Beneficiaries of the ET's integrated programme
THE EARTH TRUST’S PRO-HEALTH PROGRAMME REPORT – JANUARY TO MARCH 2017
The Earth Trust’s (ET) village women’s health programme moved on to the next village, Pudhugatty during January and March 2017. Considering the need to unify women’s health and empowerment together with producing our own (safe) food needs at our backyards, an integrated programme encompassing health, skill development and organic farming was framed out and implemented in Pudhugatty.
Fourteen village women both old and the newly married were trained on health issues, imparted skill develpoment through knitting and tailoring and trained to grow vegetables and herbs in their kitchen gardens. Thus a road map to success has been laid out by integrating the care of women with other services.
During the programme, the women were grouped into two; one group attended the health classes in the morning session while the other group attended the skill development classes and vice-versa. The modules of the ET’s health programme are framed to provide holistic health benefits (physical, mental and psychological well-being) to the women, while the skill development training aims at their economic independence and self-reliance.
Immediate and long-term impact of the programme
The participants of the programme could experience the fruits immediately and success stories were many. Though the women attending the programme lived in the same village, they were strangers to one another once. Now there is a sense of oneness and togetherness, sharing and caring, ripping apart some of the mental barriers and family worries.
The health programme had its immediate impact for the trainee women and their family. Whatever was being thought in the health classes were soon benefitting their own family members too who have been suffering from various ailments.
The children of a trainee Ranjini, had loss of appetite for about a year. She administered the herbal medicine Ashta Chooranam for her children, for 3 days, morning and evening. Soon the little girls started eating normally!
Similarly, Ranjini prescribed Adathoda syrup to her relative, Lakshmi aged 60 for the acute chest cold and there was gradual improvement in her health condition.
Another trainee named Nithya prescribed Adathoda syrup to her 60 year old father, a cancer and asthma patient who developed chest cold due to sudden weather changes. The syrup worked effectively and her father could forgo of the inhaler.
Sangeetha, the trainee of the health programme suffered from severe pain and swelling due to vein varicose. Application of Cypress Oil cured the pain and swelling, overnight.
The father-in-law of another participant of the health programme, Sharmila have been suffering from knee pain which withheld him from walking to his farm which is quite far away from their village. From what was taught in the programme, Sharmila administered Peacock Oil to his knee followed by hot water pressing in the knee area. This prescription seemed to work with gradual decrease in the pain.
The 50 year old Anusiya who have been suffering from menstrual pain issues and have to take medicines for over 30 years, started taking home-made remedies as taught in the health programme, which worked miraculously!
Not only the health programme, the skill development programme had its impact among the village women. A follow-up visit by the ET’s health team, came to light that the young Nithya who successfully completed the tailoring and knitting lessons could soon start her work in the village and could make handful of money, thanks to the ET’s skill development programme.
Organic farming and exposure visit to ET’s resource farm
Apart from the health and skill development programme, the participants were also apprised of the benefits of organic farming. They were encouraged to grow their home-need vegetables in their backyards. Fortunately, some of the women were well aware of the natural ways of farming. One of the participants, Poorni have been growing vegetables in her small kitchen garden for her family. A lemon tree stands besides her home which is fed with bio-fertilizers. Now she could sell the organic lemon through the Earth Trust!
At the end of the ET’s integrated programme, the beneficieries were taken to a one-day exposure visit to the Earth Trust’s Holabettu Resource Farm, where they were given training to grow vegetables and herbs organically. The exposure visit enriched their knowledge on natural farming methods which they can spread to their native communities.
Relaxation exercise for the programme participants
Herbal medicine preparation during the programme
Lessons on tailoring for village women by ET staff
Knitting practice sessions for the participants
Exposure visit to the ET's resource farm