13th October 2012
This meet saw a good gathering of 100+ friends, of which 25 friends were attending for the first time. Thanks to our friends who are helping us spread out. Mr.M.B.L. BHARGAVA of LETZ DREAM FOUNDATION, Delhi and Mr Prakash Apte (ex CMD, Sygenta, Pune), and Ms Chaitra of Thermax Foundation of Pune, were kind enough to attend.
This time we tried a new format in which the inspiring journey of Drs. Ashish and Kavita Satav were brought out in the form of an interview. Nimesh donned the role of an interviewer for the first time, but he conducted it like a veteran and audience were left spellbound.
People were really moved by the sacrifices, hardships and experiences of this wonderful couple, who have dedicated their lives to cater to the health requirements and overall development of the Korku tribals of Melghat. They shared with us some interesting and moving incidents of their 12+ years in Melghat. This journey has enabled them to demystify a lot of medical myths. They realised how even without sophisticated medical facilities and with minimum instruments and, a lot can be achieved and even serious patients can be treated. Dr Ashish was inspired by the teachings of Vinoba Bhave and Mahatma Gandhi. He was also inspired by his maternal GrandFather. He is a hard core Gandhian and that's the reason he selected to work in the villages. Kavita’s background is almost similar and her outlook is also totally Gandhian.
Dr Ashish, spoke about how in the early stages he had to run a hospital from a small hut with very limited facilities. The patients too were brought in Bullock carts as there was no Ambulance. Things changed after 2005-06 the year in which CF came in touch with Mahan, the organisation founded by Dr.Ashish. Today there is an Ambulance, 2 OT's, a Hospital (sponsored by Kasturba Medical Trust, which runs a Medical college at Sewa Gram, Wardha), an OPD, a spectacle shop and other field projects. They now also have staff quarters, a guest house etc. Dr Ashish has also submitted his research papers in international conferences.
The audience was moved when Dr Kavita spoke about how she became a "Milk Mother" to an adivasi child who was born just when their only son Athang was a few months old. The woman underwent a cesarean performed by Dr Kavita, for the first time, in spite of being an Ophthalmic Surgeon. Today she can cater to a lot of illnesses. She runs the Eye Care project at Mahan and is a crucial support in the OT.
Dr. Ashish also said how his model of Home Based Child Care has reduced malnutrition in Melghat and the State Govt too has accepted this model to be replicated statewide. He expressed his gratitude to many who had helped him in his early struggles, i.e Dr Avinash Saoji, Dr Kolhe, Dr Abhay Bhang, Dr.Prakash Amte, Sewa Gram Medical College , etc.
Today Mahan has set its vision high to do some research models, which can be replicated Nationwide. Some of these are de-addiction, Home Based Child Care, reducing the mortality rate in the productive group aged from 16-60 years etc. etc. Dr Ashish has won some PIL on Food Supplement, running of Primary Health Centers, etc. which has made better medical facilities available to the local tribal population and improve their health considerably.
Many from the audience promised to visit Mahan. We wish Dr. Ashish and Dr. Kavita the best and assure them of our support in reaching out to the tribal regions of our country.
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