International Thank-You Day – January 11

International Thank You Day

International Thank You Day

HERD Foundation takes the opportunity to thank everyone on the occasion of International Thank-You Day celebrated on January 11. Belated as it may be, this singular day is marked out to thank someone for something special. And so we take this moment to thank all people, supporters and volunteers who helped us on in this great journey. We share our deepest thanks with each one of us who really deserve to be acknowledged for hand-holding and cheering us on in the fulfillment of our dreams.

This special day matters to us, as often enough in our busy routine and rigors of daily living we may forget the niceties of life. Sometimes we do not really even have the time to say these two beautiful short words “Thank You”. May be this is why the day was assigned and set aside so that we appreciate the parts played by everyone around us and who is important to us in the fulfillment of our endeavors.

The International Thank You day is a great opportunity to start of the New Year on a new note by thanking everyone. Just as the holiday season is getting over and once again we delve back into work and business, along comes this day reminding us all that something essential needs to be done. January 11 as International Thank You Day starts us on by showing appreciation to people who make our lives better.

We do believe that all of us have plentiful people to thank something for.  Perhaps it is a day that helps each one of us cultivate goodwill by expressing our gratitude. This special day may add just that much more meaning and fun by conveying and celebrating the quintessential importance of  International Thank You Day! So go ahead and say your own thank-you messages. We usually miss the opportunity to express our gratitude to friends and colleagues – let us thank each other for our countless blessings. Let us all ingrain gratitude.

THANK YOU

THANK YOU

Vision Impairment & Correctable Disabilities

Magnitude of The Problem

Magnitude of The Problem

HERD Foundation works periodically through affiliated medical institutes for correction of disabilities. In the past we have done far-reaching work on lip-cleft surgical repair interventions. We are now keen on working on vision impairment for teaching communities to maintain eye health. We look ahead to embrace the challenges in this connection that hopefully will serve in servicing people with vision disabilities.

We reinforce positive attitudes to look on persons with visual impairments to be included for these services. In the hope of creating user friendly approaches for people with visual impairments we have been ruminating to understand that very many visual disabilities are correctable conditions. This would mean we could promote an inclusive world in which all persons with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.

HERD Foundation visualizes doing this in three ways. We are working on partnerships that support medical care for vision disabilities and for prevention of conditions lead to impairments. We will improve access to healthcare, education and rehabilitation services for people in need of vision care. We want to be part of efforts that mainstream visual disability in all aspects and to empower persons with these disabilities.

It is on humanitarian grounds that HERD Foundation wishes to take an active role in the communities through their inclusion for such development projects, and to involve them in all such initiatives that will benefit them. Disabilities can thus be addressed by good Samaritans to benefit people facing barriers in finding solutions to their vision related health problems.

Our hope is to assist disadvantaged people suffering from impairments. It is really essential to help such people as they do not know that they can be treated and rediscover the full potential of their limitations. This means that HERD Foundation will offer support and play a role in breaking down prejudice towards people with disabilities.

Imagine a situation where a person with correctable visual impairment is further disabled by the attitudes of others around him. Such people can be readily treated rather than facing isolation, mistreatment and maybe even ridicule. HERD Foundation seeks to improve access to eye care, eye-care education and rehabilitation services for persons with visual impairments. We want to mainstream this disability in all aspects of empowerment for the afflicted persons.

Facts about Visual Impairment:

  • Worldwide, 285 million people are visually impaired due to various cases; 39 million of them are blind.
  • 121 million are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Almost all of them could have normal vision restored with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
  • 90% of visually impaired people live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • 51% of all blindness is due to age-related cataract, the leading cause of blindness. (Statistics taken from World Health Organization website)
Visual Impairment

Visual Impairment

HERD Foundation Medical Clinic in Pauni – The Outbacks

Pauni Clinic

                                  HERD Foundation & Lata Mangeshkar Hospital Out-Patient Clinic Inauguration at Pauni

HERD Foundation and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital established a new medical clinic in Pauni, Ramtek District that primarily serves low-income tribals and villages settled around here. Word of mouth publicity steadily draws patients in large numbers to the clinic that sits by the highway road in the main bazaar of Pauni. Initially being run three days a week – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, patients line up well in advance at the open space in front of commercial building standing just off the road.

An opening ceremony took place on September 9, 2014 for this new Out-Patient Department Clinic located on the Highway No. 7 at the Main Bazar of Village Pauni, 75 kms from Nagpur. The clinic inaugurated by Smt Roopatai Deshmukh and Vice-Dean Dr H. Kanade, NKPSIMS had local panchayat members, HERD Foundation staff and local people present for the inaugural function. Villagers looked happy that they were to get access to medical services in their village.

HERD Foundation is locally well-known because of the series of medical camps that were undertaken in the region. Looking at the dearth of medical services and on insistence of local people the decision was taken to open a local clinical center offering check-ups, diagnosis and treatment options through services of in-house doctors. The clinic hours are 10:00 to 02:30 in the afternoon. But in reality we get such a flow of patents that doctors are busy till five in the evening.

The team of doctors is experienced, compassionate and well versed in public health services who are working hard to get the patients on the road to recovery. Serious patients are assisted in getting immediate medical attention at Lata Mangeshkar Hospital at their varied departments as the case maybe – Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Surgery, Dental and ENT Departments. For the nearly 400 patients checked on six days in the clinic that opened just two weeks back, there’s been much relief.

The clinic is proving to be useful in this remote region for the largely tribal population availing of medical services. The clinic aims at providing primary care to tribal belt of patients whose numbers keep surging. The larger-than-expected numbers proves the need for such assistance in an area where there is severe shortage of doctors, nurses and primary care health providers. They get ready access to specialist doctors, to even receive emergency care in needed cases.

The Pauni Clinic is a community health center operated by HERD Foundation that’s been set up after a bit of redesigning to make healthcare more accessible to patients living in remote forested areas. Our goal is to extend medical services for these neglected people in a region where primary health care is nearly non-existent. Right now it’s looking to be a great venture and we feel sure that it will be a success. Its working great and we know for sure that in the times to come, we would have done a remarkable service.

Access to Medical Services

                                                           Patients Surging With Each Passing Day

August 9, International Day of Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Peoples Logo

International Day for World Indigenous Peoples Logo

“The interests of the indigenous peoples must be part of the new development agenda in order for it to succeed… Together, let us recognize and celebrate the valuable and distinctive identities of indigenous peoples around the world. Let us work even harder to empower them and support their aspirations. “

~~ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

August 9, demarcated as International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was proclaimed as such by UN General Assembly that set aside the day for the well being of the world’s indigenous peoples. The second decade of this special day celebrates the thematic aspiration “A Decade for Action and Dignity.” This year’s focus aims at “Bridging the gap: implementing the rights of indigenous peoples”.

The first “World Conference on Indigenous Peoples” will be held on 22-23 September 2014. The meeting will be an opportunity to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples, including pursuing the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The objective of this year’s theme will highlight the importance of implementing the rights of indigenous peoples through policies and programmes at both the national and international level.

HERD Foundation recognizes the importance of Article 366 (25) under Constitution of India, that defines our indigenous peoples as “such tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342”. Article 342 prescribes the procedure for specification of a scheduled tribe that offers the oft-used criterion to identify such indigenous groups based on attributes like –

  • Geographical isolation – tribes living in cloistered, exclusive, remote and inhospitable areas such as hills and forests.
  • Backwardness – their livelihoods based on primitive agriculture, low-value closed economy with a low level of technology leading to poverty, and having low levels of literacy and health.
  • Distinctive culture, language and religion – communities have developed their own distinctive culture, language and religion.
  • Shyness of contact – having a marginal degree of contact with other cultures and people.

The Gond tribes settled in our parts comprise of the dominant tribal populations and they used to be largely concentrated in the hilly, forested tracts of the state. Gradually however our tribal people are being absorbed and are being included in urban mainstream population. There are said to be about 50 sub-groups of Gond tribes that inhabit much of the central parts of our country. They are known to be of Dravidian lineage linguistically and racially are said to belong to Proto-australoid stock.

The Gonds migrated in Central provinces from the south through Chanda and Bastar in 14th century where they established the Gond kingdom. The present city of Nagpur was founded at the beginning of the 18th century by the Gond Raja, Bakht Buland. They were warriors but are now tillers and animal grazers. They remain largely subjugated to low status and rural populations remain isolated.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs set up in 1999 after the bifurcation of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment provides a focused approach on the integration of indigenous peoples of India with a view to develop their socio-economic positioning. The tribal departments are all working in a coordinated and planned manner to implement the overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for development of ST’s. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs remains the nodal Ministry for the welfare and activities for the development of indigenous peoples of India.

Tilling the Land

The Gonds Today

Dulara – Small is Beautiful

Kids Happily Holding Up Health Cards

Dulara ke Dulare

Nestling in the jungles of Pench forest is the small village of Dulara – almost a hamlet, of about 300 families, where the majority population comprises of the adivasis or tribals settled here since times immemorial. Still placidly content to carry on with their pastoral lifestyle with dhan cultivation as a priority in the face of scanty rains; the men folk are worried. So the vibrant lush forest holds no romanticism for them even as the verdant landscape, hued in all shades of green, leaves us completely awed.

What worries us actually is that there is no doctor in the village and the nearest PHC is about 5-6 kilometers at Deolapar – on foot!! So if you can’t make it to the main road from here you are stuck on your charpoy. What was heartening was the fact that a good enough Zilla Parishad school sits right at the entrance of the village. And this became the venue for the HERD Foundation free medical camp on a cloudy Saturday afternoon.

The quiet community was soon abuzz with activity as the bus with doctors, para-medics, nurses, social workers and attendants parked outside the school. One of the central rooms became the consulting room for the six doctors and an outside open area was taken up for the medicine dispensing spot. Registrations of patients were taken up methodically – 226 grown-ups and 40 children. Exactly 26 people were provided with referrals for further treatment in hospitals at Nagpur for their acute conditions like night blindness, surgery cases and more.

Aside from fever and body aches, other ailments included skin, eye, ears, lesions, joint aches, addictions and a few other serious conditions. All the kids lined up for the health camp were measured for height and weight and accorded the routine examinations. Health tonics and needed medicines were dispensed at the provisional counter. People kept coming quickly for the half day camp for which prior intimation had been given to them.

Dr Amol Deshmukh sees his vision – ‘Health for All’ succeed brilliantly through such medical camps even for remote villages like Dulara that are almost hidden inside the jungle – out of view. The success of his mission is evident that the team members conducted the entire proceedings in a very smooth and organized manner, in astoundingly muggy conditions dealing with the patients with care and compassion. The test of his leadership is apparent that everything happens precisely as it should, even if he is not there.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams