BEING THE CHANGE - HEALTHCARE CAMPS FOR WOMEN

by Shreya Shukla

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About the project :

We are 10 students of XLRI, Jamshedpur, working on an initiative to spread awareness about Health and Hygiene in a socially deprived community in Jamshedpur.

While doing our research in identifying needs of an economically backward community, just on the back side of one of the most esteemed B-Schools in Indian, XLRI, we met Meera. A lady in her elate 30’s. Here is her story.

She works as a contract laborer, doing gardening for a very prestigious company in Jamshedpur. Her husband is a casual laborer, working as a mason on construction sites. They, during a good month are able to make up to 10,000/-  rupees but during a bad month, they aren’t able to get even 4000/-
She was married at an early age, maybe 16-17 she recollects. She has a son and a daughter. Son is about 14 years and daughter around 11.


As we went to her house, we found a choolah near the doorsteps with a pile of dry firewood next to it. This was her cooking area. She had a gas connection but collecting dry woods and cooking on a choolah seemed more economical. There was a constant smell coming from the drain just below her doorsteps that’s was partially covered. She had her mother-in-law assisting in cooking while her daughter, wearing a torn sweater in the chilling cold of Jamshedpur, studying. She was clueless about her son and apprehensive that her husband would be drinking somewhere. She recounts that her husband spends most of his earnings on liquor and cigarettes. She has her doubts about her son that he has also started smoking. She is still unaware of the health issues related to liquor and tobacco and seems concerned only on the financial losses created by them. As her daughter came to have some water, she took a glass and filled it from a tap outside her house. She seemed unaware of boiling of water. Later she guided us to a clinic run by a pathologist.

The pathologist sits in the community during the evenings and works alongside a doctor during daytime. He consults sick patients from the community, collects samples and on consultation with the doctor he works for, provides medicines as well. He also helps administer medication for a few patients, especially ones suffering from T.B.

He tells that people are generally unaware and ignorant of health and hygiene. Since going to a doctor or hospital costs a day of work, people tend to avoid consultation until things start getting worse.  At most a few visit him and insist on medication ignoring his advice to visit the hospital. Many people still believe that health problem is caused by ‘Nazar lagna’ and tend to visit Tantriks than a doctor. Smoking, drinking is a big issue in the community as well. Alongside that, pregnant women tend to work during pregnancy and hardly go for a pre-delivery consultation. As a result, most of them suffer from anemia. Even kids suffer a lot from anemia.

After numerous such conversations with people around, we felt the need for change. Hence, we decided to conduct health camp in the community, focused mostly on women because we believe women are capable of enforcing health and hygiene in the family as well as curb the menace of drinking and tobacco consumption. Also, they need to be more aware of the health issues they face pertaining to water, drains flowing next to cooking area and use of choolah. They need also be aware of medical needs during pregnancy to ensure the health of the new-born. Unfortunately, infant mortality rates are one of the highest in Jharkhand.

Alongside this, we plan on distributing warm clothes to women in the community and assist the clinic with a weighing machine to assist in monitoring growth of child in the womb, monitor weights of children and an apparatus to test hemoglobin so that he can detect anemia and coordinate with aanganbadis to provide free medication provided by the government.

The health camp would be organized in December and would require 5000/- for Doctor’s fees and setup. The warm clothing for around 200 members of community would cost 20000/-
Medication needed by the doctor would cost another 2500/- and apparatus cost to upgrade the clinic needs 2500/-
 

Every donation for the purpose would bring a drastic change in the community moving it towards better living conditions.

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I support "BEING THE CHANGE - HEALTHCARE CAMPS FOR WOMEN" and have contributed towards the campaign!

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I support "BEING THE CHANGE - HEALTHCARE CAMPS FOR WOMEN" and have contributed towards the campaign!