While the shortage of doctors for rural areas is at least widely recognised, there is actually an alarming shortage of qualified nurses as well for rural areas in the country. This is not adequately recognised. The training and education programmes for nurses should emphasise the availability of nurses in rural areas. Nurses who've high motivation for serving in rural areas where their services are most needed should get due encouragement.
Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS), a health programme in rural Chattisgarh which has achieved widespread acclaim in recent years, has taken some initiatives in this direction which have shown encouraging results. These efforts started with a 6-month course for nursing assistants which proved useful. After this better opportunities became available in the form of a course for the training of ANM's. This course is supported by the tribal welfare department of the government and meant for ST and SC students. Although only 25 seats were available applications came in hundreds.
Sister Kutty who has been closely associated with this initiative from the beginning says that the very first batch achieved good results at the state level. The second batch went further to make an outstanding achievement as all the 25 students of this batch received distinction.
Dr Raman Kataria who has been playing a leading role in guiding this course says that while this is a very important achievement, what has been considered most important in this course is to encourage and develop the spirit of dedication and service. Here nurses are encouraged and given adequate opportunities to serve in villages, accept important responsibilities in rural sub-centres, gain experience in treatment of complicated cases and serving such patients.
Administrative officer Parmanand has played an important role in starting and managing this course. He is very enthused with its success and says that after the earlier one a half-year course, now a three and a half-year course (GNM) has also been started.
Some years back a very seriously ill woman was admitted to the main hospital of JSS in Ganiyari village. Her husband had left her. Her daughter had left her education in order to be able to serve her seriously ill mother. Sister Kutty advised and encouraged her to somehow resume her studies. After some time this girl's mother died and she resumed her studies while staying in her mother's maternal home. After passing 12th class she sought admission in the JSS nursing course and today she is serving in a responsible position.
This aspect of the nursing course in which girls from difficult circumstances get conducive conditions to fully develop to their potential is itself a very commendable aspect of this initiative. The fact that they come out of this course with a spirit of service and dedication makes it even better.
Bharat Dogra, New Delhi
Suniti Kumar Ghosh
Suniti Kumar Ghosh is No More! He was 96. Ghosh was one of the last living members of the leadership of the communist revolutionary movement which started with the Naxalbari peasant uprising. He was a member of the leading team of the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR) formed in 1968 and member of the first central committee of the Communist Party of India (ML) formed in 1970. He was the first editor of 'Liberation', organ of the CPI (ML). When the Central Organising Committee (COC), CPI (ML) was formed in 1974 with the aim of reorganising the movement after the death of Charu Majumdar, Ghosh was a part of its leadership. He remained associated with political activities for some time after the COC was dissolved in 1977. After this he devoted his attention to theoretical writing and compilation of documents of the history of communist revolutionary movement. Collection of important articles from 'Liberation' was published as the 'Liberation Anthology' in two volumes under his editorship.
His book on the Indian capitalist class 'The Indian big bourgeoisie: its genesis, growth, and character' is very well known. His essay on the history of constitution building and its nature 'The Indian Constitution and Its Review' and another essay 'Development Planning in India: Lumpen-development and Imperialism' were published by the Research Unit for Political Economy. His book on the nationality question 'India's Nationality Question and the Ruling Classes', 'The Himalayan Adventure: India-China War of 1962 - Causes and Consequences', 'Naxalbari: Before and After: Reminiscences and Appraisal', 'India and the Raj, 1919-1947: glory, shame, and bondage' are some of his other important writings. He wrote several pamphlets and important articles in national and international Marxist journals including Frontier.
Suniti Kumar Ghosh remained committed to Marxism-Leninism till his last breath and always tried to defend its revolutionary content. He was grappling with the problems and concerns of the rebuilding of the communist revolutionary movement in India.
Arvind Institute of Marxist Studies, Lucknow, India
On May 12 Mukul Sinha, a tireless crusader for justice and just causes, breathed his last in Ahmedabad. Mukul was a scientist and a scientist-activist who in mid-life took up a new role as public interest lawyer and labour activist to fight long legal battles for many just causes, particularly for victims of communal violence, encounter killings and unjust labour practices in Gujarat.
After obtaining a Master's degree from IIT Kanpur, Mukul Sinha joined the prestigious Physical Research Laboratory where he was soon involved in a struggle to save the livelihoods of arbitrarily sacked employees. This struggle led to the formation of a federation of the employees of scientific and technical institutes.
Mukul Sinha was instinctively drawn towards taking up the most just causes, including the most difficult and challenging cases. Many such causes were helped and salvaged by his fearless and dedicated commitment.
His work, helped greatly by the many-sided and invaluable support of his wife Nirjhari, will be remembered for long because of its great democratic role in helping those causes which most needed such support. This work helped to expose very powerful persons and was carried out in very difficult conditions.
Mukul Sinha played a leading role in forming the Jan Sangarsh Manch and held out the vision of a new socialist movement.
Bharat Dogra, New Delhi
Vol. 46, No. 47, Jun 1 - 7, 2014