Village Action News
Monthly news about the efforts of
AVAG to bridge the gap between
Auroville and the villages around it.
AVAG-PIMS MEDICAL CAMPS
Free medical camps in four different villages
were jointly carried out by AVAG (Auroville Villages Action Group)
and PIMS (Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences), in September
02. The aim of these camps was to provide a proper medical check-up
to the local villagers who do not always have any opportunity
to visit good doctors. Originally, only two camps were planned
under the PIMS Extension Activity. However, on AVAG's request
two more camps were included in the plan. About 1000 villagers
benefited from these camps.
Rare institute in India
PIMS is one of the rare institutes in India
where a good medical attention is available even to the poorest
population. They provide free consultation, free medication and
free beds to the people in need. All they ask is to provide an
attendant and food for the patient. However, in serious cases
the institute arranges even that. Cataract operations, which usually
cost Rs 4000.- (US $85.-), are done for Rs. 500.- (Us $11.-) there.
Dr. Kiran, the director of
PIMS outreach service, is a disciple of Sri Aurobindo &
the Mother and he has been associated with Auroville since
a long time. Dr. Kiran brought with him an excellent team
of expert doctors, consisting of a gynaecologist, an orthopaedist,
an eye-specialist, a child-specialist as well as a general
AVAG took up the responsibility of facilitating
the whole process of theses camps from the beginning to the end.
Our team of 30 development workers worked hard to ensure that
all villagers concerned are able to avail of this opportunity.
Some important points observed in the plan of action by AVAG
1) Meeting with the AVAG Men's
and Women's Clubs, and encouraging the club members to participate
in the camps, as organisers as well as beneficiaries
2) Contacting the Panchayat Leaders, the Village
Elders, the District Collector and other influential people to
make them aware of the programme and ask for their cooperation
3) Painting banners and posters, with the
help of women's and men's clubs, to make people aware of the camps
Arranging for a suitable location for the camp to take place,
making sure that the entire needed infrastructure is there. When
necessary, erecting shamiyanas (colourful tents) and borrowing
chairs and benches from the schools
5) On the day of the camp, meeting with each
patient, filling out their 'forms', categorising them for sending
to the appropriate doctor
6) Recording the comments of the doctor for
every patient and assisting the doctor in every possible way
7) Following up every patient's case according
to the instruction of the doctor. Particularly, where patients
should go to the hospital, helping with the arrangements
We also witnessed that our club members, particularly
from women's clubs, very seriously participated in the whole process.
As a result they gained a new confidence and respect among the
The doctors from PIMS attended to every patient
with a lot of patience and care. As they had come prepared with
their basic medical kit, several patients were treated on spot.
Others were asked to come to PIMS for further medication and consultation.
Some in serious condition were recommended for operation.
Our development workers have kept a close
contact with the villagers in order to observe their gradual health
improvement and to ensure that they have been visiting PIMS for
With such goodwill from the doctors of
PIMS and such enthusiasm from the side of AVAG and the villagers,
the camps were a huge success. More than 1000 villagers benefited