Sai Aashraya In Tawang November 8th to 11th, 2017
Kitpi Village Medical Camp
After an adventurous journey to Tawang spanning 18 hours from the capital of Assam, Guwahati, through extreme weather conditions and driving conditions We reached Tawang on the 7th afternoon. An hour’s meeting with the administration in the chamber of the District Medical Officer set things up for the next 4 days for Sai Aashraya. The DMO guided us on the locations for the camps to be held in the next four days & arrangements for the same.
In the evening we surveyed the location, The primary health center of the village. The dark conditions at 5Pm made it really hard for us to make out anything at all!! But two in charges there carried lanterns and showed us around the health center. It was a small structure with minimal staff who were very dedicated. Electricity wasn’t there and the weather was freezing cold. We were now feeling at home and ready for the camp with the rooms for the registration, doctors, and the pharmacy decided.
The land of the rising sun greeted us with the most beautiful sunshine in the cold conditions on the 8th morning. The drive of about 25 kilometers to Kitpi village was adventurous too. Through windy roads in very challenging terrains filled with the most beautiful views. At this juncture, we offer our gratitude to the Border Roads Organization and all the people working to make life better for all of us by making roads in literally inaccessible areas. We offer our gratitude to all the Women who make all of this happen.
Even as the car reached the venue, patients had arrived and were waiting for us. At 8:30AM the camp began. In ten minutes about 70 children from the nearby schools came in. The people were overwhelmed by the care being provided. Advanced equipment was carried especially for cardiac care. Medicines were being given for two months. Soon a lot of adults came to the camp. About 100 of them. They had walked many kilometers to reach the venue, some walking from the top of the hills through dense forests. After their Permanent Health Cards were given, they were escorted one by one to meet the doctors and then after the consultations and investigations, medicines were issued from the pharmacy.
More and more people came in from nearby villages and very remote areas. Many had heart issues diagnosed for the first time. Others were diabetic and severely hypertensive and didn’t know. They had been suffering due the symptoms and couldn’t get access to quality Medicare which is 400 kilometers away.
Medicines were given to all patients for 2 Months and buffer medicines for ten extra days. Most patients had got information by word of mouth.
Another 70 people were treated through the course of the day. The sun was going down far too soon at around 4PM but the camp went on. We haven’t seen care like this in all our life said many patients. One patient said “Aap itnaa pyaar se hamaara treatment karte hain ki humko teek hogayaa jaisa lagtaa hain” “The Love with which you treat us, makes us feel cured already”. It was an overwhelming time for the entire team. The decision to do the camp in the villages was to reach out to the people by going to their homes. Now they wouldn’t need to walk all the way up to the camp which would otherwise have been in the district hospital.
The major health issues found that day were: -
Hypertension in most adults
Heart issues including cardio myopathy
Type 2 Diabetes
The patients were given diet plans and counselling along with medicines. Many patients promised to give up smoking & alcohol consumption.
240 Patients had been treated. Many from far away remote areas had come walking at least 25-30 kilometers. This included children who had walked all the way. It was a learning for all of us who were there in Kitpi Village that day.
At around 7:30 PM the camp began to close. The camp was a very successful one and most importantly a very impactful one.
Zemithang Village Medical Camp
The camp at Kitpi had left us all in total bliss and we were getting really excited for the next day’s medical camp in Zemithang. An early morning start was planned as the 90 kilometers drive was going to be a very long one.
The drive from Tawang to Zemithang is a story in itself. With the altitude almost touching 15,000 feet and through the most beautiful hills and valleys, the drive energized us for the camp. Though the roads were the windiest and the most difficult to drive through, we found true peace and joy in the lap of Mother Nature.
We reached Zemithang at around 10 am and there were a few people already waiting in the biting cold at the Primary Health Center which was the venue of the medical camp that day. All of us got to work really quickly and the locals too joined us and helped us set things up. The health center again was a small one and the nurse in charge was the only one managing it as the doctor was on leave. Soon enough people started coming in large numbers to the camp. There was no electricity and the machines were working on battery backup and with machines offering help to each other too by powering each other!! The locals joined us in helping with the registration and in the issue of the permanent health cards. Some ran to find out if they could get a generator. Here again many were diagnosed to have heart issues and they weren’t aware of the problems they had except for the symptoms which they ignored because of lack of access to quality healthcare of the most basic nature even.
Sai Aashraya had the opportunity to serve some of the Soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces are very close to all our hearts and Sai Aashraya got to serve those who serve all of us day in and day out, sacrificing their today for our tomorrow. We got together to salute our Jawans and offered our gratitude to Them.
The people of Zemithang came in large numbers to the camp. Many had come walking more than 20 kilometers to reach the venue as they lived uphill. With the power backup going down there was a help required immediately. The people of the village got to work and got a generator connected in quick time and the camp went on smoothly. The locals also joined in helping in translation, registration, and logistics during the camp.
At around 4:00 pm as the sun began to go down, the last batch of patients were coming in. 160 Patients were treated in the day. In an hour’s time the camp drew to a close with the last patient being attended to with the same Love & Care as the first patient. There were no tired faces at all. Though the weather was freezing cold, we felt warm with the Love the people of Zemithang had showered on us.
Children were affected by cough & cold, fever, ear issues, weakness and other common ailments. The Primary Health issues found in adults were Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart issues and other common ailments. The trends have been the same and patients were Lovingly explained the ways to being healthier by changing their lifestyle.
Sai Aashraya also adopted the village on the same day. The Sarpanch was elated and conveyed the news of how happy the people of Zemithang were on being given such Loving Care. The Indian Armed Forces and the Tawang administration appreciated Sai Aashraya for the service done. But the most fulfilling moments were when the patients walked up to us and said with moist eyes how happy they were to be with Sai Aashraya. We left Zemithang with tears in our eyes; tears of Love & Happiness.
Tawang Monastery Camp
After the Zemithang Camp, we were getting ready for the Tawang Monastery Camp which was going to be a special medical camp exclusively for the young monks, nuns, and the elder monks of the Tawang Monastery which is one of the oldest monasteries in the World.
The morning of the 10th was even more cold but the drive to the monastery filled us with joy as we drove through the most beautiful hills in the world with the clouds giving way to the rays of the most beautiful sunshine. Even as we entered the monastery, a special prayer session was on as it was a very important festival in the Buddhist Calendar. The vibrations in the monastery made us feel rejuvenated. We were welcomed Lovingly by the Elder Monks of the Monastery. We then moved to the health clinic of the Monastery which was our venue for the camp. The Monks and Authorities in the Monastery joined us in setting up the camp. All the rooms had breathtaking views through their windows. In quick time, we were ready. The Young Monks were the first to come in. Their radiant faces and smiles made us feel so Loved. The doctors began treating them and the venue was abuzz with sounds of joyous little children laughing and playing around. The Elder Monks arrived after the Prayers and we were filled with gratitude to them for the opportunity bestowed on us to serve them in a little way.
The Young Monks primarily had issues with cold & cough, fever, skin issues, weakness and they were attended to lovingly by the doctors. The Young Monks were given medications and the dosages were explained lovingly by the volunteers and by Elder Monks who stood for long and guided the Young Monks.
The Elder Monks had issues with diabetes, hypertension, heart issues and many common aliments too. They were put on medications by the doctors after thorough diagnosis.
The Elder Monks Had arranged for a sumptuous lunch for the entire team. The Elder Monks also organized a very loving felicitation ceremony for Team Sai Aashraya in the Monastery Premises during lunch. We were overwhelmed with the Love being showered on us by all the Monks and were feeling Blessed.
As more Monks from the monastery came in, the general public from the nearby villages also came in to the camp. The sun was beginning to go down at very early around 4:30 pm. The weather was getting colder by the minute. The Monks Lovingly arranged for Tea & Snacks and heaters for the team. The Love & Care they were showering on us left us feeling overwhelmed once again.
At around 7 pm the camp was drawing to a close having treated 260 Patients during the day. The Monks joined us wrapping up the camp. After a blissful day filled with everlasting memories Team Sai Aashraya left the camp venue Feeling Blessed.
Sai Aashraya's Medical Camp
in the District Hospital Tawang
The final day of this visit for Sai Aashraya dawned with bright sunshine in the biting cold. Even as the team reached the district hospital which the venue, about 70 patients had queued up at the entrance. A Loving welcome was given to the whole team by the patients. The team got to work quickly and the camp was all set to see the patients.
At 9 am sharp the camp began. The patients volunteered with us in registration and translation. The old patients had brought their records with them. The same was also seen in the other venues.
The Doctors examined the patients Lovingly and made crucial findings in many of the patients. Yet again Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart issues were the most common among the adults. Lifestyle changes were explained Lovingly by the volunteers to all the patients. The patients who had come for the first time to Sai Aashraya’s Medical Camp were being guided by the old patients who explained the benefits of healthy living habits to them along with the team. There was a tremendous improvement in the health of the old patients who were filled with Happiness. Their blood pressure and blood sugar levels were under control now. Their heart rates were normal. Their pains had come down significantly. It was fulfilling for us when the patients came forward to tell us the same.
There was a steady flow of patients. There was no electricity in between and Sai Aashraya’s diagnostic machines volunteered by working on battery backup selflessly till the power came back. The Evening saw more patients come in, children in particular. 150 Patients were seen in the day by Sai Aashraya.
At around 6:00 pm, the last day of the medical camps this time came to a close. The District Medical Officer who had been guiding us and taking care of all our requirements throughout the 4 days was with us till the end when we wrapped up. Our Gratitude to him and his team for all the Loving guidance and help.
Sai Aashraya had treated 810 patients with Love being the undercurrent of all the service offered. January will see Sai Aashraya back in action in Tawang. We offer our gratitude to all the people of Tawang who shower their Love on us and make this wonderful journey of Love happen every time.
With Abundant Love,
Team Sai Aashraya