Written by Alexis Barab with interviews conducted by Jordan Capizola.

Twice a year, CRHP hosts students from the School for International Training (SIT) in New Delhi for a week long exposure visit. During this visit the students are exposed to all CRHP programs. Each student also conducts three interviews with various CRHP volunteers and staff members. Below is part of a write up done by one recent SIT student regarding her three interviews with a doctor, VHW, and administrator trying to answer the question, “how have NGOs, local health workers, and the government responded to natural disaster and epidemics in the area?”


The first interview was with a doctor at the Julia Hospital, which is run by CRHP. The interview was conducted in English, but there were issues that arose from the wording of questions and the language barrier. Despite this, the researcher learned that there was an outbreak of Chickungunya, a viral disease, five years ago. Mosquitos spread the disease and it often leaves survivors with severe arthritis. The government started “dry days,” which is when people empty all containers of water in and around their homes to prevent mosquitos from breeding. After this, Chickungunya, along with malaria and dengue, were essentially eliminated from the area. Today, there are very few mosquito-borne diseases in Jamkhed, thanks mainly in part to these dry days.

The second interview was conducted in Hindi with a village health worker (VHW) at CRHP’s weekly VHW training. The VHW said that droughts are very common to the Jamkhed area. The government provides water during droughts, but the water is often contaminated, causing major outbreaks of diarrheal diseases, jaundice, typhoid, and other diseases. CRHP helped educate these people about their right to demand efficient resources from the government. After the village petitioned for cleaner water, the government provided them with chlorine tablets to purify the contaminated water and new pipes so that they could dig new wells. The government also created the Watershed Development Project to help villages store clean water in case of future droughts.


The third interview was with an Administrator of CRHP on the CRHP campus. He said that in 1994, the largest earthquake to ever hit the country occurred just three hours away from Jamkhed. CRHP was the first NGO on scene, and they built a hospital in the area in just four weeks. CRHP focused on supplying food, clothing, shelter, health workers, and counseling services. The Administrator believed that the rescue and relief efforts went as smoothly as possible for such a disaster. He attributes this success to the cooperation between NGOs and the government, which he says was facilitated by CRHP.


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