Aashwasan is not just a successful active-case-finding campaign that created an impact at scale. It became a campaign to attract praise from community members, partner organisations, government stakeholders, and also the Honourable President of India because it reached the people and places who are often beyond the reach of a programme or initiative. Care fails to reach them as the barriers like difficult terrain, uncertain climate, communication gaps sprouting from linguistic and social differences, lack of human and material resources, etc. makes the path extremely difficult. Aashwasan campaign survived and thrived every day as each member of the campaign team put their best foot forward, together.
The experience of the Aashwasan outreach team implementing the campaign in the Senapati district of Manipur was nothing different. They never fell short of obstacles. Once on the way to Laii Circle village, their vehicle got stuck on a muddy, unpaved road. Despite all their efforts, they could not get it out. They had to wait hours before they found help. Losing daylight in Arunachal means the team might need to carry out their journey back to the block office in the dark and through forest-covered hilly roads. Getting stuck after dark in these areas means hardly any hope for help. It can even risk one’s life in case of an emergency. And yet, the team did not return to the block office without visiting the village and carrying out their work.
Once they were forced to halt their journey after being stuck due to a landslide. They waited patiently for the bulldozer to arrive. As soon as the bulldozer could clear only a portion of the path, the team took up the rest of the journey on foot to reach the village.
Communication via mobile phones becomes an issue in rural areas with dense forest cover due to weak networks and no energy to charge mobile phones for days.
Every day, the team had to adapt to different situations and cross some or other new hurdles, it was no short of an adventure. Rainy days, foggy weather, slippery and muddy roads, no network, landslide- nothing could stop them. They carved their way through these barriers and even battled with fear of life as they worked as a team. They trusted each other and worked together to find solutions.