On 27 September 2019, the Department of Community Medicine of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram organised the annual Social Service Camp at Mahakal – a village 14 Km from Sevagram. Shri Dhirubhai Mehta (President, Kasturba Health Society) presided over the inauguration function. Dr BS Garg (Secretary, KHS), Dr NM Gangane (Dean, MGIMS), Mrs Archana Tonpe (Zilla Parishad, Wardha) Mr Suraj Goho, (Sarpanch, Mahakal) Dr AM Mehendale (Head of Community Medicine), faculty, students and villagers attended the function. Mr and Mrs Buch also attended the function.
In his welcome speech, Dr Gangane gave the students an overview of the camp and spoke of its importance in their grooming. “Now that you have adopted this village, and as you would visit this village every month during your graduate days, you would acquire a rich insight into the social and medical problem of the villagers.” “The village adoption scheme is an innovation of community based medical education and a unique feature of MGIMS”, he added.
In his introductory speech, Dr Mehendale informed, “During the fortnight, the students shall be collecting health-related data from 438 families and 1692 people living in Mahakal village – the numbers that would help them know what ails villagers and why they fall sick. Each student is allotted 3-4 families during the camp. Later, the students follow up these families every month for four and a half years. By doing this they learn first-hand how poverty, illiteracy, lack of infra structure and transport, social barriers etc. affect the health of the villagers and also the ability to seek health care”.
Shri Dhirubhai Mehta spoke about the social problems like alcoholism, casteism and stated the importance of wearing khadi. In his address he said, “A modern medical student ought not to get distorted by vision colored by caste, creed and communal views and should make the villages a healthy place to live in and thrive”.
Mr Goho assured to extend all support from the villagers for making the camp successful. “These students are our guests and we would ensure that they enjoy a memorable stay in our village,” he assured. Dr Garg urged the villagers to treat students as their family members. “The village serves as a living class room for the students as they conduct socio-demographic, dietary and health appraisals under faculty guidance in their adopted families”, he added. Dr Arjun Kumar proposed the vote of thanks and Mr PV Bahulekar compered the program.