|The children arriving at Disha with their school teachers|
We've talked about travel and some of the amazing gardens we saw on our Rajasthan trip, while researching plants for the garden at Disha, but we haven't yet shared details of one of our Health Camps, which we all helped to run. Health Camps are a vitally important way of spreading news to the villagers in Rajasthan and while we were in India, we ran a special Children's Health Camp, where students from two of the local village schools came to Disha Hospital for a general medical check-up.
|Dr Deepak Babel carrying out a medical check|
Some 120 children from two schools within walking distance of Disha came and spent several hours with their teachers and a team of local helpers, plus the four English visitors (Paul and Pauline McBride, Chris Walker and Charlotte, who founded the Raven Charitable Trust). Dr Deepak Babel conducted the health camp, with assistance from Mr Subhash Goyal, Ms Pooja Bajaj, Mr Hetal Amin, and many other local helpers. The children were weighed, measured and had a 10-point medical check up.
|Charlotte with some of the younger children|
With more than 100 students, ranging in age from three to 12, we organised a full activity programme for them while they were waiting to see the doctor, including drawing, singing and a traditional Rajasthani puppet show, with a health theme. All volunteers turned their skills to entertaining the children and we also provided a healthy lunch for them.
|Pauline (left) and Deepak serving the food for the children|
Everybody joined in to help and for once the Indian caste system was left behind. Paul, Pauline, Chris and Charlotte organised the drawing competitions, where the children were asked to draw their homes and families. In the next entry, we will be featuring some of the artwork they produced and asking you to help us choose the winners.
|Chris Walker, helping with shoes after the medical check|
Chris had to turn his hand to shoe-putting-on-skills as the children finished their medical checks, and Deepak and Pauline got busy serving the lunch (above). But all in all the day was hugely successful and both children and adults thoroughly enjoyed themselves. When the children left, they were all given soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
|One of the groups of school children at Disha|
When a project like Disha starts, it is vitally important to let the villagers know that there is a hospital nearby where they will receive free treatment, so Health Camps need to be run on a regular basis and aimed at all sectors of the community to encourage the villagers to visit the hospital for the first time. Once they know it is there, they will return when they need medical help.