Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Trip to Shodhgram - Day 2

I expected to be up at 4 AM thanks to crashing at 9.30 PM. Surprisingly though I did wake up, I went back to sleep right away and managed a couple of snoozes of the alarm that I set for later. The sound of the rains had some magic lullaby that made me have some glorious sleep. The main sounds that one hears in the campus are the chirping of the birds. Occasionally a car or a bike vrooms around, but that is really rare.

Breakfast at 7.45 and then I was in the research dept by 8.30. The good news is that the Internet lines are back, and am finally connected back with the world :)
I guess I get a real time lesson on gratitude, after experiencing how the Internet connectivity keeps vanishing and reappearing with amazing regularity. How much we take for granted in a city like Mumbai!

Anyway - my day got kind of scheduled. A very brief visit to the library. Then an orientation session in the afternoon along with some others who are going through it too. And a preliminary sesson on searching in the early evening. In between I get to do what I want :)

At around 10.30 we were all invited to the main entrance of Shodhgram where there is the "Ma Danteshwari temple". SEARCH just got a new vehicle - Tavera - with support from the State Bank of India. Dr Abhay Bang performed a small pooja and broke a coconut. Dr Rani Bang thanked the SBI for their support and said that this would be mainly used for transport of patients with back pain. I was told that every event is celebrated with maximum participation from all here. Every birthday is celebrated with a mix of tradition and modern customs. The birthday girl or boy is made to sit and Dr Rani performs an Arti with a Pooja thali. And then people sing Happy Birthday. One more example of a small action feeding the passion?

At around 11 am I got to visit the library . The lady in charge was on leave and another gentleman received me. Again I was pleasantly surprised to see a computerized catalog and Issue-Return system, all created in house - by Mr Mahesh of the Research Dept. The collection in this library caters to an audience right from the children in the campus to all professionals. I discussed certain possibilities for further improvement he was happy to hear them. We decided to take these points up again when the librarian was back.  The library obviously warmed the heart of the librarian in me, but more importantly the fact that the people who looked after it, and the people responsible for SEARCH are constantly giving their minds to how a library should serve them!

Post lunch I got to listen to presentations on the Home Based Neonatal and Childcare model, along with a team of abuot 12 from another NGO - "Save the Children. The presentations were par excellence - one by Mr Tushar Khorgade and the second by Dr Anand Bang.

Tomorrow will be a field visit. I would be going with four members of the Save the Children Foundation and there will be two more groups. Waiting to experience this!

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