Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Part 2 - In Shodhgram - Day 1 - next two plus hours

From about 2 pm, I had about some time with Mr Mahesh - head of research. He has a Masters in Statistics and showed me some presentations about the work. SEARCH has been doing for the last so many years. It was incredible seeing how they had data about infant mortality which was far higher than that projected by the government. Not just that - they maintain a census of a population of about 1 lakh people in the Gadchiroli villages, so that they have proper background data about all their health related issues. Mr Mahesh has also created an E-library of several paper documents and articles all by himself. He came across as someone who seemed as passionate about SEARCH as Dr Bang (and family). It is rare to have people like this in any set up, and I simply loved going through his presentations with him!

Then came the first of the moments that I was looking forward to. Some time with Dr Abhay Bang himself. I went to his room and the true host in him asked me if all arrangements were comfortable. I assured him I was fine. And then he asked me for my background and I quickly filled him in. We also discussed Medicon and his question was "Do those students really go ahead with research"? And I said "Well many seem definitely interested. But unless we and the system does something to nurture it, I am not sure how many would go ahead". He listened.

Now came his main question (I almost felt like it were a job interview :>). He asked  "Tell me Vasumathi, what made you come all the way here". I told him that in the last few years, I was constantly on the look out for the answer to the question "How do I make an impact with my skills and the collective skills in QMed". And that when I got to know about his work in the deeper parts of India where people needed healthcare, and where he actually managed awesome research outputs too, I felt the need to explore. I told him that I had come with an open agenda - to see what I could contribute and to see if I could learn to make an additional impact through QMed in more such areas.

I was rewarded with a big smile and Dr Abhay Bang said "It is rare that people get curious and then follow that curiosity. I am really happy that you did and that you have come here. Can we have some sessions for our interns with you? (I of course said an instant yes). And he said he would organize a field visit for me too! Wondering if I would get to meet Kajubai!


sc said...

Now this is the real deal - the post is written exactly as a "special correspondent" would frame it!

I'm amazed at the volume of data they have - how do they maintain it? Who conducts the census - healthcare workers? Look forward to hearing Kaju Bai's story again from your perspective ma'am, I loved the way Abhay Bang sir narrated it in Medicon.

PS: How do you feel after all this reflective writing?

sindhu said...

vasu mam it's brilliant.. the way you candidlywrite withoutflowery language..:) m so envious..your descriptions of that place make me want to be there.. i am so happy that you found shodgram better than your expectations.. yes we are waiting for your kajubai story!!:)how do the NRI's feelafter coming here?? what is their perspective??

sindhu said...
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