Connecting local responses around the world
The dream of Patient support group (PSG) in Junga Panchayat, Himachal, India had focus on health. We have set up PSGs in a large number of villages and have used CLCP and SALT in 14 villages. Each PSG is composed of patients with diabetes and hypertension, their families and village leaders, health workers and other stakeholders.
PSG wanted a village, which was green, clean and healthy. This is what came up during the dream building session, which I had facilitated. I got busy in follow up and trying to arrange the action planning meeting as after dream building and self assessment we did not have time to make the action plan. When I went to the village to finalise the date for action planning, I got to know that the PSG had already taken some actions in first and second week of July.
First action- For a green village, the PSG had decided to plan more trees in the empty space the village. After dream building, the members of Panchayat (local self government) in PSG approached the forest department to procure plants. The PSG with officials of Block Development Corporation managed to get 600 Deodhar plants for their village and nearby area. Three days prior to action plan meeting they started plantation. As it was difficult for them to plant such a large number of plants at one go, they sought help from students of local Technical Institute. This action is an example of community members partnering with the government forest department. Forest Department also wants support of the villagers. Forest Department, BDO and the community members will jointly look after the plants. The villagers will ensure that they do not send their animals to graze in this area.
Second action- Some members from the PSG including ward member, patient, members of Mahila Mandal (women group), Panchayat head etc got together to clean up the area of Junga Bazaar. This was dirty. They worked hard and now this piece of area is neat and clean.
Third action-There is one patient who has started going for a walk regularly at 4 am every day.
I am very happy by the actions of the PSG. It took time but the PSG did take actions. I had focused on health of the patients and was hoping that the patients will take action but the PSG had taken some other actions. They had sent me a message to join them for these actions but I did not receive the message. Now they are very excited and have invited me next month when they plan to plant more trees.