A life changing experience: Working at DIR-India changed my outlook! Before working for DIR, all I wanted to do specialization in some plush medical field, earn good money and that's it! Working for DIR, changed my outlook towards life in general and my future career direction in specific. As a physician just out of medical school, I worked on teaching the health promoters (bright young people who were hired from the area of operation) the basics of medicine, nutrition, vaccination, hygiene and disease prevention, and they, in turn, diligently visited each house in their alloted area to teach the residents what they had learned. Such a simple model, really, and an exceedingly cost effective one. And the results of this intervention were nothing short of dramatic. A childhood vaccination rate approaching 100%, a reduction of prevalence of children with malnutrition below the national average of India! It was then that I realized the importance of public health, realized that interventions need not be fancy and expensive to make the highest impact. I don't know about how anyone else would be affected by such an experience, but for me it indeed was a life changing one, so much so that I went on to pursue a degree in public health. As a result of this, DIR will always be close to my heart, and the person behind it all, Dr. Frederick Shaw, is a role model in my life - an idol who I try to emulate always (though I frequently fail to get myself up to his standards).
Based in the adjoining city and working in the similar field of Public Health, I have been in constant touch with DIR and its staff. Having watched its work on ground, I definitely vouch for the organization as it is only one of very few organization in the area that actually are doing great work in the field. With the growth of numerous spurious NGOs around, it is necessary that the work of a genuine organization be recognized and supported. The way in which the indigenous people and resources of the target population have been recruited and trained in dealing with health problems of the area is really amazing. Infact the whole project is a replicable and should definitely be taken to more places in the country. The transparent and professional management combined with local inputs and support makes this organization a perfect model of community participation for a country with limited resources.