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2024 Social Service Camp at Yekurli

2024 Social Service Camp at Yekurli

On February 10, 2024, the Social Service Camp for first-year undergraduate students at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, concluded. Organized by the Department of Community Medicine, this fortnight-long residential camp in Yekurli village aimed to sensitize medical students to rural health issues and foster a deeper understanding of local health determinants.

The camp - a unique teaching method at MGIMS - garnered enthusiastic participation from students, faculty, residents, healthcare staff, and villagers. The camp offered a diverse array of activities, ranging from community and family diagnosis to practical demonstrations, skill training sessions, school health initiatives, nutritional assessments, mental health literacy, health awareness, and immunization drives. Through these activities, students gained hands-on experience and engaged in various participatory learning approaches.

Villagers actively participated in this two-way learning process, joining in village mapping, cultural programs, marathons, rangoli competitions, and other activities. These interactions fostered a deeper understanding of local health dynamics and facilitated meaningful engagement with the community. Interactive sessions with healthcare professionals, Gram Panchayat members, Kishori Panchayat, Community Health Officers, Aanganwadi workers, and ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) further strengthened community bonds and empowered participants to be the agents of change.

Reflecting on their experience, Ms. Nandini Gokhate, a first-year MBBS student, said, "We learned that empowerment is a two-way process. It is not merely altruism but our duty to recognize our privilege and address the basic needs of others."

“The Social Service Camp and our collaboration with about 90 villages in our field practice area exemplify the power of collective action and participatory engagement in fostering healthier and more resilient communities”, said Dr Subodh Gupta (Head of Community Medicine, MGIMS).

“Our seniors laid the foundation for this grassroots-level learning philosophy, and I feel privileged to contribute to this camp. This year, we endeavored to introduce several unique activities to maximize learning for both students and the community," expressed Dr Radhika Sharma (Camp In-Charge and Assistant Professor of Community Medicine).

The camp concluded with a valedictory function, celebrating achievements and collaborations for better health outcomes. As participants bid farewell to Yekurli Village, they carried with them a renewed commitment to social service and community well-being.

"We are grateful to MGIMS for organizing this camp in our village after 16 years. It has ignited in us a sense of ownership and responsibility towards our and our village's health," expressed a villager while receiving care from a first-year student at her doorstep.

In a reflection shared by an undergraduate student, Ms Chhavi Yadav, she recounted an incident where the students made concerted efforts to persuade the family of an elderly woman from their allocated village to proceed with her much-needed eye surgery, as she was on the brink of blindness. Additionally, they ensured that she was taken to the camp for a specialty OPD visit to evaluate her aching ears.

Shri Dhirubhai Mehta (1936-2024): KHS condoles the...
Last Modified: Wednesday 03 July 2024.

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