12th July felt like an important morning, as we wended our way to the IPH community centre in Tannery road, inaugurating the training for the seven new health worker-trainees from the locality.
Last week the meetings had finalized the participants, so when only four of the seven came in it was a minor setback. Phone calls revealed two participants were ill and the third’s little child was ill. El hombre propone y Dios dispone……….
In the bright yellow rented room, we all sat around on mats in a circle, as Thriveni started with an ice-breaker.The air was one of easy friendship and as the sharing occurred from each of the pairs in the exercise, it appeared we had one common purpose- to learn and share our knowledge of “health” with family and community. While Thriveni talked primarily in Kannada, often we had interjections in Tamil and translations into Hindi for our Urdu-speaking participants. It is amazing how adept at languages all these women are and the very natural way in which they helped each other clarify, when in doubt.
The post-tea break had them reading the “story of Malati”, and trying to identify some of the issues around ill- health. It was interesting to see the new trainees quick to identify the protagonists’ issues , and the seasoned health worker, Antu, identify the problems with the health system. Nagaratna summed up succinctly with two telling statements……….
“All the problems in the story arose because of the lack of understanding between people” and
“We are all like links in a chain ………..each important in their own way” .
The morning ended with the listing of the learning objectives by them and setting plan for mapping clinics and schools in the locality for the following day.
A wonderful start to what we hope will be a rich learning process.