Posts which have been tagged with: rural development.

Carpentry Training at Sharana

We at Sharana are happy to announce the admission of our first batch of 8 students to the Vocational Training Program in Carpentry, at the Aranganur Community Center.

Since this past April, Sharana social workers have been canvassing the villages surrounding Pondicherry in an awareness-building campaign. Students and volunteers participating in Sharana’s summer camp 2012 also took time to redouble our efforts to publicize the availability of the training program, and increase awareness of the benefits to school drop-outs in the region.
Twenty-two students applied for admission to the training program, which is housed in a building adjoining the Aranganur Community Center, and fully equipped with the best machinery. All applicants were from the surrounding villages, and all were school drop-outs who were compelled by family and circumstances into agricultural coolie labor. Eight were finally selected based on family background and need. All are between the ages of 16-19. One boy, for example, had been abandoned by both parents, and was living entirely on his own. It is cases like his that remind us of the worthiness of vocational training projects that empower and enfranchise rural youth by giving them marketable skills to which they would otherwise never had access.

Medical Outreach

Medical care was among the first and most critical needs identified by members of the community at Angalakuppam. When the community center was built, space was set aside for a dispensary which is run today by Lakshmi, a woman from the village who worked hard to train herself as a paramedic and then to gain the faith and trust of the community she serves as a healthcare professional.

Thanks to Lakshmi’s expertise and the space created for the dispensary, several medical outreach activities are possible at Angalakuppam:

  • routine medical care, including vision and dental checks;
  • eye care camps (conducted by the reputed Arvind Eye Hospital);
  • dental camps (conducted by Rajiv Gandhi Dental College, and with the assistance of local dental practitioner Dr. Satya);
  • disease prevention awareness campaigns;
  • family planning awareness;
  • vaccinations (including pulse polio);
  • detection of Respiratory and heart ailments, blood pressure monitoring;
  • referral services, where patients are triaged to local hospitals based on their physical conditions.

The prospect of building a dispensary to provide similar services at Mathur is currently being investigated.