INTRODUCTION: A society was formed in Bombay six years ago to help poor and backward communities living in the remote desert and forest regions of India.
GV & SVs Village of Kukma in Kutch, people working at trades (4 shots)
SV PAN OVER Camp
GV People arrive at camp entrance, walk through camp (4 shots)
SVs Crippled women arriving (2 shots)
SV Old man lying on ground outside camp
GV Gynaecological ward, SV woman doctor attends patient
SVs Child polio victims being given physiotherapy (2 shots)
GV Doctor attending to patient's eye, CU patient with cataract
GV Man seated on ground having tooth extracted, CU teeth in bowl, CU woman having tooth removed (3 shots)
GV Patients waiting. SV Doctor examining young girl, SV girl waiting for treatment, SV doctor examines young child
GV People given traditional herbal medicines (2 shots)
SV Bone-setter manipulates man's arm
GV EXTERIOR People arrive at camp
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A society was formed in Bombay six years ago to help poor and backward communities living in the remote desert and forest regions of India. This philanthropic organisation, the Girinavasi Pragati Mandal, sets up a medical camp each year to care for the sick in one of the 200 communities it covers.
SYNOPSIS: This year, the medical centre was constructed at the small village of Kukma in western India's desert area of Kutch. The people here are both Hindus and Moslems and their main occupations are animal husbandry, loom weaving and handicrafts. It took six months of hard work to organise the camp. During that time, hundreds of Mandal volunteers scoured the countryside to tell villagers about the medical help that was being provided for them.
Polio, tuberculosis, mouth cancer and eye troubles were common ailments among the many thousands of patients who arrived at the camp every day on camels, bullock carts and buses. Many, too poor to afford a bus ride, walked all the way. The medical staff were kept busy until late at night. The centre opened its doors on January the second for 24 days. Two weeks later, more than 20,000 people -- most of them victims of malnutrition and neglect -- had received treatment. A leading Indian dentist, Dr. Saroj Shukla, uses the Ayurvedic technique on her many patients. This incorporates the traditional Indian herbal system of medicine -- a method of painless and bloodless extraction of teeth. About 120 doctors, 80 nurses and other medical staff have been working at the camp. Hundreds of volunteers, aged between 10 and 80, also came in to help.
Bombay's Mandal society has been giving desperately needed help in a region where thousands of villagers are afflicted with serious diseases. The situation has been blamed on government apathy, the shortage of water and electricity and the reluctance of India's medical men to serve the rural areas.