Movement & Magic!!! :D

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As a child, one of the best discoveries I made was my love for dance. I used to stand in front of the television and just move to the tunes. I never saw it then, it was right there in front of me. I was feeling it, experiencing it & living it. Dance brought me freedom. I was myself. It was just me and my world. Nothing else mattered. I could lose myself in dance for hours and come back all pumped up and ready for life! 😀

After almost 3-4 years no dancing…. I discovered dance again through Creative Movement Therapy. Every class has taught me to listen to my body, be aware of every move, sense every feeling in every body part, let my body talk & most importantly to just let go.The more I moved, the deeper I discovered myself, the freer I became & more happiness I experienced. 
Your movement is all about you, it is you & no one can take that away. 🙂

The release that movement gives, the soothe the music provides and the open space is a perfect floor to just surrender yourself to your body and let the rest take its course. Movement has brought magic into my life. Every time I need to break free, all I need to do is move to the perfect tune and ease myself into it. ❤

The music – the right music has been very crucial in letting me discover and breaking free. So move your body at every chance you get, experience those emotions, let your body flow and release it all. Experience the power of movement, experience magic! 😀

Writing can be Therapeutic

 
It started when I read the book “Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson”. Her poems were so beautiful, so simple yet so deep. It looked so simple that I decided to try to write poems. That was it. At the age of 14 I started writing poems. I found the many ways of writing poems, explored the topics I could write on and soon I fell in love with writing. Over the years I started exploring casual writing. I started writing about my various experiences, my random thoughts and everything under the sun that took my interest. Unfortunately, I did not publish all of them. My MS word was my best friend for writing and making me feel light. Today, I openly write in a public forum. Every time I write, i feel free. I feel like I’ve been heard. I feel at peace with myself. My every sad emotion, every heart breaking and maddening experience, thoughts, feelings, words and what not, from my life is out there. Today I am a Psychology student. But even before I knew about Psychology, I knew about a form of therapy – WRITING! Today, I realize entirely the therapeutic importance of writing. It’s been so long since I last wrote. I realized there are so many unsaid things. So much I haven’t spoken about. So many things that’s drifted into my unconscious. It’s like unfinished business. So much of silence that these days, noise does not even stop to linger anymore in my life. Right now, as I’m typing, the thoughts are just flowing, the feelings are surfacing and relief is what I feel. I never realized how much I’ve missed writing, how much of therapy I have lost, how many issues I could have dealt with so long back.
 
You may be wondering what has all of this got to do with writing being therapeutic?
Every time I write , I feel like 1) I experience freedom
2) I’m able to think so much more clearly and bring clarity to myself
3) Unconscious thoughts rise and make me aware of my hidden emotions as well.
4) Some answers to unanswered question come out.
5) The pain in my heart starts to ease.
6) New perspectives I’m able to see.
7) I feel heard and comforted.
8) I’m able to free my mind of all unwanted sources.
 
There is so much more writing can do. One of the most important things it has done for me over the years is bring me HAPPINESS. It may not be therapeutic in the literal sense of the word. But nevertheless, it has an effect. It makes a difference. It has helped through the toughest of times and I’m forever grateful for discovering my love for writing.

Truly my MAD Family…

It’s time for one more post about MAD , this time about my MAD Family 🙂

With just 2 more months to go for final semester exams , my parents asked me to put a stop to every single activity. I was heart broken because I did not want to stop MAD , did not want to be away from my friends , my co – teacher and more than anyone my KIDS! 😦 😦

But my parents hardly ask anything of me… So i agreed. All said and done , their happiness is equally important 🙂 

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This is my MAD Family ( some people are missing) 🙂 🙂 😀

Saturday was a completely emotional day for me. It was the last day I was going to spend with these brilliant people. I was torn apart like I would never meet them again … Pretty much the same thing for me actually. Being away from these guys is like being in 2 different countries. 😦 

After a lot of probing and discussions mom finally agreed to let me go see my friends. I was overjoyed!!! 🙂 😀 After what felt like an eternity of waiting , my busy bees finally became free to meet me. I rushed to meet them , only to find them in a half – sleepy and depressed state 😐 😦 so much for excitement.:| But never the less i was happy to be with them 🙂 

After giving all the stuff I needed to give back to these people ( felt like a Santa giving gifts 😛 ) , I gave my 3 special friends their special letters to show how MAD they made my life!!! 😀 I had sat up till 2 the previous night to write those letters , hoping and praying they would like it 🙂 After all , i was half – crying and had no clue what went into those papers :O

After 10 mins of spending time in our usual place [ CCD – The place where A LOT HAPPENED OVER COFFEE & it all began 🙂 😉 ] , we went to our center to meet our kids. I was very keen on going to see them as it would be the last time i would be seeing them 😦 

We entered the center . The kids had just come back from school. At first they were sad that we may have come to take class for them. But after seeing we had no intentions of doing that , they were extra happy to see us and crowded around us. We never ever thought , we would have so much attachment to the kids and they to us! 😀 *tears* 

We were all huddled near the stairs with the kids shuffling between each volunteer , more than any of the other kids ( whom I spent time with first as soon as i went ) , there were just 4 kids I badly wanted to see and spend time. My kids! My boys and girls! My eyes searched for them and soon sought them out. 🙂 I spent equal time with both the boys and girls. Eventually , that privacy vanished when a group of tiny tots crowded around me and took away my phone. 😛 I was chill about it. 🙂 They played around with it , some very comfortably lying on my lap. I pretty much had to lean back to keep my balance! :O 😀

After a lot of teasing , singing ( Shady songs encouraged by the shady queen 😛 ) , games on cell phones , small talks with kids , asking them about Dream Camp 😀 and ME , after getting heavily criticized by Suresh (one of my students) for waking him up at 6 am during Dream Camp 😛 and after breaking the sad news to them that I’m leaving ( I had to control myself from breaking in front of them and keep my voice steady). 😦 I was surprised that the boys were equally shocked and sad that I won’t be coming back. The girls hugged me and all of them promised to study well and not trouble my co – teacher 😀 🙂

I told them that my co – teacher would let me know if they were troubling him 😛 😉 They laughed and said they would not trouble him 🙂 I did not have the heart to leave the center at all! In fact I was pretty much ready to just spend the whole day there until I actually HAD to leave…. Tears were brimming in my eyes and I tried to not let them fall. 

Once all us volunteers were out , we spent a few minutes talking to each other. I looked at my center head and my other co – teacher and the feeling in my heart was reflected on their face 😦 There was just one person who didn’t even so much so look sad and that was my first co – teacher 😦 😛 When asked his reply was ” O of course I’m sad . I’m never gonna see you again. I’m crying deep inside. I’m torn. Idiot. It’s not like you re my life 😛 ” I was dumbstruck and just did not reply. No point anyway. For him , I was anyway always going to be in his life but for me he was not going to be there for another 3 -4 months 😦 *sigh* The differences between teachers despite strong bonds :O 

I hugged my center head , heard my other co – teacher cry for me and made my first co – teacher buy me ice cream!!! 😀 😀 He was completely himself and made me feel like I’m not leaving at all!

I love each and every one of my volunteers / FAMILY MEMBERS 😉 😀 😀

All of us left with smiles on our face 🙂 

A wonderful day. A beautiful memory. One I want to treasure. 🙂 🙂

 

A Special Dedication – Dream Camp!! :D

If there was something extra special about Dream Camp , It was because of THESE people.

This post is a special dedication to those people who made it so memorable and extra special 🙂

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JOHN!!!

One of the Starters Level Kids at the CHI center.

When I first met him in September, he was the naughtiest , rowdiest , with an ” I – don’t – care – about – you” attitude , mocking at everyone and was very disobedient and unruly.

But for the last few months I’ve noticed and specially at the Camp… The way he has MATURED , the behavior change ( naughtiness is still there) 🙂 😛 , attitude change , the respect he gives , his obedience and MOST importantly , we don’t have to tell him , when he sees we are in need of an extra hand for anything , he is ALWAYS around to help. That s the most special thing about him. 🙂 🙂 🙂 

His helping tendency which he developed in the last few months. I can’t help but admire him and told him once he was a role model in certain ways for the kids ) . I expected a protest from others but they were all proud of their friend. I’m very proud of him and very happy with him. His maturity is definitely a sign to show that we have MADE A DIFFERENCE 😀

If not for John’s help every now and then with the other kids of our group , my mentor and I would have just given up altogether ( well almost). But he is the reason , at least for me , that I kept pushing myself to help my mentor as much as could and keep the kids in order.

I salute him! 🙂 

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SHYAM!!!

My mentor. My best friend. One person , who in spite of all the work he had , always made time for me to listen to me if I had any problem and lend a hand. A person , who even after spraining his leg ran about doing work and just refused to let me take control 😦 . His dedication as mentor was unbelievable and I’m in awe. 🙂 He’s my admiration. My inspiration. My encouragement. 🙂 🙂 He worked so hard at the camp. He was so enthusiastic about every minute of it. Hats off to him! 😀

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SRIDEEP 

My co-teacher. My role model. This was the man who in spite of a whole day’s handwork at the camp , and after working on his experiment for this kids till 2 am in the morning , sat and listened to every single problem that i was going through and the mess that was in my mind and also the reason for my breaking down that day. He guided me , advised , made me feel at ease and light in the head. If not for his attention and listening , I would not have been a good mood the next day or even today. He is one of those people who show endless dedication in anything they do and undying passion. 🙂 

He is one of those people who has shown me patience always , no matter how busy and how tired. That s the most beautiful thing about my co – teacher. The most reliable and my personal guide. 😀 😀 

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SURESH AND CHANDRU

My devils but also my darlings. This dream camp showed me a completely new side of them. These 2 boys who already have 2 much of male ego and were always reserved , were at the camp more open. More kind. They spoke their hearts out to us. Obeyed us. Listened when we guided them. Seeked our help and most important , WANTED us there with them! 😀 😀

I loved every minute specially that I spent with these 2 boys because I was getting to know them just as well as my girls. 🙂 🙂 Now all my kids are equally comfortable with us and that is the greatest achievement for me.  🙂 Here again , we MADE A DIFFERENCE. 🙂

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Balambaaaaal!!!

Shwetha.. My girlfriend 😉 My best friend. The sleepover. The personal talks. She is an immense joy to be with. She practically had no idea what was going on at the camp with the frenzie she was in but she managed to pull everything together. A kind soul , to whom one can warm up  easily 🙂 . My kids certainly did 🙂 . She always checked on me to make sure I was alright though she was running about all over the place. She is the one who stayed up at night to help out with ideas and so much more. She is brilliant. 🙂 😀 She is the BEST! 😀 

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SINDHUJA!!! (sorry girl. I seriously had no other picture of you from camp 😛 )

And last but not the least ; the Coordinator of Dream Camp. Very organised. Fully planned. Very reliable and of course very dedicated. She would yell , boss you , pile  you with work , but she is a lovely person to be around 🙂 🙂

If the DREAM CAMP was what it was… It was ONLY and ONLY because of HER!!! 😀 😀 She managed to give equal job roles to everyone , give priorities to everyone’s ideas and opinions , help along with any problem anyone had , make sure we had everything we need and also that we had FUN!!! 😀 All in all , she pulled it off with style!! 😀 😀 

 

Without these people , Dream Camp for me would have been something entirely different. Today , It is the BEST memory of MAD I have. 🙂 🙂 🙂 
These people have my full respect and admiration. 🙂 They MADE A DIFFERENCE for ME in MY life! 😀 🙂 

*snaps fingers and bows* 😀 

Dream Camp – Making Dreams Come True :)

Yet another wonderful experience with M.A.D Chennai. The Dream Camp! A 2 day super camp where our little ones and some big ones were exposed to a lot of value – oriented and talent – oriented workshops. Needless to say , for as long as I was there I could see NOTHING but smiles , excitement and enthusiasm on the faces of the kids. 😀 😀 😀

Unfortunately , I could stay just for the 1st day. But that was enough to make my heart just stay back at the camp while i sadly had to leave 😦

Day 1 of day camp started off with us taking our kids to INDeco Hotel in Mahabalipuram ( gorgeous by day and shady by night 😛 ) with a beautiful beach you wouldn’t want to miss!! 😀

The bus ride was absolutely amazing and a lot of fun specially with the DB boys being themselves and their impossible songs!! :O (god knows where they find these songs 😐 )

I was so surprised to find my kids (CHI) just being so silent and staring off into space. I expected them to make the most racket. *sigh* Well , with too many of us standing on the ” FUN BUS” a few of us switched to another bus with the GL kids. Boy, were my kids annoyed. 😦 But they were pretty chill about it later.

Now , THAT bus was a WHOLE OTHER scene. The shady talks 😉 , the song singing till our voices went hoarse , the kids dancing , making of fun of our fav volunteers , daring each other to do stuff , all that was complete bliss 🙂 🙂  except for the fact that compared to everyone else I was so short that i had to ask people to keep moving out of the way for me to see what the kids were doing in the bus 😦 In the end they just pushed me forward while most of them were standing either on the other side of the bus or behind me like body guards 😛 😀

Finally we reached the hotel. You should have seen their faces!! The kids were so excited and ready to run all over the place. Thankfully for our AWESOME mentors , the kids were put into groups and taken into the hotel.

As I was not a mentor and pretty much had NOTHING to do.. I volunteered to take care of the experiment things and bags. Boy were they heavy! 😦 Sheesh! I was so paranoid about losing them that I refused to keep them down anywhere until my co-teacher gave me a stern glare and I had to leave them behind the coffee table 😦 *hmph*

After breakfast we went into the conference hall to give our kids their AWESOME dream camp tees and shoes. They were all excited about it and showing off to one another. I could not help be excited myself and just could not stop clicking photos of them. I had completely forgotten i was a co-mentor . My mentor just stared at me and was like ” HELP ME!” By the time I could react , my kids had pulled the camera away from me and were clicking away. All good anyway as I had no idea where to keep it while helping my mentor out. There was a little bit of a shoe disaster where we had to endure a lot of glares from our kids 😛 but finally all ended well with them running n skidding about in their Dream Camp outfit 🙂

Finally , after what felt like a eternity and with the kids getting restless , the SESSIONS started! The kids had their very first cooking session where they were taught how to make vegetable soup and fried rice. The enthusiasm was so much that , some kids even got up to see how they were made and what ingredients were used. We had to make sure they sat back down so that the other kids could see. After all that fuss , the kids finally got to taste the soup and fried rice! 😀 They were so happy about it , that my camera pretty much clicked by itself 😛

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After that we had a talk on Army Personnel for which i was so surprised at the kind of questions my kids came up. I had no idea if those kind of questions could be asked or not. So i told them which of those that could be asked openly and those that could not. They approached the speaker separately for the inappropriate questions. I was so happy and proud that they actually wanted to know so much. Whether they understood or not was beyond me but they sounded interested. That was enough. 🙂 🙂

The kids needed a break so we took them to their rooms. The room was not just a whole different story but a whole different world for my kids altogether. They just could not contain their joy. Even before we knew it they had broken up into groups of 4 and decided who will be with who. Everything seemed fine , so were totally OK with it. So as long as they just stay in their rooms till we call them out. Of course , there was the factor of the boys – girls wanting to know whose room was better 😐 I didn’t know if to laugh or glare at this. We just let them be and after they were satisfied with their inspection , they settled down in their rooms flopping on the bed with the TV on :O 🙂

On the flip side , when the time came they just refused to get out! 😦 Then after a lot of cajoling they finally agreed. Though they are pain , they are still so lovable my kids. What would I do without them. 🙂 🙂

Our next sessions was on Origami and Clay Modelling.

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Whether the kids were interested in this or not , I certainly was! 😀 I behaved and looked like a 10 year who had never done origami and clay modelling before ( which is true 😦 )

I just refused to let anyone take away my papers and clay and was very particular to do everything on my own. The other volunteers looked at me in disbelief. 😛 They found me so amusing but i was just too caught up in the art work to care. After successfully making my clay tortoise ( with which i was so proud and happy about 😛 😀 ) and a not so successful lotus ( which i was still happy about 😀 ) I gave them to my kids to keep for their carnival. 🙂

The kids also got to the play in the park near the dining area. They would just rush there at every chance they got. It was such a joy to see them free , having fun , enjoying , being themselves 😀 . It brought tears to my eyes. I just kept clicking away and when i was not there , I would give my camera to my kids for them to enjoy their photo-shoot 😀 They would always make sure it came back to my hands safely and I just LOVE that about them. They fully gained my trust at handling my things, I never hesitate now to give them. 😀

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With all the sessions , tea done n all that. It was time for the DREAM CAMP photo-shoot on the beach. The moment the beach came into sight , we had to hold firm on the kids to keep them from running. The looks on their faces are just etched in my mind. It was just priceless and no amount of money in the world could change that or melt my heart , the way their smiles did. 🙂 *tears*

If the dream camp photo came out the way it did – AWESOMENESS!!! 😀 It was because of the kids stud poses , screams and more!

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Now for the final part of Day 1 , the CAMP FIRE!!!! 😀

I was jumping at every step at the thought of it 😛 that my kids found me absolutely amusing and could not help giggling. I didn’t mind. They were happy and that s all mattered. 🙂

The camp fire ended with beautiful violin music , the MAD band and our kids singing and playing the drums 🙂

I could not have been more proud of them , so happy and at the moment the only thing I wanted to do was hug each n every of them for co-operating throughout the day and being the MOST AWESOME kids ( though there was one point when they were a pain) 😀 . But I would rather forget that , because chasing them around the entire hall and park was part of the CAMP PACKAGE and FUN! 😀 😀

I would give anything to get that day back , to stay the night with my kids , have heart to heart talks with them, tease each other , see their smiles , and what not! *tears* 🙂 🙂

It breaks my heart to think even now , that I had to leave and could not spend more time with my kids. But they are right here , 10 mins away from my home. If I even so much so want to go just randomly give them a hug I can. That s what keeps me going. My kids , a pain or not , they are the WORLDS BEST STUDENTS n tiny FRIENDS. 😀

The bond that the camp helped establish was beyond boundaries. A bond which I will make sure never breaks. Not just with me and the kids. But also the bond which I made with other volunteers.

Right now as I write this last line , all I want to do is , go give SINDHUJA (Our Camp Coordinator)  a HUGE HUG for making that day happen , the way it did! 😀

Cheers!!!

Making A Difference!?

Last Saturday when we were in class substituting for our fellow colleagues , one of us suddenly  noticed that Kamala ( one of the students of the starter level) had rashes all over her legs. When asked how she got it? she simply replied saying ” I played in the sand”. She had not put any kind of antiseptic cream or cleaned with dettol. We immediately asked her to go get a cream from the First Aid Box at the center and after making sure that it was the right cream , we applied it on her. We told her not to play in the sand anymore or go anywhere that would cause infection to her wounds and rashes.She nodded in agreement.

I fully well knew that everything we said had gone over her head and she would perhaps go play in the sand the very next day. I thought this aloud only to get glared down by one of my colleagues who said ” She will listen. If you tell her she will listen. You can’t just give up like that. Don’t say such things anymore.” I stared back quietly , his words sinking into me.

I finally told him that ” As much as i don’t want it , I want MAD to be away from this center. I cannot come every week looking at these kids in this state. No matter what we do or say it’s not helping. They are not healing. It’s just getting worse.”

My colleague again told me ” It’s not like that. We are making a difference. May be not in the way we are supposed to with the English lessons but we are in some way! With us here every week , we can help them maintain themselves  Give them tips and ideas on how to be careful. But without us there will be no one to guide them. So we are MAKING A DIFFERENCE. That s what we are about.”

His words weighed on me. I was at a loss of what to say. I just nodded in agreement. I could not believe i spoke about giving up on these kids. That was unlike me as i’m the one to push. In one year , their English may have not improved to the extent we wanted it , we may have not been able to inculcate much values into them nor bring them into full control. But we were successful in making sure they got whatever aid they needed , whenever they needed it and that they ALWAYS had someone to open up to and talk.

That may be nothing for us but to them it was a HUGE difference in their lives. To have someone give them attention , help them talk well , advice them on the right and wrong , good and bad , explain values to them , get them to trust and share things with us , understand their every feeling and guide them , it is what every child of their age wants.

That was when realized , yes , I AM MAKING A DIFFERENCE! In whatever way it may be , i am! I am a change – maker and no matter how small or big the difference , I need to carry on and not give up on my kids , EVER!

My colleagues words , guidance and faith in me changed all my thoughts about the center , my students , my work and ME as a change – agent. 🙂 I owe him. 🙂

The MAD Experience

We’ve all heard about lack of English skills and knowledge among people and children. We’ve all talked about it. But how many of us have taken a step to change it? I decided to take the first step towards change. I decided to do it the MAD way.

Make a Difference [MAD] is a voluntary organisation where people from different walks of life, come together to teach kids aged 8 – 14 years Basic English. The diversity in volunteers at MAD is amazing and it was a great opportunity to meet such people. Before the reality of it could sink in, the time soon came for my first MAD class.

It was in a shelter home called THE CHILDREN HOME in Injambakkam. I knew little about teaching.I also knew I had a tough task ahead of me. But what I didn’t know was how hyper the children I was about to tutor could get. I did not have a co- teacher the first few weeks to help me out with these tots. They would just fly off the handle when it was time for the class to start. I was at loss as to what to do. My anger overwhelmed me. I literally shouted at my kids, refused to teach them and also sent them out of class. I was not happy with myself – I felt like a total failure. My colleagues supported me a lot and guided me but my anger did not reduce with each passing class. I failed to bond with my kids.  They, being cleverer, provoked me more with each class. Finally it was time for my co-teacher to join me.

My co-teacher, being a male, was able to create a fast bond with the boys who were the hardest to handle. I had control over the girls. I was awed at the way my co- teacher handled the class. I respected him and admired him. He was my role model. Slowly with a lot of his support, I was able to take control over my anger. After 3 long months, I was finally able to create a bond with my kids, specially the boys. There was just one small problem.

The girls began to rebel. There was competition at every stage, starting from the reward points to the PAT scores; they would hate me, accuse me, and throw abuses if the boys got even 0.5 marks more than them. But I knew it was just a matter of time before they understood their mistakes and worked hard.

I never imagined that I would be teaching, would enjoy it, would adore the kids and more than anything look forward to those 2 hours every week. I still have a problem with one of my girls. I know it’s a matter of time before I overcome that and win the heart of all my kids equally.

MAD has become a very important part of my life. The kids have become the MOST important to me. MAD has created an impact that makes me want to go to any extent to make sure my kids get the BEST education they deserve. As part of MAD, I’ve seen myself growing along with my kids. I’ve seen myself improve as a teacher and seen the improvement in my students. I just need to push them one step more to get to the top. I have complete faith they will make it. This is what MAD and MAD class is all about, the kids!

The MAD experience is the most amazing experience one can have.  I’m a proud MADster!

A visit to the Egmore Hospital.

Our next visit was the Egmore Children’s Hospital. Being a sunday , the Hospital in the literal sense was completely deserted. We were totally lost and the person we were to meet was not picking up her phone. After looking thro’ half the hospital and failing to locate her. Dr. Kala , the person who were to meet called us back and said she would send someone to bring us to her. She apologized and said she was on rounds. The Hospital as we saw it and to it’s name was only and only a CHILDREN hospital.  We waited a while for Dr. Kala to come. Once she came , she enquired about us and where we are from and what we would like to do. Once we cleared out her doubts , she took us around the hospital where we saw the various wards and a few doctors who were working that sunday.

There was one section that disturbed me the most. That was the IMCU section [ Intensive Medical Care Unit ] They were babies who were bandaged , who had oxygen masks to their face. Their was one child who s head was burnt. I could not bare to look or stand in that place a second longer but i could not run away either. In another ward, I saw one child who had orthopedic problem. Both his legs were bandaged. He bawled when his father left him. I could not stand to see that as the mother was not able to manage him and due to his legs was shifting him very gingerly.

I went upto him and sat beside him holding out my hand. He did nothing but just stared at me, his tears stopped. He was scared. But i didnt move. His mother kept his hand on mine twice but he kept taking it away. I still sat and watched him. He looked up at me , this time not scared but not coming close either. When i said bye to him , that was the first time he smiled at me and waved back. I felt happy he was alright. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Harshitha & I learned during the tour of the hospital that they required man power for cleaning up the hospital as all the cleaners had retired and it was kept neat by the nurses [ mind you , it was fairly neat ].  They also required several monitors , infusion pumps , beds again etc… Harshitha & I were again at a loss of what to say and do. But we told me them what we were capable and will get back to them.

We left the hospital. I was totally off with what i saw in the IMCU. I would love to visit that hospital again , this time when all the doctors are there and learn more about it.

Thenmozhi’s experience.

While at the Chengelpet Government Hospital , i badly wanted to talk to one of the mothers. When i sought out the first mother , i found out from the father that the child had caught on jaundice. She looked so tensed and worried that i decided against it. It was then i saw another mother in the Mothers Room with her baby. She looked happy, relaxed and peaceful. So i went to talk to her. She was very happy to talk to me, which made things a little easier for me.

The Mother s Name was Thenmozhi. She had delivered her second child on the 8th or 9th of May. It was a girl baby. She already has an elder daughter who s 5  years old. Her name is Deepika. She told me she was very happy with the hospital and the way it treated her. She was also happy and grateful for the immediate admission and the help they gave her the night before her labour. She told me that they gave her  her medicines at the right time. Food was chapati and daal and that too was given at proper and prompt timings. They gave liquid for the evenings and also kept 2 packets of biscuits which she could eat anytime. So there was no problem with the food and medicines part of it. I asked if her husband was happy with 2 daughters. To my surprise she told me he was very happy.

She later told me that she wanted to do her operation so as to not have any kids anymore. But her child had got jaundice a few hours after she was born when she and her child were given a health check up . The doctor had informed her that she was healthy but her child had yellow fever. She was also told to go on with her operation but Thenmozhi went against it and told the doctor she would not do her operation unless and until her new born was healthy and alright. The baby was kept in the ventilator for 3 days. The doctor told Thenmozhi that the baby was fine and it was better to keep her here another day and give another check up. So once that s done , she would do her operation. Thenmozhi was waiting for the operation to be done and for the information of when they would discharge her.

Thenmozhi’s love for her child was apparent and i was glad she had her families support for girl babies. I felt happy and relaxed as i left her. It was then i realized that Government Hospitals are not as bad as i thought they were. That was Thenmozhi’s story.

A visit to the Chengelpet Govt. Hospital…

For my first week’s field visit , along with Harshitha , we went to Chengelpet to the visit the Goverment Hospital. We were to meet Dr. Satya who was incharge of the Maternity Ward. It took us a while to get around the hospital and find the place and the doctor. We were asked to wait for a while. As we waited , Harshitha and I saw that there were many babies who were really tiny and really underweight. I could not bear to look at some of them. I also noticed that the Mothers Room was bare of furniture and that they were on the floor along with their children … some even out on the corridor with the families. The new borns were kept on the ventilators for warming and in some ventilators were 3 – 4 babies. While we were there the power had gone out twice and the generator found it hard to support the entire hospital and the ventilators kept fluctuating. The suddenly horrible thought flashed across my mind that something might happen to the babies as the atmosphere in the room was already a little tense.

Mean while , the doctor had become busy and asked us to go around the hospital to take a look around. We noticed that in every ward , either there was a lack in the number of beds or the beds were empty [ which got me furious when i thought about the mothers ]. The waste disposal was a terrible condition. They did not have proper bins to throw waste and it was all in buckets , which were hardly taken out. This obviously means they did not have a proper place to dump the trash. The floors were wet with water. There were some sections of the hospital which smelled as the toilets had not been cleaned. The amount of constant cleaning work which came about frustrated the staff. Everyone was so busy that there was hardly time for them to talk to us. This lead to many parents thinking Harshitha & I were doctors and kept coming to us.

Family members were not left into the mother s ward which got them more anxious than they already were. They tried to get in with Harshitha & I as an excuse. We both were stunned and were at loss of words. When we went back to the doctor and asked what kind of requirements does she personally feel the hospital needs. As expected , the requirements were everything we saw [ beds , waste bins , cleaning equipment , generators etc… ]. Dr. Satya also took us to the new building which was being constructed for mothers and babies and surgical. The place was big and spacious but i was wondering how well would they use that space.

With all that done , we ended our day and left the hospital. The pitiable condition of the babies disturbed me. The place brought a lot of thoughts to my head. I wanted to see more , explore more and talk more. But this was all i could do for now. I hope my next visit brings a better result.