Second phase of our follow up camps for this academic year was on 12th March, 2016. Camps were organized at Bahirampada in the morning, wherein we examined almost 150 odd kids from Bahirampada, Toplepada and Khandeghar and at Palavpada Anantpur, wherein the 140 students from Palavpada and Palavpada Anantpur were examined.
We did see remarkable improvement in the kids from Khandeghar in terms of hygiene, de-worming and nutrition. At the same time, the better equipped village Bahirampada did not show significant improvement. The major problem is linked with the lack of involvement of the parents. We had identified certain kids with advanced problems of eyes (nystagmus, Pupil deformation..) and arranged for their travel to Mumbai. In the absence of parental support, those kids continue with the disease. While deworming and nutrition did help the kids, lack of hygiene did play major role in the skin related ailments. We would have to take more effort to improve the hygiene part and conduct a campaign for the same. Palavpada and Palavpada Anantpur kids showed more improvement in Nutrition. However, they did have issues with the ENT related issues. We have identified around 18 kids. For many of them, our doctors have given primary medication. If we don’t see the desired results, we would get them to Mumbai for the advanced treatment.
Unavailability of clean and adequate potable water was identified as the main problem in the initial stages by us. Moreover, unavailability of water created not so clean and unhygienic environment around. We had started with distributing the steel drums to each school and trained them on purifying the drinking water. Having established that, we started with water projects, wherein we helped them create a complete mechanism to extract the ground water using motor operated submersible pump, transmit to overhead high capacity tank and then distribute to wash basins, toilets and kitchen. This helped them easy availability of water to clean the place, utensils and carry out gardening. However, we have realized that despite of all these measures there is a possibility of schools not having ground water after Feb or March. Baraf Pada – recently included school – has to rely on the water – supplied on bullock-cart. We decided to take help of experts, who has huge experience of over 25 years operating in tribal region of Dharampur (in Gujarat) by way of supporting creations of local check-dams and help villagers create more sources of water. Mr Rashmin Sanghvi – renowned chartered account from Mumbai – drives this initiative with the help of locals.
This being our first step towards this, we used their presence to get some guidance on this day of the camp. Mr Sanghvi suggested lots of simple means by which we should be able to rain-water harvesting around the schools, river of the village, divert the water in such a way that it should get absorbed within the area rather than moving out with river, create check dams (made with simple material) to hold the water and recharge the surroundings. It was a privilege to have him and his team around and we would be taking this as one of the main initiatives for the next academic year too.