Camaraderie diffuses tension!

Raksha, Rakhi and Sonam from Geetanjali College are volunteering at Sambhavna. They are learning how to grow and use a few medicinal plants. Their academic project includes promoting the use of medicinal plants among their classmates. One of the plants they learning about is Aloe vera and how effectively it can be used to treat acne. They hope acne treatment will be a smart way to popularise easy-to-grow medicinal plants among their classmates. The three young women also help the clinic gardeners Ratna, Mukesh and Manmohan with routine maintenance.

Ond day Tabassum, one of Sambhavna’s community healthworkers, saw these volunteers pulling out bunches of grass near the roundhouse. Tabassum asked them (a bit loudly!) if they didn’t have anything better to do. The young volunteers were offended by Tabassum’s comments and even more by her tone; they later found out that they could complain about it to the Behaviours Committee in the Clinic. This committee looks into complaints regarding behaviour between staff members, and also between staff members and people visiting the clinic, including volunteers.

As it turned out, Tabassum was herself a member of the Behaviour Committee! As per the commonly agreed guidelines of the Committee the other the two members, Tasneem (community research) and Kamal (medicine dispensing) made their inquiries without involving Tabassum and announced their findings at the weekly meeting. They came to the conclusion that Tabassum had offended the volunteers and had made their work seem lowly. The Committee then asked Tabassum to accompany the volunteers in pulling out grass as part of the maintenance work of the garden. The next day Tabassum and the volunteers worked together pulling grass and camaraderie replaced tension.

To find out more how the Sambhavna Clinic organises itself, click here.

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We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.