Arvind Ashram Shala Dadade is one of the biggest resident school in Vikramgad area. They take care of around 1300 + students, which include around 350 girls. Almost 90% of the students stay there only. In the absence of sufficient place, the hostels get converted to school during the day. They have two wardens to take care of the kids. Incidentally, they don’t have any resident doctor and the wardens struggle to take the ailing kids to Vikramgad hospital.
We had started conducting camp for only girls 4 years back. There are medical camps conducted by some other NGO/Support group. However, most of the girls were not comfortable sharing their issues with the male doctors. Hence, we were approached and we conducted the medical camp only for the girls.
In this camp, highest number of cases included skin and stomach related ailments. During the rainy season, the immunity and digestive power is at all time low. Hence, many small kids find it hard some of the pulses and cereals in these days.
This school has space of bath for the girls (roughly 12 bathrooms in 350 girls), but not sufficient flowing water, which makes few girls to go out for bath to nearby streams flowing in fields. Exposure to contaminated water in these streams on regular basis leads to skin infection. There are also only 12 toilets for 350 girls. To be ready by 7 for the morning exercise, the girls need to get up at 4 am and queue up, which deprive them of sleep and further affect their digestion.
While we could provide them ample medicines for the current issues, we had a long discussions with the wardens regarding the root of the problem. We decided to donate a 3000 liter overhead tank, which can help at least 150 girls take bath indoor once these tanks are filled. It was decided that the girls from 9th to 12th would be given option. Subsequently, we would either add more of the tanks or the other girls use different time slot to take bath within the closed bathrooms.
This Ashram shala runs on the donation mainly. New buildings are coming up soon, which can segregate hostel and the study area for the boys for the time being. We are also planning to sponsor more toilets for the girls. When it comes to their food, they get hygienic breakfast, lunch and dinner, which are good in quality but may lack in minerals and vitamins to an extent. We would have more of such camps and meetings in the near future!