Our Journey Continues
Since the inception genuine Community Health Program tended to expand and addressed the determinants of health. It included de-mystification of medicine and enabled the community to take care of not only health, but various aspects of their lives as citizens of India. Hence, new components were added, new interventions were introduced towards the broader objectives. So now we have a composite Development Program where each component is independent yet linked to the Development Program
After three decades and a half, we see that the daughters of the women whom we have worked with are now women themselves. Though the change is slow but subtle. The new generation with whom we work now is comparatively educated (though not very highly educated) and their aspirations are different. They are giving more space to their daughters than the previous generation. Our work on Community Health, Education and Income Generation has brought us close to the urban poor community over the years. The new generation of women are organized under area level Community Based Organizations- CBOs, who take leadership in their communities. They have done a lot of work to bring basic amenities to their areas, get an access to educational and health rights. They are socially and economically empowered and they use their leadership to empower other people of their communities. At present around 500 women and adolescent girls are reaching out to more than 1 lakh people of their communities through different ways. Our role is that of the trainers and facilitators, where we impart training on self-identity, importance of CBOs, their socio-economic rights etc. and facilitate them to address their problems themselves. They also believe in non-state justice redressal process and intervene for the same. Their efforts have created acceptance in their community. Many leaders say that the respect and recognition from the community is the main motivational factor for them to work for the community
At present, when on one side the leaders have taken a number of steps to improve their community lives through networking and advocacy efforts with government machineries, on the other side leaders are themselves imparting education and health training to their communities. The leaders are at the same time bringing a change to their own lives through our scholarship and income generation programs. It affirms in real sense our conviction that the communities could be empowered through empowering their leaders.
It is a journey punctuated with hopes and despair, dreams and hopelessness, a relentless struggle by the team- Sanchetana.