Nishtha Diwali sports program for our local school children was held on October 28th, the first day of the week long school holiday, on Rakkar playground. This was an open sports program which means everybody could take part in any game they liked; girl or boy, young or adolescent, everybody had a chance to play. We invited 3 Government and one local private school for this event which our community centre staff had started preparing two weeks ago. Clearing bushes, removing stones from the ground, purchase and checking of sports material, ordering refreshments, preparing prizes and putting together a schedule of games was all done by our staff.
Last Saturday the Welsh St John’s ambulance team of First Aid trainers spent a very helpful and productive day at Nishtha teaching 25 local young people the basics of first aid particularly for use particularly in case of a local disaster. They learned the ABC of first aid, how to do simple dressings and slings, how to treat burns, how to put injured or shocked patients into the rescue position and how to shift those with serious injuries. Thank you Des Kitto and all your team!
After school tuition classes for over 20 Government school children are held daily in Nishtha community centre hall. Retired teacher Ravindra Kaur is training Sakhshi, one of our recent graduates and Nishtha staff Ravindra and Ankush to effectively help the children to read and understand their school work.
Tim Robinson, a British medical student who recently spent his elective with us says:
Nishtha is essentially a GP surgery with very little equipment and medication options are limited. Despite this, it does an excellent job with the resources available. Dr. Barbara welcomed me openly not only into her clinical work but also her social life and day to day activities. I was isolated from the western world and my friends/other medical students but I was in no way lonely. I had the opportunity to be involved in lots of new techniques and clinical skills, experienced a completely different type of medicine in a completely different culture and was asked for my medical opinion from another doctor for the first time!
For Tim’s full report see: http://www.electives.net/hospital/4637
The new group of 12 students sponsored through college by Nishtha are lucky to have our new Trustee Pooja Anand as their English teacher. Each Sunday they come for a meeting, have one hour on the computers with Vijay, sometimes learn local music and dance and now have very fun English classes. The students are all very happy to have this opportunity to get together.
Thanks to the UK Trust donation, new games, building blocks, model animals, drums and balls delighted the children in the kindergartens on the mountainside last week, providing much needed stimulus.
Last week Nishtha Single Women’s team organized a vibrant 2 day residential seminar in Nishtha Community Center for 46 senior single women with Dr. Kishwar Shirali as the primary resource person. The slogan for the meeting was “Maan Ki Awaz Ka Agaj” which means, ‘’Begin to listen to the voice of the heart’’.
By the end of the packed 2 day programme everyone agreed that they would like to participate in future workshops to learn more about their rights and about what government schemes are available to them.
Nishtha was represented by Dr. Barbara at the Congress of the International Medical Women’s Association which took place in Vienna from July 28th to 31st 2016. This colourful and stimulating event was attended by participants from 75 counties who met to discuss challenges facing the next generation of medical practitioners. Our associate, Dr. Edith Gahleitner talked about “Health Consequences of Violence Against Women in Rural North India”, a subject she researched while working with the Nishtha Single Women’s team of activists. We are very proud that she was honoured with the prestigious Lore Antoine prize for her thesis. With her input we aim to establish a mental health program at Nishtha to help survivors of domestic violence. Our poster on holistic health care in rural North India prepared to advertise our work at the Congress stimulated a great deal of interest.
The poster is available for download by clicking here.
July is the month when local schools have their summer holidays. This year Ravinder Kaur, a retired teacher who had been helping out in the school during her visit to family in Rakkar joined us and held a wonderfully interesting daily class for a steady group of 20-25 children each morning. Most stayed on or were complemented by others who came to our play sessions and computer classes every afternoon.