves to be a success story and that the
children realize the importance of books in ones life.The successful
implementation of this project through the combined effort of all the
different organizations have been a huge boost to our confidence.We do
hope and pledge to do more work like this in the future.

Day two of the Mathurapur Primary Health Camp

As we all are aware that the primary health care center has already
been set up in Mathurapur through the tireless efforts of all the AID
Kolkata volunteers on 29th October,2006.
As per plans, today Uddalokda and I went to moniter the progress of
the project in Mathurapur; today being the second week of the Health
Care camp.
The Initial Response is phenomenal and work is going on pretty
smoothly at present.But there are some problems that everyone is facing.
This is a preliminary notification that I am sending on the
developments over the last one week and the problems that the
villagers are facing at the moment…please note-the detailed project
report of today will be sent to all very shortly.

1. Very basic Health awareness is absolutely missing among these
people.They are not even aware what can be described as being sick and
what not,when to visit a doctor and when not to.
2. Hygiene and sanitation are absolutely missing.
3. Mathurapur is largely a dry area and not much water is
available.Also coupled with this is another problem -the under-ground
water reserves are very low.So most people rely on the ponds that
collect rain water through most of the year,;in winter and summer they
all use tubewells.
Now problem with that is they are defeceating and washing/bathing in
the same pond.Hence, feacal contamination is very high.
4. People are unaware of treating problems like minor
cuts/burns/bruise etc.
5. Nutritional level is very poor and the BMI of most child patients
is abnormal.

I would also like to add a few more important aspects to this report:

When we started this healthcare centre we actually planned to just
cater to very basic cases.Now we find that miscellaneous patients with
all sorts of health issues(which can be termed as basic problems) are
coming to the camp.
Hence, the medicines etc that we had previously supplied may not
suffice and we may have to increase the spectrum of healthcare to make
it a little broader.
Also villagers there are complaining that at times the camp is not
providing all the medicines prescribed and they are being asked to buy
a few medicines from the pharmacy.They want us to address this issue.

People there urgently want us to try and start of an eye-care
centre.This is a demand which we found came from various quarters.
People also requested us to look into the possibility of whether we
can educate the villagers on how to take care of their primary health
needs.They also seemed eager to learn about the various medicinal
plants that can be produced indigenously and how they can use these
plants/herbs to cure some essential ailments.

Some others problems that came to our notice is:
· There is no toilet adjacent to the health centre .
· Not much has been done to make the people of the village and
adjacent areas aware of the health camp.
For this we have requested the members of Samaj Unnayan Kendra to make
random publicity in the villages so that more people come to know
about this and take advantage of it.

We also noticed that people there are very enthusiastic to work and
help us in any way they can.They are ready to support us in our efforts.
We at this moment need to collect more information on what the disease
profile of the place is like(abput which we will get a clear idea in
the weeks to come).
We are also in talks to make Health related surveys and also make
Health Awarenss camps.For this we need more manpower and volunteers
who can pledge their time and energy.We also would welcome any new
ideas and suggestions that may make our project better in any way