Background of Indian Operations:

1. It seems that in each Indian State - as indeed in every country in the world - there are small communities which are relatively neglected. Typically, such communities are located in economically unimportant areas, typically the residents live on or below the poverty line, typically there is much unemployment and underemployment, much illiteracy, widespread ignorance and the state’s highest statistics of preventable death and disease. It is in such areas that DIR has its greatest impact.

2. Since January 2006, DIR (Developing Indigenous Resources, a non-profit charitable NGO incorporated in California) has been active in Janta Colony. This is a slum area with over 3,000 households, very close to Chandigarh, but is in Sasnagar District, in the Punjab. Its residents, almost universally, live below the poverty level under deplorable conditions. Paradoxically it is within 200 metres of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences while its health conditions are some of the worst in the region.

3. Before DIR started its programme in Janta, it met with local slum leaders, explained the proposed activities and obtained an invitation to operate plus a pledge from the slum community that it would fully participate and support the programme.

4. The NGO then conducted a census and an epidemiological survey of 100% of the households. From the information collected and from first-hand observation, the highest risks to health were identified and a plan put in place to address each problem on a priority basis. The field workers (seventeen of them to-date) were recruited from the affected community, as is always the case in DIR programmes. As this is the first project of the NGO in this area, the CEO is taking a keen personal interest and has directed all activities to date since he wants the programme to be a model for subsequent projects in this region. Local physicians, two Nutritionists, a Development Specialist and other staff have been hired and assist him in this region.