Jewel of a social service
A visit to a non-profit health institution in the badlands of central India
We watched the landscape progressively change; shops and autorickshaws were replaced by dull, brown dust plains. The rains hadn’t yet come. Our vehicle turned abruptly towards a cluster of buildings by the roadside—we had arrived.
We were taken to meet Raman Kataria, our primary contact. After some coffee in his outpatient department, Raman took us for a short tour of the campus to meet the others. The Jan Swasthya Sahyog (People’s Health Support Group; www.jssbilaspur.org) core team comprises five doctor couples—Yogesh and Rachna Jain, Raman and Anju Kataria, Anurag and Madhavi Bhargava, Biswaroop and Madhuri Chatterjee, and Ramani Atkuri and Ravi D’Souza.
In the early 1990s, disillusioned with the technocentric hospital environment they found themselves in, the young doctors decided to start a people-centric, community based healthcare institution in a rural area. The ensuing three year search for a home for their project took them all over India, and finally