Monday, October 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


A health centre for the poor
By Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Oct 1 — The Community Health Centre run by the CMC is located in kucha number 7 in Field Ganj. It was established to take care of the health and hygiene of the poor sections of society. It is a tough job. To reach this centre as the Field Ganj area is littered with straw used for packing fruits and vegetables and plastic bags.

The centre though an old structure, is neat and tidy. Two health workers, two rural medical officers, a nurse and a midwife run this centre. Three to five interns who are students of community medicine’ come here for three months to know the ground realities in the field of health care. The health visitors visit 30 homes daily and talk to the families about health and hygiene. They also educate women about family planning.

One of the interns said some women did not even know that they were pregnant. This reporter net a family where two anaemic women had eight children between them. The children were suffering from severe malnutrition. Rekha who has four children is only 22 years old. She got married when she was 15. After three daughters, she gave birth to a boy but her husband wants one more son. He hardly earns Rs 1,500 a month. In spite of the health workers’ counselling, she has not undergone an operation. The health workers are now giving medicines to raise her haemoglobin level.

One of the interns at the centre said, “Today is my last day at the centre. I feel sad leaving these poor patients. But I am satisfied that I have done my bit. I visited about 600 homes in three months. I have immunised children against polio, tuberculosis, measles, diphtheria etc. I have been so touched by their suffering that I have decided to do postgraduation in community medicine.”

Another intern said: “I feel happy to have worked here. I took 16 tuberculosis patients to the chest clinic run by the Municipal Corporation for free treatment. Some of the patients were referred to the CMC for treatment.”

The third intern said: “We saved a few infants suffering from diarrhoea by giving them the ORS solution but what we have done is a drop in the ocean. There is so much that remains to be done but paucity of funds is a hindrance.”

The biggest problem faced by the poor is illiteracy. Unless they become educated, nothing much can be achieved. They do not care for sanitation. The public toilets are not used. They prefer railway tracks to answer the call of nature. The Dukh Nivaran gurdwara is also helping these people by running a laboratory for blood tests and ultrasound scanning at subsidised rates.

The road leading to the centre has open drains spreading stench in the area. Mr Om Parkash and Mr Prit Pal Singh, residents of the area, said: “We are sick of the stink and the open drains. We have written several applications, boycotted municipal elections, staged dharnas, but to no avail. Dirty water from Millerganj and some factories flows into the ‘ganda nala’. People are trying to cover it to construct shops. The sweepers do not listen to us”.

Under such conditions, the health centre is a godsend for the poor residents of the area. The doctors, health workers, nurses midwives and interns doing a signal service by immunising children and treating patients.


Easy wins for Sanjeev, Ashish, Sunny
From Our Sports Reporter

LUDHIANA, Oct 1 — Sanjeev Vohra, Ashish Dhanda and Sunny Kent easily defeated their opponents in the first round of snooker matches in Satluj Club here yesterday. In the inaugural match, Sanjeev Vohra caused an upset by beating former Punjab champion Achint Verma, 2-0.

In the second match, national player, Ashish Dhanda, defeated Neeraj, 2-0. The scores in the first and second frames were 58-34 and 75-47, respectively.

Sunny Kent defeated Dhruv, 2-0. Sunny won the two frames by narrow margins. The scores were 76-68 and 79-62 in the first and second frames, respectively. Ruby defeated Nitin, 2-0. Ruby won the two frames, 69-64 and 70-60.

In the badminton matches, Manoj Verma and Keshav Dhanda reached the semi-finals of the men’s doubles events by defeating Kamal Kawatra and A.S. Chawala in straight sets. The scores in the first and the second games were 15-13 and 17-14, respectively.

The doubles match between Gaurav-Karan and Anuj-Dhand-Kaunal-Verma was a tough one. Gaurav and Karan won the first set, 15-13, but their opponents fought back in the second and won it, 15-12. Gaurav and Karan managed to win the third, 15-13, but only after a hard fight.

In the singles event, Raman Agarwal defeated Anuj Dhand, 15-7, 15-6.

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