Here comes the final episode of our OFFstage stories- the Offstage story of ‘Medical helps’. परमार्थ do a lot of work for the well being and health of slum dweller that it covers. Let us explore some on them with sip of hot tea at Ramesh Bhai's stall and see what other participants have to ‘discuss on tea' today.

It is a random pleasant day at a tea stall situated near IET college's Main Gate. The aroma of tea is in atmosphere, as usual, vendor is making 'masala tea', in the best sense of its flavor. Some 6-7 people are sitting on the benches, waiting for their cups. They will be introduced with the flow of narration. Birds are chirping in melody, most likely, they are singing some morning song. Mr. Ramesh who owns that very tea stall broke the silence by greeting Mr. Gopal, who is driver of our college's ambulance.

Mr. Ramesh: Raam Raam, Gopal ji, how's the kid?

Mr. Gopal: Raam Raam Ramesh bhai, by God's grace kid is out of danger and is recovering fast.

Mr. Ramesh: God is really great. What exactly happened to the kid and how you came to know about him?

Mr. Gopal: Ramesh bhai, the face and burns of that poor kid in my conscience is not fading for even a while. The kid is just 8 years old and reside in adjacent 'Mohibullapur Slum'. Yesterday's noon, he was flying kite and his kite got stuck in high load overhead electric cables. In his little age and little knowledge, he tried to escape his kite from vicious wires and got shock burns. The little body got burnt about 70 percent of the total. The burns were so scary that a soft-hearted person could have fainted just by its look. It was Almighty's grace that some of the college student called me and informed me about the emergency. I was pondering that how will I ask college administration to allow me to rush that kid to the hospital, but then the person on other side of call added that they have taken the permission from the administration and all I need to do is to act fast and carry the child to Civil Hospital. I dashed ambulance to the slum, some college students were waiting for me. As soon as possible we conveyed the kid to hospital and that group of students completed all the admission formalities and got the kid admitted in emergency. The mother of the kid was also with us, but you know well Ramesh bhai, how poor are the residents of Mohibullapur slum, they hardly manage meals, leave along costly medicine and treatments. Those youngsters paid all the bill. Doctor was expected to arrive in some 10 minutes or so. I had to return, so I asked them for the way back to college. Two of them stayed there and remaining two joined me. On our way back, we conversed a little. I asked them why two of them stayed there, which they replied, the kid's mother has very less knowledge about things and she can't manage things alone, so those two will assist the kid with all the requirements. I admired them by saying that, bhaiyaa you people are doing great job by helping that poor kid, God will surely bless him with a fast recovery. In response, they just smiled. Later in the evening someone told me that those youngsters are linked with social club of our college - परमार्थ .

Akash in his recovery phase

Mr. Mohan who is ward-boy of Aryabhatta hostel, the hostel of 2nd year undergraduate boys, interrupted Mr. Gopal in his chronicle.

Mr. Mohan: What you said Gopal ji, परमार्थ? Yes, that is a very noble group. I also have a interesting incident to recall.

Mr. Ramesh: Carry on Mohan bhaiyaa. (Meanwhile he served tea to everyone sitting there)

Mr. Mohan continued his narration after taking the first sip from his cup.

Mr. Mohan: So, it was the month of May, I was on my routine round of the hostel when I noticed that nearly 10-12 students have gathered in a room and are packing something in bundles. I got a little suspicious in beginning and decided to introspect them. I entered the room and asked what they were doing. There was heap of packets of sanitary pads. Hundreds of sanitary pads were lying here and there, some scattered and some arranged in bundles of 7. First thought that stroke me was that these boys are planning for some kind of prank with these packets of pad. So, I interrogated them that what are they going to do with it, but their answer to it gave a sense of proud in me for those boys. Yes, they were from परमार्थ and they were packing the pads so that they could distribute it to adolescent girls and women of the nearby slums. You all know well that menstrual hygiene and awareness is so pity in poor slum women, and their such courageous step was surely going to bring some change. Out of curiosity I asked that how they managed to convince slum women to speak on such taboo issue. They enlightened that it was days of preparation. Girl volunteers of club first visited each door step and surveyed about their menstrual practice, taking slum women in confidence about the topic. Then they informed them about the correct practice and to break the ice they are going to distribute pads so that slum women can adopt it in practice. They also informed slum women that where they can easily get pads at lower rates and they are planning to make more surveys in future to examine how their initiative will perform.

The offstage work in Sanitary Pad distribution event, From left to right- Purchasing Pads, Packing it in Bundles, Survey in slum, Pad distribution and imparting correct menstrual knowledge

Mr. Furkan who is a E-rickshaw driver continued the conversation.

Mr. Furkan: I know those youngsters very well. My son Waqar study in their club. Every evening he visit them and they teach kids like him, free of cost. A year back, my son was having repeated fevers. I thought that it will go off with time but that didn't happen. Later, those youngsters took him to 'Balrampur hospital' and got him tested. It was encephalitis, 'dimagi bukhar' and Doctor admitted him to ICU. Ramesh bhai you know well, that daily wage earners like us have a very little savings. But those youngsters, the mentors of परमार्थ, not only admitted my ward in ICU, but also helped me financially and believe me, one or the other of them stayed there for couple of days untill my son was out of danger. Later they admitted him to KGMU hospital. By Khuda's grace and their help, my little Waqar is all healthy now.

Little Waqar

Mrs. Hardai who is 60-year-old elderly women and run a small 'Paan shop', joined the narration.

Mrs. Hardai: You are saying right son. My daughter Chhaya also study in their club's 'Girl Education unit'. I was so grieved with my back pain in the past and there was no one to guide me. Chhaya also knows very little about the big hospitals in city, then they helped me with my treatment. I can count, it was at least 7 times they took me to the 'KGMU hospital' to a orthopedic physician. They guided me from one section to other, from one lab to other and from one cabin to other. They took appointments, met doctors, got me tested, got my medicines and done every other thing. They also accompanied Chhaya with them so that she can learn how one deals in the hospital. By God's will, my back is much relieved now.

Mrs. Hardai having treatment of her back in KGMU hospital

Mr. Sharma, who have just finished his tea and was silent all the time, continued the conversation.

Mr. Sharma: I am a doctor at Common Health Centre, Jankipuram. Whether you people are aware or not, but in month of May, a fatal chicken pox has spread in nearby slums. We were called for the follow up. Some college students accompanied us throughout the process. The slum dwellers were ignorant about the disease, but those students were very active. They guided us through each door step. They were also checking the water facility and were giving phenyl to each of them to clean the house so that the spread can be stopped. We examined every slum dweller and collected the sample from people who were showing symptoms. Later some doctors from KGMU also accompanied us, they were also called by the same student body. Later on, those students also distributed medicated homeopathic tablets among slum dwellers. With all the collective efforts, we finally made it and stopped the proliferation. Affected patients also got recovered, but I must say that if those students were not there to look after them, then this could have also caused fatalities. Their commitment was impressive. Later I discovered that they are part of a College social club, and now I know the name, परमार्थ.

Efforts to contain fatal Chicken Pox. Left to Right- Medicated homeopathic tablet, Awaring slum dweller about the precautions, team of Doctors from CHC Jaankipuram and KGMU.

Mr. Gopal: So, it seems that they have helped a lot of people from nearby slums. It is truly said that 'A life in which we are able to help others, is the life worth living'. Now its 9 in the morning, I should take leave now.

As everyone have finished their cup of tea, so they all stepped to their workplaces, after paying the bill. And thus, one more 'discussion at tea' concluded at Ramesh Bhai's stall.

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