The Long Road to Health Service in the Jawadi Hills
The Tribal Initiative Programme in Sittiling Valley of Dharmapuri district in Tamil Nadu is 23 years old.
During these years Dr. Regi George and Dr.Lalitha Regi along with a team of 45 highly trained members initiated the health service and their programme expanded from Community health programme to Tribal Hospital, Farming initiative and Craft initiative.
The Tribal Health Initiative believes that every community has the resources needed to help themselves. Each village nominates one married woman to be trained as a Health Auxilliary, who can offer advice on good nutrition, hygiene, birth practice and simple ailments, maintain records on important health events in the village and act as facilitators for all Community development work.
Aosada and Sulochana are two young educated married women from the Jawhadi hills of Dhaniyamarthur village. These girls completed their high school education and got married. Asoda’s husband Swaminathan works for Sebs tribal school and Sulochana’s husband is a daily wage laborer.
Looking into the school record Asoda and Sulochana were good in their school records yet no opportunity and guidance to pursue their career. The Tribal Initiative Health Programme offered Seb’s to train two tribal girls for a certified nursing assistant course. Seb’s recognizing the talents of these young girls, enrolled them to build their capacities for a better future.
On 28th November, 2015 Asoda and Sulochana started their Journey to Sit tiling valley. The place was so calm and welcoming and the young girls seemed very enthused. Mrs. Prema oriented them about the project and the Nursing course. The admission process was completed on the same day.
Asoda and Sulochana started to interact with others on the same day. Both of them said that they wished to complete their two years of training effectively and give back to their community. They said good bye to our Coordinator with lots of Joy and Hope in their face, however holding huge responsibilities in their hearts. Many thanks to Drs. Saramma Samuel Sargeant and Ian Sargeant for supporting this initiative.
Periyapannaaparal Village is making great strides to improve its quality of life After the Trust’s visit to Periyapannaparai village, the Head man of the community took a lot of initiative to present the matter to the district Panchayat to address the water issue. To all of our surprise, the panchayat sanctioned funding to build a wall around the water source which was great as that was going to cost a lot of money. They also provided a motor to pump the water to the water tank near by.
After the wall was completed there was lot of excitement including coming to blows!!! Four of the families had direct access of water supply to their fields and the quantity of water they could avail from the source was reduced. To our dismay the women started taking all their clothes to wash at that site which would continue to pollute the water. One of the problem was they built steps to go down to the water on one side. I have attached a few photographs to help you understand the issues.
The Periyapannai community has certainly come a long way because of the school and the Balwadi. The poultry livelihood program had a few problems initially and now they have started to supply eggs to our school and have begun to do well. We have the CMC doctors visiting the village once a month. All this has created awareness about improving quality of life in the village.