If you were to walk around CRHP’s campus on a Sunday, you would probably bump into a group of children. The sound of their laughter and running feet often fills the halls of the training center and the pathways outside their parents’ houses.
Mobile Health Team (MHT) member, Amol, talks about what it was like to be one of those children growing up on campus, “I was born here, at the CRHP hospital. I have always enjoyed the joyful and supportive community of the staff. My father was a part of the Mobile Health Team for more than ten years, working as a leprosy technician. Sometimes he would take me to the villages with him, and I would have the opportunity to observe. From the time I was young, I always wanted to work here and carry on the same work that my father was doing.”
His family’s intertwining history with CRHP dates back to his grandparents. During a period of bad drought, CRHP began working to help their native community build water reservoirs. His grandparents met the staff in charge of that project and were offered jobs and free housing. His grandfather began taking care of livestock, and his grandmother began working as a cook in the Arole’s house. Amol’s father continued on their legacy as a MHT member and hospital registrar up until his retirement in 2015. Amol and his brother, Atul, are now the third generation of their family to be a part of CRHP.
Amol says that the most striking part of growing up in the CRHP community has been the compassion of the Aroles and the rest of the CRHP staff. He describes how when he was young, his aunt and her son fled their home due to domestic abuse and Amol’s family took her in. Soon after, Dr. Raj gave her a job cooking in the mess hall. Unfortunately her son had congenital heart problems that required ongoing treatments. Not only was he treated for free at the CRHP hospital, but the staff community continuously rallied together to support the family in any way they could throughout his treatment and through his eventual death.
Following completion of his bachelor’s degree, Amol first began working in CRHP’s administrative office, followed by a few years working on registration in the hospital. For this past year, Amol has followed his father’s footsteps and has now joined the MHT. His favorite part of being a part of the team is working directly with the people. He enjoys visiting the villages and partnering with them to improve conditions. He says that the biggest problem facing the MHT today is keeping the younger generation engaged and interested in preventative health education for non-communicable diseases specifically. The team is not daunted by this task and continues to redouble their efforts to reach the next generation.
While new challenges face the MHT now, Amol is more focused on what has remained the same. CRHP continues to center all of its efforts on serving the poorest of the poor. The incredible support of the community and the staff in and around Jamkhed continues to be a prominent fixture of his life. As he reflects on his family’s past with CRHP, he also looks to the future. Looking at a picture of his two-year-old twin daughters, he says he hopes at least one will become the family’s fourth generation CRHP staff member continuing on the work of serving the community.