Anamaya’s Aashwasan team in Lohardaga district of Jharkhand came across a challenge as they were planning their visit to Kerar, a small village in Peshrar block. As a routine process of micro-plan, the team acquires information from all available resources at the block level before visiting a village to ensure optimum outputs of their efforts. They did the same as they started planning to visit Kerar and was advised by many stakeholders at the block head quarter to drop the idea of visiting the village. The team learnt that the village witnessed a conflict between CRPF and Naxalites very recently. The clash continued for about a month. Despite the challenge and the fear, the team decided to try at least once.
Peshrar block’s Ashwasan team traveled over 70 kilometers through the scorching heat of April, unpaved road with no public transport facilities to reach Kerar. There was no telecom network in the area as well. As they reached, on the first day the team was greeted with a very silent and tense environment. Even after consistent efforts of more than 4 hours they hardly had any success in getting the people out of their homes. They realised that the villagers were skeptical and found it difficult to trust outsiders who came for the first time that too soon after the recent conflict. But the team was even more determined after their first visit! They came back the next day and again started visiting house to house. This time, with a specific ask of finding the ASHA of the village. After visiting a few households, they started getting some directions and found the ASHA. But the ASHA was reluctant to help the team given the tense situation at the village. After multiple rounds of requests and interaction, the ASHA agreed only to introduce the team to a few villagers. She introduced the team to the Sarpanch. With their help, eventually our team was able to talk to the people. They spent the entire day talking to the villagers and informing them about TB through multiple small group meetings and house to house visits.
Gradually, a few people started to open up about the symptoms that were being discussed. The team could conduct thorough screening for them. Collected sputum samples from people with symptoms. Some of the people with symptoms tested negative in the sputum test. Peshrar team took them to the district hospital for confirmation through X-ray. Three people tested positive for TB from among them.
Krishna Ram, Community Mobiliser and Puppen Toppo, Paramedical Staff of Peshrar block, Lohardaga district coordinator Sudhir Kr. Roy, together made this happen with their grit, determination and dedication. The scorching heat of summer in Jharkhand, unpaved roads, difficult terrain, no network connectivity, fear of going through and to a conflict-ridded area, long and tiring travels – nothing could stop them from carrying out the Aashwasan activities.