Rural Sensitization Programs (RSP) are 3-day camps organized for medical students to explore alternative approaches to healthcare, discuss current issues and also reflect on their role as contributors to the health of our country. Here are two detailed take-aways.

By Shubham Verma, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

“When I saw the brochure of this Rural Sensitisation Program by Basic Healthcare Services, it started for me as a getaway from the lectures and clinical postings we bear everyday in college.

But it turned out to be much more than a weekend excursion, it threw light at so many things we are blinded to by the virtue of our urban lifestyle. Being a doctor takes much more than mugging facts, it’s the empathy one has to feel for his people, and for that we need to be aware about how the well being of people is ensured at the very grass root level.

On the first day I found myself surfing through the breathtaking terrain, reaching a remote village of people with huge hearts! The unity and mutual care they live with is beautiful, we saw how BHS is helping provide great medical care and modern investigation tools to even the farthest of places. Along with the infrastructural aid, what amazed me is how the doctors here teach non medicos how to take care of their people and community, they’ve developed such an intricate chain of medical expertise that everyone is assured the right care at the earliest time.

The mentors that were with us were people of high prestige and designations, it was wonderful to watch them sacrifice a comfortable job to be here for their country, they forced us to introspect upon what really drives us to be in this field, by their games, tasks and challenges throughout these days, it made us realize the essence of living a life of motive.

Not to mention the food! Everyday was packed with a new menu, my tastebuds were overwhelmed by authentic dishes being cooked in the pots especially for us, the community really loved us!

Rounding it up, these 3 days made me a happier person when I came back to college, I made new friends from the entire country and I’m still glad I had the opportunity to come out of this academic bubble which college usually puts us in.”

By Harshita Singhal, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

It started with a desire to travel to Udaipur but what I got to experience was simply life-changing for me. It was an honour to be a part of this journey where 2 days felt too less to imbibe this experience.
We met a lot of new people there, the participants, the organisers each with a story of their own.

For me, a fellow participant, Nikita from Jodhpur, travelling alone was an inspiration. We were treated with such hospitality never experienced before. The place we stayed at on the first day, Krishi Vigyan Kendra had an enormous area of agricultural fields and all of us strolled amidst them and just sat down in the caress of true nature. Next morning, all of us left in a bus not knowing what would happen next as many surprises awaited us.

We visited a nearby sub center where we got a chance to talk to the CHO, the ANM and many ASHA workers. They were very passionate about the work they were doing. Through observations, it felt like a walk in history. Things that we read in books now, things that have been fought for and rectified a long time ago in cities.

I met a little girl with pale skin and yellow eyes. Instantly the thought that struck me was she is sick and why is she playing with her friends and why hasn’t her parents sought medical help. A lady with four female children still wanting more kids in desire to have a boy with pallor in her eyes. When I first saw them it was only natural to be judgmental and think ‘why would someone live like this!’ but sensitization in reality means to understand the ‘why’ behind everything. To empathise with their ways and ‘whys’ is something I brought home with myself.

Each day we were provided a 3 course traditional meal and each person had to wash their own plates. It made me feel very grounded and I couldn’t get enough of the simplicity of everything and everyone I had encountered.
After our visit, the villagers invited us to have ‘bhuttas’ at their place and see a waterfall with them nearby. We had a little picnic under the shade of the tree and had our lunch while we talked to our mentors.
In the middle of all these awakenings and realisations we had our share of fun. There was a cute setup with laaltein and khaat where we did Garba with everyone.

On the final and third day of our stay, we were given a surprise of a melodious performance by a couple who sang stories of those undiscovered and unheard of; the people who find happiness against all odds and problems in life.
Even today the words that stuck with me ‘We cannot do everything, but something’

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