UPDATE OCTOBER 2006
Dear friends, namaskar.
After many preparations, beginning of this month we inaugurated our new clinic building. Though at present only the first half of the ground floor is almost complete, with plumbing not yet installed, the main idea of the inauguration ceremony was to invite VIPs and sympathizers to see the progress of the project and in that way hopefully inspire them to give financial support for its further development. This turned out to be successful: the chief guest, the MP (Member of Parliament) of the Bokaro region, a wealthy and influential person, was impressed and committed to help fund the completion of the ground floor.
Many other sympathizers and representatives of local NGOs also came and expressed their appreciation. The Bokaro NGO “Helping Hands”, which had already donated a pump some months ago, now also contributed a water tank for our roof, pledged to arrange for the rest of the plumbing installation materials, and donated 11 blankets for the acupuncture patient cots. A senior engineer promised to help with the planning and construction of the rest of the clinic building. Many hundreds of villagers came to see the programme, which included songs and a soccer tournament between two villages. Around one hundred people came from nearby Bokaro city.
In preparation for the event we added some more plants to our front garden area, together with boundaries of bricks and bamboo. Much more planting is still planned to further improve the appearance of the compound. A fibre-glass roof has been constructed above the front steps to protect against sun and rain, and a large project name sign has been painted onto the front wall. Several display boards have been put up in the hallway to show photos of our activities, educational material and announcements. The front of the old clinic building, now being used for storage and visitors’ accomodation, also received a paint job for better appearance.
Side by side with all the work at the clinic, village work has continued. We held one more well cleaning programme at one village and treated approx. 20 wells by disinfecting the well water and stagnant water in the village, showing the villagers how to do this easily and cheaply with bleaching powder and phenyl. Usually one well is shared by two families. The Malaria eradication programme of the govt. is also continuing; two of our staff who have been trained for this programme have surveyed 10 villages and inspected spraying work, treating and distribution of mosquito nets and distribution of anti-malaria medicine.
A new series of programmes began last month in cooperation with Nehru Yuva Kendra, (transl. Nehru Youth Centre), a govt. sponsored national NGO for youth development. It recently began its first activity in our village area and approached us to help for the first meeting of representatives of youth groups and clubs from many surrounding villages. The meeting took place in our acupuncture hall, which now also functions as a hall for education programmes and large meetings. 50-60 youths attended and discussed with us their local situation, problems and hopes for the future. It was resolved that this kind of meeting will be repeated on a monthly basis at our clinic. At the next meeting concrete youth activities will be chalked out, with the guidance and support of the local Nehru Yuva Kendra director as well as by our staff.
A meeting was held with representatives of the international NGO CARE, as its local group also conducts nutrition education programmes and is interested in further joint programmes with us, as we did with them last month at a nearby village high school.
The govt. has also announced a week for awareness and prevention of filariasis, a widespread parasitic disease which can cause intense swelling of the legs and many other organ disorders. A local meeting was held with one of our staff and 5-6 other local NGOs, to discuss new plans for treatment and prevention through education. Our clinic was designated as one of the local distribution locations for free medicines provided by the government.
Thanks to all of you for your help and ongoing interest. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to know more about the project.