DEVELOPING INDIGENOUS RESOURCES
November 18, 2010
At DIR (India), Nayagaon, Punjab, the first noticeable aspect is a transparency in accounting and work ethics. The next is near perfect mapping of the work area and feed back on every individual and activity. In a slum, heavily populated by migrants from all parts of India, who have no records or identity cards, people become a faceless, right-less mass with no recourse to even the basic facilities of food, water, hygeine or health, let alone education and jobs. Dr. Frederick Shaw is trying to right all these wrongs. With his usual hands-on approach, he is making life better for these people. The DIR School, with children between 2 and 6 years, readies children for higher education in the city. The CASE project takes teens off the streets, to educate them about health and nutrition through lectures, games and field work. Later, as adults, they can get jobs as Health Promoters, who earn salaries and work with every family assigned to them. Most purchases are made in the local bazar to help the economy of the area. DIR =School>CASE>Health Promoters> Better Economy. The programme is perfect for a country that has a definite but invisible line between the rich and the very poor. DIR can do with donations in cash and kind.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
30 children, who passed out of the DIR SCHOOL, are now in three schools in Chandigarh. The CASE programme has raised the health, nutrition and weight levels of underweight children in this slum. Through well trained health promoters, mortality levels are down, immunisation of children is efficient and TB patients are well medicated.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
...ask all foreigners to learn some Hindi or Punjabi to enable better communication. Do not judge these peoples' cultural values and norms by Western standards, but try to understand the reasons and values motivating slum dwellers. Have very clearly tabulated rules and regulations and assign every member of DIR with time bound tasks, inculcating the organisation's philosophy and expectations.
Volunteer & I helped start the "DIR SCHOOL Helped start the School and counselled young adults. .