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Calmed VTT3 Return to India: Bhuj and on to Sikkim 2016

2 March Contd:   Day 3 of our Return visit to Bhuj.   Our Training Course at Bhuj continued with lectures, break out groups and hands on skills practice – the last was the most popular amongst the trainees.

Even Master trainers from the Government Skills Lab commented on the superior value of Calmed training. They commented on the confidence generated by our practical training in managing difficult and complicated emergency situations in low resource settings.

Staff members from our hosts, GAIMS (Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences) were very helpful, making life easier for us all. Catering was provided by the Adani Foundation.

2 newspaper articles were published ( in Gujarati) praising the programme.

Though not able to meet local Government officials, we had 2 teleconferences and many telephone calls.   Also a video conference with Dr. Priti Adani, (President, Adani Foundation) about the possibility of a Calmed programme in Chattisgarh, another needy area in Eastern India with high maternal and child mortality.

3rd March:   Our Training Day for ASHAs (community social workers ).  32 ASHAs from all 5 Districts attended for a day filled with lectures, videos, discussions and feed back, conducted by 3 local Master trainers and our 3 VTT members (Rtn. Dr Upendra Vasavada, Dr. Ishita Mishra and I).

4th March:  At the conclusion we handed over our equipment to the 5 districts through their respective Master Trainers, District Medical Officers (representing the Government ) and  Rotary Clubs. This partnership will ensure sustainability.  Now on to the 2nd part of our visit.

7th March – Sikkim:  Having crossed India, we arrived at our 2nd destination, Sikkim, in the Himalayan foothills.  Based at its capital, Gangtok, we had a new VTT team of Dr Upendra again, Dr Dwivedi (from UK) and myself.  After equipment were sorted out, assembled and checked by us and local Master Trainers, there was an opening ceremony in late afternoon, with the Vice Chancellor of the Sikkim Manipal Institute as our chief guest, where I made a presentation on Calmed.  In the evening, we were entertained by Rotarians and Inner Wheel members from both Rotary Clubs – they are very lively. I also inducted a new member to Gangtok Rotary Club.

Training continues until the 10th March, with the same successful format as in Bhuj – high standards of training are maintained and arrangements and facilities are excellent.

I am keen to look to the future, now that the Global Grant is coming to an end in District 3240. I have been speaking with the Vice Chancellor and the Dean of GAIMS on establishing a Maternal and Child Health Academy on site.  Collaboration with distinguished National and International centres of excellence will be involved.

There is an ongoing programme and dialogue with them.

As always, Rotary and Inner wheel are very supportive. Hospitality from Rotarians is superb. We have met many old friends and made new ones.

Calmed was born in Sikkim three years ago – now we are assured of a healthy life……..

Rtn Dr Himansu Basu