Volunteers perform ‘daan’

Idea is to make our health system work better

Chennai: A group of volunteers, as part of Daan Utsav, better known as the ‘Joy of Giving Week’ (October 2-8), swept outside the government RSRM hospital at Royapuram. They said cleaning helped them understand the public health system better.

For a couple of years now, Ekam Foundation, an NGO, in association with various volunteers and local associations, has been observing Daan Utsav by cleaning primary health centres, district headquarters hospitals and other government hospitals across the state. With the help of 50,000 volunteers, more than 2,000 hospitals were cleaned last year, and this year, too, 2,026 hospitals, including primary health centres, are likely to be cleaned in the same way.

Dr Sai Lakshmi of Ekam Foundation said they focused on hospitals, communities and schools. “Each hospital has around 10-15 volunteers who clean the premises,” she said. From cleaning dirty, dusty ceiling fans and mats to repairing unused washbasins, these volunteers do almost everything.

Aarti Mathusudan, a volunteer for Daan Utsav, said the festival was not only about celebrating ‘giving’, but also about rendering service. “People do comment ‘what is the use of cleaning only for one or two days’? But, it will definitely create awareness among those who visit the hospitals. The idea is to clean up and make our own health system work better,” she said. With nurses helping in mobilising volunteers and local associations coming forward, volunteers feel this could be taken forward.

“People do observe when we clean spit, and, so, the next time, they will make sure dustbins are used for littering,” volunteers Karunakaran and Jayakumar J said. A doctor at a primary health centre said there were already workers to clean the hospital premises and when volunteers visited their hospitals, their workers get encouraged.

( Source : dc correspondent )
Next Story