Cow & tiger : Connecting with community through games and linking those games with immunization

During the learning event held at Bongaigaon, Assam, India from 5th-7th June, 2017, Constellation team memebers, Marlou de Rouw, Rituu B. Nanda and Bobby Zachariah were present. Presently the SALT approach is being implemented in 3 districts of Assam, India for increasing immunization coverage.

During the dream building exercise held at Nayapara village, Bongaigaon district, Marlou requested the community to teach her a game so that she can play that game back in her country. The community obliged her by playing the “Cow and Tiger” game. In this game, one person plays the part of a cow and another becomes the tiger. Other villagers try to protect the cow by forming a circle around the cow. The tiger tries to get hold of the cow by breaking the circle. Once the tiger is successful in entering the circle, the people who form the circle by holding hands, release the cow from inside the circle and do not allow the tiger to get out of the circle, thereby protecting the cow. This game went a long way in helping the team mix well with the community.

The community got really enthusiastic when they heard about Marlou's request and happily agreed to teach her the game. 

Later Juthika, one of the members of Voluntary Health Association of Assam (one of the NGOs which is implementing the approach in 2 districts) linked the game with immunization. She said that the vaccine preventable diseases are like the tiger, while the cow is the baby. Immunization is like the protective circle which saves the baby from the diseases. That's what I call learning by playing! 

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Comment by Marie Lamboray on June 29, 2017 at 8:45pm

Oh those laughs...what a treat! Thank you for filming Anirban! I will share the game and the interpretation.

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on June 19, 2017 at 7:10pm

Thanks for sharing Anirban. My takeaway - by asking this question Marlou has indicated that she can learn from the community and can be a good indirect way to appreciate the gifts community has. Nayapara village is on an international network now thanks to Anirban!

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