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This is a blog written by my colleague Arun and me for our work as SALT facilitators under HealthRise project. We work with Mamata- HIMC and this work was done under HealthRise project to engage people and communities to respond to diabetes and hypertension

Village Chowki, Block Sunni, District Shimla, Himachal Pradesh (India)

When we started doing SALT visits in the village, health worker called ASHA in India- Ms. Bala Devi- got  motivated to do something for her village. She liked the idea of SALT.

Thereafter,  we had a SALT meeting with the village where we discussed their strengths, their dreams. Through SALT, people realised their strengths and also took ownership of the idea that health was their responsibility. 

Due to COVID, we could no longer visit the communities. As a result, patients and the health worker took a decision. They phoned us that previously after SALT they had started exercising but now have decided to do yoga as a group. They also celebrated yoga day on 21st June in 2020 . This was during the peak of Covid-19.  Yoga could be done while maintaining social distancing easily. As you know, exercise is very important to manage diabetes and hypertension which are co-morbidities in COVID-19.

Older people, middle aged village members also involved the children as they are the future, it is important to prepare the children for their health. Schools were closed due to the pandemic, children happily joined in yoga session. Children found it fun.  

What was significant was that we as NGO staff were not there, it was celebrated under leadership of Asha worker. It was not possible for us to go due to COVID-19. During COVID-19, without our support, patients continued monthly routine check up and regular adherence to medicine and could maintain their diet.

 Why SALT approach works and brings different generations together?

In  SALT meetings, we create an appreciative environment where everyone listens to each other, everyone is a leader, men, women, youth, what do children want, everyone's voice is important. This brings everyone together and motivates them to work collectively. If SALT approach is used in communities they can effectively face pandemics like COVID-19 on their own without relying on external support.

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Comment by Phil on March 18, 2021 at 10:47am

Arun and Virender,

Great photographs. They really do capture the idea of SALT.

I guess you were pleased when THEY called YOU. That tells you who owns the action.

Many thanks for the blog.


Comment by Marlou on March 17, 2021 at 3:36pm

Congratulations for setting the example!

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