A survey conducted by the Health Leaders at Raghotampally village in Ranga Reddy District of Andhra Pradesh revealed an urgent need for basic sanitation and toilet facilities in most of the villages. It was also found that about 70% of the families were willing to participate in the sanitation drive and contribute money for the construction of toilets. Government funds available under the National Rural Health Mission for building toilets in villages were routed with the help of the Block Development Officer to cover the rest of the cost.
Community mobilization was achieved through a series of awareness programs in the village. A street play focusing on toilets and sanitation was presented by a team of our Health Leaders. Although the minimum contribution per family for construction of toilets according to the NRHM scheme is Rs. 300, most families contributed more in order to improve on the basic structure. The contribution per family ranged between Rs. 300 to Rs. 4000, with the average contribution being Rs. 2000. The village Sarpanch also participated actively in this venture by taking up the responsibility of supervising the construction done by the local masons. Now 100% households in this village have toilets.
Munni Begum aged about 35, is a member of Cashpor and belongs to a slum community in Darji mohalla in Buxar district of Bihar. Her husband is a rickshaw puller and she is a housewife, the entire family with three children living on a meager monthly income of Rs 2000.
Munni had joined the Community Health Leader program, implemented by Healing Fields when she was full term pregnant. However even after delivery she attended all the sessions regularly along with her baby. One night when she was in her native place, a family feud erupted, which resulted in her uncle's son consuming some poison. The entire family was at its wits ends and their agitated shouts prompted the whole village to gather at their house. When Munni Begum came to know about the incident she went to her uncle's place and informed everyone that she was equipped with First aid training as a part of the health education she had received by Healing Fields Foundation. Munni suggested giving her cousin a glass of saline water, after drinking which he began vomiting out the poison. After repeatedly giving him salt water and making him vomit most of the poison he started getting better. At Munni Begum's suggestion he was taken to the nearest district hospital as soon as possible. He regained health after treatment at hospital. Thus, it was possible for her to save her uncle's son's life due to timely and proper first - aid intervention.
This earned Munni Begum a lot of respect from the entire village and happiness was restored at her uncle's house.
A CHL Bhagyabati Toppo belonging to Gudhiali village G. P. Kunmuru Block Rajgangpur, of Sundargarh district, Orissa, has undergone 6 months health education program by Healing Fields. While conducting the household survey in the first month, as part of the program, she came to know that in her village a child died due to unsafe delivery at home. This motivated her to focus on the issues of pregnancy, institutional delivery and health of new born. She has done extensive trainings and also involved the ASHA and ANM in creating awareness. She has also made referrals to the Government hospitals for ANCs and deliveries. After her intervention all the pregnant women in her village (Angina Majhi, Sarita Lakra , and Urmila Lakra) have delivered healthy babies at government hospitals and breastfed them within 1 hour.