Word spreads quickly in the sun-baked village, already over 100 degrees and still just mid-morning. The crush of women, children and men turn lines into nice afterthoughts as the mass of humanity presses against the door where a Village Medical Clinic is being set up. Everyone is hot and sweating, but nobody seems to complain. No one gives up their place in line to sit under the cool of a nearby shade tree.
Almost every week doctors, nurses and nursing students head out of The Mission Hospital in Central India to one of many small villages nearby to offer medical services. The doctors and nurses set up stations for dental and medical check ups, a pharmacy, and even a section for taking blood samples and giving vaccines. For some, this will be their only contact with health services.
Dr. Ajai Lall, the co-founder of Central India Christian Mission, talks about these clinics, “People want to know ‘why do you help us’, ‘why have you come?’ We get to help them and tell them it is because of Jesus. God has made us equal. We are like one family of God. They have never heard these things. Most of them have lived under the caste system. They believe if they have a medical problem, a disease, it is because of what they did in their previous life. They are simply facing the consequences for what they did in their previous life.”
With the mindset that their problems stem from wrongdoings in a past life, it’s difficult for them to believe that someone would offer help or want to serve them, explains Lall. “But here we come and help them.”
Call to Action: If you would like to help CICM conduct more village clinics contact CICM HERE.
All photographs ©Copyright Gary S. Chapman
(Nikon D4, 24-70mm f2.8 @36mm, 1/640 sec, f2.8, ISO 3200)
(Nikon D4, 85mm 1.8, 400 sec, f1.8, ISO 3200)
(Nikon D4, 24-70mm f2.8 @38mm, 1/100 sec, f2.8, ISO 3200)
(Nikon D4, 24-70mm f2.8 @32mm, 1/500 sec, f2.8, ISO 3200)
(Nikon D4, 24-70mm f2.8 @42mm, 1/125 sec, f2.8, ISO 3200)
(Nikon D800, 50mm f1.4, 1/640 sec, 2.0, ISO 1600)