Mayesh Pokhrel and Ongum Lepcha joined Anamaya’s Sikkim Tribal TB Initiative team a while ago as the community mobiliser and paramedical staff at Rakdong Tintek block of East District (Gangtok sub division) of Sikkim. They regularly travel in remote, difficult-to-reach areas to connect with community members there, spread awareness about COVID-19 and TB. They conduct community level screening, trains community on how to provide sputum sample necessary for TB diagnosis and collects sputum from people who have symptoms resembling TB symptoms. Mayesh and Ongum constantly battle with harsh weather, difficult terrain, and long distances in their everyday efforts of carrying out their duties. One may say that they are doing their jobs like any other. But only after we pay close attention, we can understand the amount of zeal and resilience that they need and have to reach the last mile.
Mayesh and Ongum do not stop there though. They live the value of SEWA (service) and walk an extra mile whenever they can. As part of their routine service, they recently reached an old age home at Rakdong village to generate awareness about TB and COVID-19, screen for TB and collect first round of sputum samples from people with symptoms. Upon reaching they found out that the residents of that old age home are struggling with the lack of basic amenities like toiletries, towels, nutritious food in enough quantity and good quality.
Like any other day that day too both Mayesh and Ongmu were busy with their ACF Aashwashan campaign. They planned to visit Lee aal old age home at Rakdong village. They had gone there for generating awareness about TB and to collect Sputum sample. However, when they reached the old age home and talked to the residents, they were shocked to know that they did not even have basic amenities like toiletries, towels, or food. Both Mayesh and Ongmu were very moved. They were unable to let ignore what they saw. Therefore, they decided to help the elderly in whatever small way they could.
Both decided to contribute some amount and buy whatever they can for the residents of the old age home. They contributed 1,000 rupees each and went shopping. With the small amount they bought toiletries, towels, food, fruits etc. They went back and distributed the items to the residents of the old age home.
The contribution of Rs. 2,000 might not be a very big amount, but it goes a long way in making people feel loved and cared for.