Connecting local responses around the world
Old, young, women , men , patients & children developed a common dream for health in village Majhiwar, Block Mashobra, district Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. Facilitated by Arun and Virender, SALT facilitators from NGO Mamta on 28th Dec 2019. I will highlight three points here:
1. Community/neighbourhood & family centric response to health
HealthRise is a project on Non communicable diseases (NCDs)- diabetes and hypertension. We have learned that we need to go beyond the patients and involve families and community members. Families can provide crucial support to the patients for treatment adherence and better lifestyle. Social determinants of health have to be considered and ecological lens can stimulate behaviour change.
When larger community gets engaged, we see a holistic response to health and prevention of disease. In this meeting the discussion was on #NCDs #diabetes #hypertension, organic farming, eating healthy food including green vegetables, growing trees and flowers, safe drinking water and clean village. For children the main concern was use of drugs.
2. Common bond and spirit of solidarity key ingredient for collective agency. Collective agency is a necessary precursor to any form of change.
The pictures below show the steps of this dream building, then there is the photo of the common dream and finally description of the dream. The first dream is unity in the village. One village adult said, "this is the foundation to achieving the dream. If there is no solidarity and common responsibility who will execute the dream?"
As a development practitioner I wonder why projects are taken up on different issues without first strengthening the foundation- a bond amongst the people in the area. then can we think of collective agency and action. Collective action is key if we want to address structural and deep rooted issues.
3. Prevention -involve children and youth
Role of children and youth is important who need an equal voice in the discussions and take shared responsibility for health. In this case, Children from grade 4th to 7th took lead in drawing the dream of the village.