3 Days in Jawhar for Training of Yashoda’s

Nivedeeta Thombare    10 June 2017

Read about the personal experience of our employee visiting the actual field of implementation. Her 3 days experience captures the tough life of people there and how we provide technology and human resource for their betterment.

I had the opportunity to meet near about 70 to 80 Yashoda’s in their first training, Yashoda’s selected for the Malnutrition project in Palghar District, they are the responsible for monitoring the child health, pregnant women and adolescent girls. Yashoda mainly working in three villages i.e. Jawhar, Vikramgarh and Mokhada in Palghar district. These are tribal areas and have facing lots of malnutrition related problem. The village people are not that much educated, jobless, not having much opportunity and not aware about all these things. So Yashoda is mainly working for creating awareness and trying to reduce malnutrition in these areas.

The day training start, everyone is new, no one knows each other, because everyone came from different villages with lots of hopes that they are getting something here, which will help them to survive better in that areas, simultaneously they are worried about the process and job, because everything is new for them, some Yashodas came with their small kids, they were also worried about the family, as they have to stay here for 3 days.

GM of JSW(Jindal Steel Foundation ) and MIS manager of Government of India introduced them, and talk with them in their comfort zone, so that they feel better instead of scaring or worrying about the training, after playing one small game with them they became little bit comfortable to do the training, and trying to understand what they are going to do in this job.

At dinner in evening, to be more conformable at new place and new atmosphere like this, Yashoda’s appeared to be searching for people who are from their villages or in close community relation. Few found working colleagues from their native, they discussed local issues and shared rooms along with kids to stay, whereas others helped themselves to get socialise in this different ecosystem.

Actual training started next day in morning. In a cold winter days in forested green zone like this, it’s difficult to bath with cold water. However somehow behalf of arrangement no one received hot water that morning. Still no single complaint regarding this has received, upon investigation in casual talk we realized, no one complained as they were scared of losing job if it’s a voice against employer. We, trainer made them amply comfortable, gained their confidence and helped them solved their problems. We chose a monitor/team leader amongst them to take care of them and make us aware of issues if any.

The one who were carrying their kids, had a challenging time, to take care of kids and simultaneously concentrate on training is tiresome. This was a problem even we were too struggling to find a solution, however their community bondage was so strong that we did not had to allot our attention to resolve it. They co-ordinated amongst themselves. Where others used to guide and provide update to those who missed part of session in order to feed kids. A perfect example of teamwork. Such a co-ordination was not limited to this particular problem but in their every act we find there is a strong hidden bondage amongst them which provide spirit to help others.

There were other problems like, few were greatly disturbed because of problems in life, families. Thus often used to lose concentration in training. Struggled hard to understand what is being taught in training. On top of it, because of being not able to understand part of course, they were worried to lose a job. Which is indeed a one of their vital need. Whereas few amongst them were very intelligent, they understood almost everything and developed clarity, and thus the confidence. These Yashoda’s being aware of their problem not only helped others motivated towards training but also put of their efforts to bring them on same stage.

One night, one of the Yashoda’s child fall sick, her child was only 11 months old. She got worried that she could lose job, and how can she take care of her child in such a situation. We took child to Primary Health Care center (PHC) there. In this local cottage hospital setup, doctor provided medicine. However upon having medicine and hospital care child did not developed sign of cure. She became more worried now, started sobbing – “Pleases don’t send me home, there aren’t any literate like you, no facility like this, and it is difficult to take care of my kid there.” Simultaneously she was worried to loose job. We managed to gain her confidants, told her that she won’t lose job and facilitate her kid to local cottage hospital. Other Yashoda’s motivated her, told her -” Nothing will happen to your kid. Pleases don’t worry.”

At the end of the training, almost everyone is different than the first day, now they are more confident and understand what they are supposed to do. A happy smiling faces in end were sigh of relief for successful completion and different time spend there, and now they can go home. Although eager to meet families and friends after going home they were equally emotional for departing friends there, memorable time spends amongst them.

For me personally, these were few of my most unforgettable events, where I came across difficult circumstances in which these tribes and Adivasis were living. Even after that, they are morally very high, always ready to support their community members and courageously putting efforts to solve their day to day problems. Really hats off to these women’s.

Nivedeeta Thombare 10 June 2017
  • Nivedeeta Thombare Research scholar from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai who firmly believes in changing phase of globalisation, privatisation and liberalization.