“No sophistry can explain away the evidence that the many skeletons in the village present.”
-Mahatma Gandhi (As quoted in the book “Mahatma” Vol 2. Pp. 99)
One of the foremost problems of Independent India has been poor facilities in the rural areas. From basic sanitation to infrastructure, the rural population has been grappling with years of negligence and underdevelopment. Especially in areas of health and hygiene, sanitation, primary health care facilities and preventive care, rural population in India is far behind the urban sectors or even towns. YogaKshema had always sought for viable opportunities to extend its work into the rural areas especially in creating health and hygiene awareness amongst the rural population, specifically the women and children.
In answer to our quest, we were approached by a not-for-profit organization NIVAASA, which is dedicated to redefining the rural landscape through culture sensitive, site driven, cost effective design and construction. NIVAASA has undertaken a project for constructing/remodeling the houses in a village – Timmayyanadoddi, in Anekal Taluk near Bangalore. Timmayyanadoddi is a hamlet that consists of a few over 20 houses and has an ideal setting for YogaKshema to be involved.
Keeping in view our mission and vision, YogaKshema has proposed to
- Assist in promoting health and hygiene awareness amongst the villagers
- Collaborate with and help in reaching out to other organizations who are involved in rural empowerment to conduct developmental activities in the village of Timmayyanadoddi.
- Bring in resource persons who can guide the villagers on various aspects related to administration, health, education and utilization of government schemes, etc.
- Provide support and care for the families to improve their Quality of Life through methods of education, individual/group counseling and support group systems.
We are happy to report the following developments:
- YogaKshema has employed a full time community worker who visits the village everyday in order to actively carry out the community intervention program on health care and education.
- YogaKshema sponsored a visit to the Vivekananda Memorial Hospital in Saragur for selected villagers from Timmayyanadoddi along with the community worker. There, the participants were provided training in health and hygiene with specific focus on women’s care and personal hygiene.
- The participants returned and educated the other villagers on implementing hygienic practices in their daily lives. The community worker is also actively involved in supervising these initiatives.
- The community worker is also involved in encouraging the children in the community to attend the schools regularly. She has been successful in getting many children who had been irregular in attending the schools to become more regular.
- Some children who had dropped out of school have now been admitted to a nearby residential Government school and are successfully continuing their education.
- The villagers have also started their own Self-help groups to provide financial assistance to residents in their community.