Here is one of 13 stories in the October edition of the DIR Monthly Report.
Helping, fixing, and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. when you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.
Dr. Shalini Sahai
–(Rachel Naomi Remen)
I was born in India, the oldest of 3 children in a family with great emphasis on education. I completed medical school in India and then went to USA with my husband where I did a pediatric residency. For the past 10 years I’ve been practicing with a health care organization in California.
In 2009, while I was on my yearly visit to India to see my family, I was introduced to Dr Frederick Shaw. At that time he had been running the Janta Colony program for about 5 years and had already achieved spectacular results in reducing infant mortality and malnutrition in children. The simplicity of his approach to these complex issues was very refreshing and the results undeniable. I was very inspired by his program and for the following 2 years, I spent some months working with DIR in India. Dr Shaw later invited me to join the Board of Directors of DIR which I happily did and I’m still part of it.
I’ve come to realize that every person seeks to find meaning in his or her life. More often that meaning comes from something outside one’s self.. For me, this meaning has come from being a part of the DIR family, serving to give back to my community in whatever ways I can.
Once I asked Dr Shaw while we were driving in his car on a hot summer day in India: “Dr Shaw, what makes you want to do this, at your age, away from your family, in a foreign country where you don’t even speak the language?” And he replied : ” It’s very simple really, I know how to do this; while there is a need for it in the world, how can I not do it?” His simple words affected me profoundly and will always be a source of inspiration for me.
With gratitude, Shalini
Snit with her daughter
Here is one of 11 articles from the DIR Report for August.
My name is Sunita. I am working in DIR as a Health Promoter since June 2011. I belong to Bihar but I was born in Chandigarh. I am 29 years old. I am living with my family. My father is a government employee. He is working in The Chandigarh Club. My mother is a homemaker. I have one daughter, Arayna. She is 6.5 years old. She is studying in second standard in Govt. Model Middle school, in Chandigarh’s Sector 23.
My life is a big sad story. I started working with DIR in 2006 and I worked until 2008. Then I got married and left my job to join my husband in Bihar State.. My married life was very bad. My husband and his family forced me for dowry. I spend spent worst three years of my life with him and then I finally left him in 2011 and come back to Naya Gaon. Now, I am living with my parents.
Being a single mother is not an easy job. I have to earn and the only option I had, was DIR. I met Dr. Shaw and discussed my situation with him. I am very thankful to him for giving for giving me one more chance. There was no vacancy at that time but somehow Dr. Shaw adjusted me and I rejoined DIR in June 2011 once again. I don’t have words for saying thanks to him. My daughter was 1.5 years old only at that time. It was hard time for me but I don’t had any option except accepting my destiny. My only wish is to educate my daughter in a best way so that she can live a successful life. I am satisfied with my job. DIR gives me a name. Now everyone knows me in Janta Colony. People trust me. They share their joys and sorrows with me. I am glad that I am a part of DIR.
Today I have knowledge of Prevention and Nutrition. I am not a doctor but I am Health Promoter and promoting health awareness is more than being a doctor in our community. I agree that money is necessary for survival but in DIR, I have learnt that money is not everything. The satisfaction that comes naturally through serving people is the best thing.
The DIR Monthly Report for June includes one of two recent articles in leading newspapers (The Indian Express and Dainik Bhaskar) featuring DIR. Here is one, translated from the Hindi by DIR staff.
Slum Women Demonstrate Remarkable Talent
Some of the women who live in the poorest slum areas of Naya Gaon are learning to make cloth products under the guidance of Developing Indigenous Resources (DIR). This organization (whose chief function is improving health conditions) provides beautiful cloth samples to the stitchers, teaches them how to make products, which sell, and then buys back the finished products from the women. DIR markets the finished articles, earns profit, and then donates 100% of this profit to help support their free medical programme.
What do the women Sew? A variety of fine cloth products, evening purses, pencil and pen holders, “wine bags”( which serve a re-usable gift-wrap for a bottle of wine brought to a friend’s party), protective bags for smart phones, and their most popular item, shoulder bags for I-pads.
Some of seamstresses are economically so poor that they do not even have toilets in their homes. However, they have enough talent and passion. Their bags and covers receive love and praise from customers and from people who get the products as gifts. The Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Frederick Shaw of Developing Indigenous Resources showed us around their rented building, where in addition to all their medical activities, DIR runs a pre-primary English medium school that prepares slum children to be successful in Chandigarh’s most elite schools.
Frederick Shaw told us his big regret about the sewing project is that DIR lacks a marketing department, and the talented women can now make products faster than DIR can sell them.
The Monthly Report is full of timely information. Reports for the last three years may be accessed under DIR News.
An award-winning short film shot in Janta Colony