Lydia interacting with tribal women
Generally, when we share updates we focus on immunization camps run by Seva Mandir. But this time we would like to share the inputs of Lydia Walker who is from London and joined Seva Mandir as a volunteer. She had always been interested in the social sector and wanted to spend a few months volunteering in India. She recently visited one of the immunization camp run by Seva Mandir in Dabban village.
Here are her views, her insights from the field:
“Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit an immunisation camp at a village in Girwa Block. It’s 10km off the highway and has only recently become accessible by road. Households are dotted across the hilly landscape, surrounded by farmland which at this time of year is rock hard, dry and dusty. Sheep, goats and cows nose the barren ground. It’s over 40 degrees.
Many local people travel daily to the cities in search of work; we see them in crowded jeeps, men and children sitting on the rooftops. The children walk through the hills to reach the government school.
On our way into the village we pick up Lali, who is part of a Seva Mandir programme that trains local women to assist with pregnancy and births. As a Traditional Birth Attendant, Lali was six months ago responsible for the safe delivery of a breech baby. Without her intervention, she is certain the mother and baby would have died.
The local women know and trust Lali, so she is present at the immunisation camp to offer support and guidance. Women and children are already waiting patiently for the nurse when we arrive – a testament to Seva Mandir’s work educating people on the importance of immunisation.
Since the introduction of these camps, immunisation rates have increased from 5% to 37%. That means far fewer children are dying of diseases like tuberculosis, tetanus, measles, and polio.
The nurse changes into her beautiful white sari and lays out her equipment and records on a rug. More women and babies arrive and sit around her, speaking quietly and waiting their turn. The nurse administers immunisations to the babies, and gives the pregnant women a check-up.
The nurse finds that Neha, a pregnant woman in her early thirties, has a dangerously low iron level, putting her and the baby at serious risk. She refers Neha to the free clinic for pregnant women at the local hospital. Without interventions like this, women like Neha and her baby, living in remote areas miles from the nearest hospitals, are at risk of life-threatening complications during or after birth.
It was amazing to see this work in action. What a difference a day makes. Thank you for supporting an organisation that saves lives!”
I hope Lydia’s views have motivated you too to continue to be a part of this journey of providing immunization to these children and women. Last year, with the support from friends like you 3579 children were reached out through our immunization camps.
We are happy to share with you that recently we had participated in the GlobalGiving Photo Contest 2017 and our photo secured 1st position in the Hope category. All thanks to friends like you who had voted for our photo and helped us win the contest.
We are also excited to share with you that, on Wednesday July 12th, GlobalGiving will be matching donations in the GG Rewards Bonus Day. On this day donations will be matched by 50% and new recurring donations will be matched by 100%.
Every small bit, no matter how small helps us reach closer to our goal. We do hope that you will continue to support our project. This matching fund campaign will help your contribution go deeper.
Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team
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Immunization camp in Dabban village