Nurturing the Roots
Health is still a prime cause of concern in the tribal belts of the country that are deprived of basic facilities such as sanitation, hygiene, availability of drinking water, etc. This gives birth to a number of epidemics; some of which can even prove fatal due to unavailability of proper medical treatment and that too at proper time. Brethren residing in slums cannot afford to avail costlier medical treatment in cities. They even don’t have money to travel to cities. The cost of medical treatment is also spiraling day by day with the rising inflation.
Inspired from the life and teachings of Dr Ambedkar and the spirit of nationalism, a trust has been set up and named after Dr Ambedkar. Moved by the plight of tribal brethren in the remote regions of Gujarat, Dr Ambedkar Vanvasi Kalyan Trust initiated the noble work of providing healthcare in the region so as to lead them a healthy life that will be dedicated towards the nation.
With the help of seva karyakartas of Surat city, 1000 families from the surrounding 10 sevavastis (slum areas) have been selected and health awareness programmes are being conducted for them. Education regarding primary health & hygiene is provided to them. In order to render medical help at their doorsteps, a medical mobile unit with a doctor, helper and at least one volunteer, visits these sevavastis to provide medical facilities to the people of the area and keep in touch with these 1000 families and also works to promote social & national awareness filled with the spirit of patriotism. The unit also provides equipment useful to the bed-ridden and orthopedically challenged people, free of cost. Patients & families availing these facilities are visited and a sincere effort is made to share their pains & sorrows. The mobile clinic & a permanent clinic near sevavasti have been proved successful in establishing and increasing the relations with many families and in creating health awareness among them.
Besides, effort is being made to join them with the mainstream of social development and bring them together on a platform through occasions such as Dr Ambedkar Jayanti, Raksha bandhan, Bharatmata poojan, etc. Various festivals are celebrated with religious fervour and the karyakartas make them realise the importance and principle behind celebrating each and every festival.
In the heart of Surat city, covering an area of 5000 sq m, two beautiful buildings have been built that provide facilities for various activities for all round development and welfare of Schedule Caste, Schedule Tribe & economical backward people. Hostel facility has been provided to the students of Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe attending various degree or diploma courses at the university level. The hostel has an in-house kitchen and a dining hall to fulfill the necessary food requirement of the students.
Allopathic treatment is costlier and is beyond the reach of these economically backward people. Moreover, the allopathic medicines have a lot of side effects. Therefore, the trust decided to give Ayurvedic treatment (the oldest treatment practiced in Bharat) to these people. In order to revive this treatment, the trust has established Kamdhenu (Panchgavya) Medicines Dispensing Center where Ayurvedic treatment is given for various diseases such as vitiligo, eczema, asthma, joint pain, psoriasis, etc.
Dr Ambedkar Vanavasi Kalyan Trust has struck a proper balance by blending education with self-employment. A computer training centre has established to make available computer education facility to the deprived children of slum areas. They are given training in MS office, internet surfing, DTP, etc. A well equipped library quenches their thirst of knowledge where a wide collection of reference books as well as subject books have been made available. Biographies of world famous personalities are also kept in the library.
In order to develop a scientific approach among students right from the primary level, a Gyan Vigyan Centre has been opened. Conducting scientific experiments personally leads to deep interest in science which may help the budding scientist in the child. The trust has also completed the work of building a hostel with all necessary facilities, with a capacity of housing 100 students on a plot of 15000 sq m at Ahwa in Dang. Dang district is totally occupied by the forest dwelling tribes of Gujarat and the hostel is part of a project that aims at the all round development of forest dwelling brethren living in the jungles of Dang. Under the guidance of experts in agricultural field, farmers of south Gujarat have been trained in a specially evolved method of farming (rice cultivation with 4 step method) which has twice or thrice production as compared to the traditional method.
The trust is offering many short term courses. These courses have helped students in generating self employment thereby improving their socio-economic conditions. Self-help groups have been started for women members who have attended various self employment training programmes of the trust and have become financially self-sufficient. A special care has been taken to keep the young generation especially from the lower economic class in touch with the trust, through library and reading room facility. A group of fifteen sisters have been constituted who extend their help in organising programmes for health, educational awareness, etc. Some of the teachers giving training in various self employment training programmes have themselves taken their training from the centres of the trust and are now providing their services in the respective fields.