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Village Action News

Monthly news about the efforts of AVAG to bridge the gap between
Auroville and the villages around it.


November 2002

No. 1

 

AVAG-PIMS MEDICAL CAMPS

Free medical camps in four different villages were jointly carried out by AVAG (Auroville Villages Action Group) and PIMS (Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences), in September 02. The aim of these camps was to provide a proper medical check-up to the local villagers who do not always have any opportunity to visit good doctors. Originally, only two camps were planned under the PIMS Extension Activity. However, on AVAG's request two more camps were included in the plan. About 1000 villagers benefited from these camps.

Rare institute in India

PIMS is one of the rare institutes in India where a good medical attention is available even to the poorest population. They provide free consultation, free medication and free beds to the people in need. All they ask is to provide an attendant and food for the patient. However, in serious cases the institute arranges even that. Cataract operations, which usually cost Rs 4000.- (US $85.-), are done for Rs. 500.- (Us $11.-) there.

Dr Kiran in action

Dr. Kiran, the director of PIMS outreach service, is a disciple of Sri Aurobindo & the Mother and he has been associated with Auroville since a long time. Dr. Kiran brought with him an excellent team of expert doctors, consisting of a gynaecologist, an orthopaedist, an eye-specialist, a child-specialist as well as a general practitioner.

AVAG took up the responsibility of facilitating the whole process of theses camps from the beginning to the end. Our team of 30 development workers worked hard to ensure that all villagers concerned are able to avail of this opportunity.

Some important points observed in the plan of action by AVAG

1) Meeting with the AVAG Men's and Women's Clubs, and encouraging the club members to participate in the camps, as organisers as well as beneficiaries

2) Contacting the Panchayat Leaders, the Village Elders, the District Collector and other influential people to make them aware of the programme and ask for their cooperation

3) Painting banners and posters, with the help of women's and men's clubs, to make people aware of the camps

AVAG development worker helping the villagers4) Arranging for a suitable location for the camp to take place, making sure that the entire needed infrastructure is there. When necessary, erecting shamiyanas (colourful tents) and borrowing chairs and benches from the schools

5) On the day of the camp, meeting with each patient, filling out their 'forms', categorising them for sending to the appropriate doctor

6) Recording the comments of the doctor for every patient and assisting the doctor in every possible way

7) Following up every patient's case according to the instruction of the doctor. Particularly, where patients should go to the hospital, helping with the arrangements

Women's club members on duty

We also witnessed that our club members, particularly from women's clubs, very seriously participated in the whole process. As a result they gained a new confidence and respect among the villagers.

The doctors from PIMS attended to every patient with a lot of patience and care. As they had come prepared with their basic medical kit, several patients were treated on spot. Others were asked to come to PIMS for further medication and consultation. Some in serious condition were recommended for operation.

Our development workers have kept a close contact with the villagers in order to observe their gradual health improvement and to ensure that they have been visiting PIMS for further treatment.

With such goodwill from the doctors of PIMS and such enthusiasm from the side of AVAG and the villagers, the camps were a huge success. More than 1000 villagers benefited from it.

Contact: avagofficeauroville.org.in

http://www.auroville.org/index/avag.htm

 

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