BIS #6824 Health Camp at Panchvati

By Ms Doris Kurapati for BISMumbai

Don Bosco Suraksha Migrant Desk, Nashik, conducted a Health Camp at Panchavati Ghat in collaboration with Pravara Medical Trust on 9 November 2022.

The project team, composed of the staff from the Migrant Desk, has been building a trustworthy relationship with migrant workers over the past few months. One of the key observations in their interactions was that slum dwellers are only able to avail basic necessities of life with their daily wage. Health check-ups are expensive and therefore not their priority. The need to raise awareness for physical and mental health was made a priority as many of them have low immune systems and prolonged ill health. Women and girls face many issues with their menstrual cycle - painful cramps, abnormally heavy bleeding, and low haemoglobin. Due to their low economic conditions, some of the women in these areas also opt for sex work which brings the risk of STD.

The team mobilised a few slum areas for this first medical camp in the area. Dr Priyanka Adangale and her team from Civil Hospital, Nashik, were on the site for checkups. HIV, blood pressure, sugar tests, and general check-ups were conducted. They shared their medical expertise with the migrants. Basic counselling and information were provided by the project team. 35 people received prescribed medicines free of cost. Initiatives like these will benefit many low-income people living on the periphery. The project team has plans to conduct similar medical camps in four other migrant sites.

Don Bosco Suraksha Migrant Desk, Nashik, started in the year 2019 with an aim to empower the lives of migrant workers through various initiatives such as rights-based awareness programs and sustainable livelihood opportunities. Migrants are involved in different occupations such as sculptors, brick workers, artists, masons, and so on.

Activities like tuition classes, mehendi courses, stitching, and awareness of health and hygiene are also promoted so that the lives of migrants may be in some manner alleviated. Migrant’s workers have also benefited by receiving e-shram cards, aadhar cards and bank accounts.Through the setting up of the Migrant Desk, Don Bosco has been able to fulfil the basic needs of migrants and reach out to the abandoned.