The Story Of A Man Who Brought Healthcare On Boats To People Who Could Not Access It

The Logical Indian

July 13th, 2016

Source: c-nes | Image Courtesy: populationfoundation cloudinary tehelka

When healthcare was out of their reach
The ‘Saporis’ or the riverine islands of the Brahmaputra in Assam are the pieces of land that are built, reshaped and destroyed by the course of the mighty river. The people residing on these islands can only access the cities and mainlands through ferries and country boats. 
Most of the islands are devoid of electricity, clean drinking water, schools and healthcare facilities. But almost 10% of Assam’s population dwells in these Saporis.

C-NES-ship-1024x768


One incident changed it all

It was in 1996, the news of a pregnant woman dying on a Sapori because she missed a ferry to go to the city, reached the ears of academic journalist Sanjoy Hazarika. Hazarika was moved by the story and he tried to devise a solution to this problem.  In 2004, he came up with the idea of Boat clinics that reaches the Sapori dwellers to provide them necessary healthcare facilities as they struggle to reach the cities.
VAMX-cqiTv2A8LZDSFpVhxExivrO3lo_KAw39ftiCzEEsF_AqoL2_5d1KdXeVX2HHL7oWm_GYHMDkuv7p7aFm7TjpWsc1DBMmo7Pr_bAnLRDNbrTojKXyDMlEMaGAs3eVg7y84Q 

The power of one

His idea got rewarded by World Bank and he received an innovation award. The Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES), a trust founded by Hazarika in 2000, won the prize and was given $20,000. A year later, a wooden boat called MV Akha, made with that money was sent to Dibrugarh, for the Saporis on the Brahmaputra. That was just the beginning. Today, 14 such boats commissioned by C-NES, ply across 13 districts in Assam, providing healthcare facilities to over 1.5 million people. It was made a public-private partnership in 2008 by the National Health Mission. The funds are now entirely taken care by the state government. Every month these boats reach out around 20,000 Sapori residents who don’t have any other hope of getting medical help.
The initiative reminds us all what one person can do to change things for good. Awareness and empathy towards our surroundings and the issues it faces can spur any and every individual to take up social causes and provide solutions for the same. Hazarika was the one in this case, let us all get inspired by Hazarika and bring the change we want to see.

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

The Logical Indian

India’s Healthcare: Challenges And Opportunities

Solar Power Is Helping 20,000 Villagers In Karnataka Access Better Healthcare Facilities

No One Should Die Because They Live Too Far From A Doctor

Wheelchair Mini-Scooter

Asked To Pay Bribe For Wheelchair, An Accident Victim In Telangana Uses Son’s Mini-Scooter To Reach Hospital Ward

Dr Sunil Kumar Hebbi

The Bengaluru Doctor Who Is Providing Healthcare To People Who Lack Access To Basic Health Facilities

Mobile Clinics

These Mobile Clinics Are Proving To Be Saviour For People In Naxal-Hit Areas Of Chhattisgarh

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

In One Of The Poorest Regions Of Jharkhand, Thousands Denied Ration In The Name Of Aadhaar

Fact Check

Mysterious Death Of 21-Yr-Old Given Communal Colour By BJP Karnataka, Sparks Violence

Others

Finance Minister Defends FRDI Bill Again, Says Will Protect Depositors Interest

News

Arunachal Civil Services Examination Had 50% Questions Lifted From Pakistani Website

Awareness

New SC Ruling: Hotels, Restaurants Can Sell Bottled Water Above MRP

News

Karnataka BJP Leader Caught In Camera Asking Workers To Bluff & Lie To Voters