Interview by Alexis Barab
Written by Cameron Hawkins
Moses has been an essential member of CRHP since they broke ground on the hospital forty-two years ago. He grew up with five brothers and two sisters and his parents’ daily wages barely provided enough food for their family. His father passed away after Moses completed fourth standard. Moses did not return to school after his father’s death, but instead worked to support his mother and siblings.
In 1969, Moses was working as a welder at Spicer College when Doctors Raj and Mabelle Arole recruited him and some of his colleagues to help build CRHP’s first hospital. He worked as a welder for the Aroles for one year until the project was complete. The Aroles liked Moses’s spirit and hard-working attitude and asked him to stay on with CRHP. He was unmarried at the time and enjoyed the kind treatment the CRHP staff gave him. At CRHP, Moses’ first official job was as a watchman. In his free time, he began learning how to use the X-ray machine. Moses caught on very quickly and soon began spending most of his time taking X-rays. His family was very grateful for his job at CRHP because he earned enough to send money home to them.
In 1972, the state of Maharashtra suffered a severe drought. CRHP had to increase their care and services to keep the people of Jamkhed afloat. Thus, Moses’ roles in CRHP expanded to include delivering food to the people in need and installing donated hand pumps for water. Moses soon gained respect within the community. Everyday Moses would go to the villages with food, greeted by children and adults who adoringly called him “Nana.”
After recovering from the drought, Dr. Raj Arole arranged for Moses to learn how to make artificial limbs in Jaipur. After 3 months, Moses became an expert in making artificial limbs from locally available materials. Dr. Arole arranged for the first CRHP artificial limbs camp. The camp lasted for 15 days within which the team of 15 workers made 300 artificial limbs for the people attending the camp. News of “Dr. Moses” and the artificial limbs camps at CRHP spread throughout the Maharashtra District. Moses learned English through his interactions with visitors. Soon other organizations called Dr. Raj Arole and asked for an artificial limb camp to be brought to their location with Dr. Moses and his team. Dr. Raj Arole encouraged him to take these opportunities, and artificial limb camps were set up throughout the country. In 1989, the American Methodist Church arranged for Moses to set up camps in Nigeria, Angola, and Liberia. In 1997, Moses began working in Angola and Rwanda making 150 limbs in 20 days. In each of these camps, Moses brought a team of four people from Jamkhed. Moses and his team used each camp to teach the locals how to make the artificial limbs. His work and teachings are still needed and appreciated in all communities he serves.
While at CRHP, Moses fell in love with and married a woman who works on campus as a cook. Together they have two sons and one adopted daughter. In the past five years his mother has passed away. He remembers her saying that personal fortune comes from helping others. He still lives by these words. Moses officially retired five years ago, but you can still find him everyday working in the hospital as an X-ray technician or in the artificial limbs workshop on campus. He lives by the words: “work is worship,” and he demonstrates that in his many roles including mentor, electrician, and X-ray technician. Moses came to CRHP 42 years ago as a welder and watchman, but his eagerness to help the community has become his legacy.
1. Donate to CRHP! (Please be sure to write “Unheard Voices” in the notes section, so your donation will be counted accordingly.)
2. Write to Moses! If you have comments or questions for Moses about his experience, please email him at email@example.com or write to:
Comprehensive Rural Health Project
C/o Moses Mesheguram
Jamkhed, Dist. Ahmednagar