Mittur Visit (Jan 20-2011)


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MITTUR VISIT (Jan 20-2011)

On Jan 20, 2011, YFS volunteers Anand Baskaran, Namita Solanki, Vyjaynati, Pankaj Tiwari & Sinu visited Mittur village and organized a Medical camp and a few other events. Given below is the report.

Main Events:

1.      Medical screening camp in association with Devraj Urs Medical college & Hospital (Jalappa Hospital, Kolar)

2.      Distribution of Sanitary Pads for High School girls

3.      Video clips for an awareness documentary on Girls Hygiene

Other information:

1.      Status of constructed toilets

2.      Educating the girl child

1. Medical screening camp

Doctors from Devraj Urs Medical College & Hospital screened children from the Primary, Middle & High School in Mittur. This initiative was led by Dr. Ranganath, HOD of Community Medicine Department, Devraj Urs Hospital. They have agreed to provide free consultation for the children requiring treatment at the hospital.

Doctors from Jalappa(6):  Dr.Kruthika H.V, Dr.Kruthika P, Dr.Roopa, Dr.Prathima A, Dr.Lakshmi & Dr.Ambaresh

Supporting staff from Jalappa (4):  Sister Vani, Mr.Jagannath (attender), Mr.Rajanna (driver), Mr. Narayana (camp in charge)

Children screened – 149 (Primary school – 114, High school – 35)

Referred cases: 12 children have been referred to the hospital for further consultation with a specialist. The remaining children (except for dental) have been given medicines or prescriptions on the day of the camp itself and need not be referred for further treatment.

Dental – 63

ENT – 31

Pediatric – 9

Eye – 8

Others – 9 (Vitamin A Deficiency & White pacthes mainly)

Children to be taken to Jalappa Hospital

Child’s details Reason Specialist referred to at Jalappa
1. Supriya N – 3rd std Chronic tonsilitis ENT
2. Charan Kumar ML – 4th std Tooth extraction & filling required Dentist
3. Vedavathi M – 4th std Refractory error, Bilateral Tosis Eye specialist
4. Pratima – 6th std Juvenile arcus, Conjunctival xerosis Eye specialist
5. Shabana Begum – 6th std Athertoid movements Pediatrician
6. Kumar J – 7th std Refractive Error Eye specialist
7. Prashant – 10th std Headache, Burning sensation in eye Eye specialist
8. Mallika PR- 10th std Burning sensation in eye. Dental Fluorosis Eye specialist & Dentist
9. T Anitha – 10th std Refractive error Eye specialist
10. Narayana Reddy – 10th std Missing tooth; IOPA Dentist


1.      The names of the 12 children requiring immediate attention have been given to the respective HMs of the Primary & High school, and hopefully they will make sure the children visit the hospital.

2.      Dental cases – Since the number of cases requiring dental attention are 63 and since we have the names of the children who require treatment, maybe the children can be taken to Dr. Sameer Savakoor on his next visit. Or maybe he could set up a treatment camp at school if it is convenient. This would be easier than taking so many children to Jalappa for treatment, especially since dental cases require multiple visits.

3.      Eye cases – If the visitng eye specialist, Dr. Yeshoda Dash, has equipment to do the refraction test, it will be useful. Once the prescriptions are obtained, YFS can sponsor spectacles.

4.      The high school HM had phoned me last week saying there are some girls whose parents are very worried that they haven’t yet attained puberty, and requested me to do something about it. These 3 girls – Sandhya(aged 15), Soundarya(aged 14) & Hamsa(aged 14) were seperately screened by a lady doctor in the presence of Vyjayanti & myself. The doctor said that there is nothing to worry, and they still have time. The same has been conveyed to the HM and other teachers who had quite a few doubts about this matter. Although I have explained things to the teachers, it made me further realize the need of a lady teacher in the school. Anyway, until that happens, YFS volunteers like Vyjayanti & myself will gladly step in whenever such issues arise.

2. Distribution of Sanitary Pads

After the first distribution event on November 14th, 2010, the second distribution happened on Jan 20th, 2011. However, while interacting with the girls, many of them said that they purchased Sanitary pads from the market last month since they now prefer to use these. The remaining stock has been left in the school to enable easy distribution next month.

We have Dr. Lakshmi Achar, a Pediatric Neuroligist, to thank for sponsoring pads for 6 months for the girls in Mittur. And the positive change it has brought about in the girls is something that was unimaginable to us when we first visited the school in October 2010. Now the girls gladly come forward and ask to be given Sanitary Pads, and even happily posed for photos and video clips holding the packets given. And their trust in us to open up about personal issues is really touching. This had indeed been a very useful initiative, and we are really glad to have been a part of this change.

3. Video clips for an awareness documentary on Girls Hygiene

YFS is trying to make an awareness documentary on Personal Hygiene for adolescent girls that would show clips of actual experiences, awareness talks, and a gynaecologist’s advice on important issues. The idea is to screen copies of this documentary in government schools, remote villages & tribal areas where doctors and volunteers cannot always be present to educate women on this important issue. However, as of now, it will be amateur work and only a trial is being attempted.

In this regard, we have taken a few clips from some mothers and young girls in Mittur. The consent of the people in the video has been taken. Volunteers Namita & Vyjayanti visited a few houses along with the girls from school and briefly spoke to the mothers & girls and the same has been recorded through Namita’s handycam. We will keep you all informed of the progress of the documentary.

Though it will be a month or two before we gather the rest of the material for the documentary, we sincerely thank Mr. Krishna Prasad, Dr. Jagadish & Mr. Kalawar for introducing us to Mittur which is making so many good things possible.

4. Status of toilets

The HM informed that the flooring work has been completed, and Mr. Krishna Mohan from Chennai has been contacted to complete the remaining work. Mr. Krishna Mohan has told the HM that he will take things forward after Jan-20, 2011.

Based on Dr. Jagadish’s phone conversation with me, I asked the HM and school staff about the partition for the two toilets. They said that brick (single layer, around 6 ft high) might be better than using fibre, to prevent notorius boys from tapping or trying to break the partition. The HM also spoke about the soak pit being given priority over other work since it will help in getting the toilet operational. Also, Vyjayanti suggested that the girl’s toilet section be closed from two sides which  will ensure privacy, and the space in front of the toilet can be used as the changing room.

5. Educating the girl child

On Nov-14, during the inauguration of the toilet, two little girls, Shabnam & Vishalamma had walked up to Vyjayanti & me with a red rose each and requested us to visit their school some time. This in fact is the reason why we thought of organizing the medical camp for the Primary & Middle school as well.

Mr. Kalawar had asked me to find out more about these 2 girls and their families to know how we can further help them. So I spoke to the two girls during my visit, and I learnt that both their parents don’t plan to educate them beyond 7th standard. Both girls have dreams of becoming a teacher and   are keen on further studies. It was sad to watch them resign to their fate of it not happening.

From what I’ve noticed, things aren’t so bad with the high school students. But, some awareness has to be given to the parents of primary and middle school children about educating the girl child.