Summary of Activities

October 2010



A Birth Certificate shows I was born.

A Death Certificate shows I died.

What shows I lived?










G.    D.O.T.S.





(W. Frederick Shaw)


The thought for this month (above) was inspired by the motto “MAKE A DIFFERENCE” which our most energetic and newest Board Member, Diane, adapted for our fund-raising drive this Fall. She is making great strides in getting a “Friends of DIR” group organized and I feel that this is a very positive development and - in this - Diane herself is making a significant difference.

This month, we were asked to bring our financial records for the past three years to the office of the State Income Tax Inspector “for an interview”. I went with Assistant Director, Dr Gurpreet, both of us laden with financial records, including three years of receipts, and considerable apprehension.

Unfortunately, but hardly unexpectedly, we could not come up with quick answers concerning salary and rent receipts for 2008. We were then given a second interview at which time we could answer the questions of the (shudder) State Commissioner of Income Tax. Gurpreet and I showed up again replete with records and increased apprehension.

The Commissioner asked many questions, and to his credit, they were intelligent questions, which is both unusual and refreshing when voiced by a government official. We were quite unprepared for his announcement “I have good news for you. You will not have to seek annual government approval, in the future, for issuing tax-deductible receipts to the public. You have approval in perpetuity.” I left with my head reeling and the thought “Is it possible that I have been mistaken and Justice is not dead, after all?” It would seem that hard work and being strictly honest are recognized and rewarded in some circles, although we have seen scant evidence of this in recent years. Dare we hope that the Planet is not doomed? Some years ago I was told there are about 400 (but not more) honest, hard-working, dedicated government officials in most democracies and they alone keep their country from crumbling. While we do not have sufficient evidence to prove or disprove this, it would seem to be a not unreasonable estimate.

That was not the only good news this month. Dr. Shalini who normally works for Kaiser in California as a pediatrician is visiting Chandigarh (where she grew up) and is very kindly donating her services as an instructor of our Health Promoters. She has a combination of a command of the local language and up-to-the-minute professional knowledge (relevant to some of our chief concerns), and this makes her most valuable to DIR. Discussions with her, we hope, might lead to similar participation of Indian-born physicians who presently practice in California.

Once a year, as I remarked in our last report, we let our hair down and give a “Cultural Evening”. This year we gave two performances, one in our slum and one in the city. Sukhwinder, our gifted Intern, who incidentally gave a professional performance when she sang with only a drum accompaniment and practically stole the show, will provide a review later in this Report.



(Ms. Sukhwinder Kaur – Intern)


The Cultural Evening of the year 2010 was held on 29th and 30th October. On the first day, the performance was held at Dhillon Farm in Naya Gaon village and on the second day it was in the auditorium of Home Science College in Chandigarh. Various performances were presented by DIR staff, DIR school children, CASE participants, bustee children and other friends of DIR.

Four of the performance on both evenings that is Punjabi Dance, Rajasthani Dance, Saraswati Vandana and a dramatic skit on gender discrimination were staged by DIR staff. DIR school children, aged between 4 and 6 years, performed a group dance on the stage. The performance by little children was applauded by all. Other performances which included a puppet show on breast feeding, a skit on balanced diet, and other short skits with social messages, group dances and songs were performed by participant children of CASE program and other bustee children with great enthusiasm. We are grateful to these children for contributing many rehearsal hours to perfect their acts and make the evening so enjoyable.

DIR Health Promoters performing a Punjabi Dance at our annual Cultural Evening.


(Dr. Gurpreet Singh – Assistant Director)


CASE program is towards its end. CASE participants were busy throughout the month, preparing for their acts in Cultural Evening. They performed quite a few acts, which included, a skit on the importance of Balanced diet, a puppet show on importance of Breast feeding, along with few other small skits on social issues and also two group dances.

Analysis of the data from GEM (Goal – Eradicate Malnourishment) competition, which ended on 31st August, has been completed. For the competition, each CASE participant was assigned two chronically under weight children (under the age of 5 years), living in their own neighbourhood. The task was to increase the weights of these malnourished children. This competition started in the month of May’10 and ended by the end of August’10. While all the underweight children assigned to CASE participants were weighed very frequently during this period, their weights were recorded, for monitoring purposes, four times. First the children were weighed in December 2009 and April 2010, at an interval of four months. That was before the competition started. This period has been taken as a comparison period for the study. Second, the children were weighed in the month of May 2010 at the start and September 2010 at the end of the competition, again at an interval of four months.

The results of the competition show that 61.57% underweight children gained more weight during the competition compared to the weight the same children gained during the test period. Out of these 61.57% children who gained more weight during competition, 45.29% (27.89% out of total number of under weight children) gained more than one kilogram more weight, as compared to before the competition.

A total of 8.94% children gained same weight as they gained during the pre period.

And 29.89% children gained lesser weight during competition as compared to Test period. Only 5.26% of the total number of the underweight children gained one or more than one kilogram less weight during competition, compared to the weight they gained during pre period.

A special function will be held to celebrate the completion of the CASE program and to give prizes to the winners of the competition on 14th November. Top ten CASE participants, who helped in gaining of maximum weight in the children assigned to them, will be awarded a bicycle each. The team of CASE participants which did best collective job, during the competition, will each be awarded a battery-operated emergency lamp.



(Ms. Natasha Bhardwaj – DIR-I Nutritionists)


                             The month of October was full of various Indian festivals. During festivals, Indian people in general consume a lot of sweets and also give these to others. Keeping this in mind, a cooking demonstration of Rawa Ladoos (sweet semolina balls) was given to Health Promoters. The ingredients used to make rava ladoos were semolina, gram floor, jaggery, ground nuts and oil, which are rich sources of proteins, calories as well as iron.

A cooking demonstration to Health Promoters in progress at DIR bustee office.

As the Health Promoters were busy rehearsing their acts for the Cultural evening, academic classes on nutrition for them, were temporarily discontinued till the Cultural Evening was over, with effect from 15th of the month.

                                                                 E. MOTHERS’ HEALTH

(Ms. Meena Kumari– Senior Health Promoter)


On the 1st of October, there were 104 pregnant women in Janta colony and Adarsh Nagar. Of these, twenty three women delivered their babies during the month. Though three pregnant women shifted their residence permanently from the colony, twenty new pregnancies were reported during the month. This makes the total number of pregnant women in the program to 98 by the end of this month. Twenty two out of twenty three women who delivered had had three or more Antenatal check-ups.


Out of twenty-three women who delivered this month, fourteen delivered in the Government Hospital, Sector-16 and four in Post Graduate Institution of Medical Education and Research, two in Government hospital sector 22 and three at their own homes. Of the newborns, fifteen are baby boys and eight are baby girls. Twenty two out of twenty-three deliveries were assisted by qualified professionals and all twenty-three had their postnatal examinations within two days of delivery.



(Mrs. Veena Rani – Senior Health Promoter)


In the month of October, DIR-I participated four times in the government-run immunization programme, on 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th of the month. A total of 245 shots were administered to the children, details of which are as follows:

a) Measles - 26  b) BCG - 5             c) DT - 15 d) DPT Booster - 21


1st Dose

2nd Dose

3rd Dose

Hepatitis B












Aside from these, 4 ten years old children were also given Tetanus shots and a total of 47 children were given supplemental doses of Vitamin A.







Immunization camp at progress in DIR-I office.

G. D.O.T.S.

(Mr. Sunny Bighania – Senior Health Promoter)


On the 1st of October, twelve Tuberculosis patients were being served medicines at our bustee office through the government DOTS program run by DIR. Our bustee office is an authorised DOTS centre, and patients from the vicinity get their supply of medicine from our office on a regular basis. During this month, two patients, completed their treatment and has become free from this dreaded disease. Two more patients have been diagnosed having Tuberculosis this month, and they have started their medication from our centre. With this the total number of Tuberculosis patients being served by DIR-I remains twelve.

Following is the distribution of these patients in different categories with a brief description of what each means:

·      Category I – All those new patients whose pulmonary smear is positive for Tuberculosis Bacilli or those whose pulmonary smear is negative but are seriously ill or those who have extra pulmonary Tuberculosis but are seriously ill are included in Category I. This month, we have 10 patients in this category.

·      Category II – Those old Tuberculosis patients who had either defaulted from the treatment at an earlier stage and have re-started the treatment or those who have again contracted the disease after being cured once or those who had not been cured even after completing a full prescribed course are included in Category II. This month we have only 2 patients in this category.



Skills Training

(Ms. Sukhwinder Kaur)

Under the program of skills training, a total of nine women from bustee are learning stitching in our bustee office. Aside from stitching lessons, DIR also give paid assignments to bustee women in form of stitching of wine and string bags. During the month of October, twelve bustee women made a total of 194 wine bags and 10 Champagne bags. Along with wine and Champagne bags, women also stitched a total of 6 string bags.

Our stitching instructor giving stitching lessons to local women in DIR-I office.


(Mrs. Sunita Sharma – Head Teacher)

The school reopened on 4th October after the autumn break. Children in the Kindergarten were rehearsing for the group dance they were preparing for Cultural Evening, every day for an hour throughout the month. Ten of them participated in the Cultural Evening and won hearts of the audience with their performance.

On 15th October Birthday of all those children were celebrated, whose birthdays were falling in this month. On the same day Dushehra (an Indian festival) was also celebrated in the school.


DIR School children performing a dance at our annual Cultural Evening.



(I.B.S.Pannu - Administrator)



1.     Ms. Bianca from Canada helped our teachers in our ‘School with a Difference’. She also gave classes to our Health Promoters in spoken English.

2.     Dr. Shalinin Sahia, a Paediatrician from US, regularly visited our bustee office, twice every week. She helped us by giving classes to Health Promoters in child health care. DIR-I is indebted to her for all her services.

3.     Mrs. Kawal Taneja and daughter Neeraj were duly escorted by Dr. Frederick to bustee office on 27th of the month. They showed interest in the programs DIR is running, and are planning to donate school materials.





Paid Leave

Unpaid Leave

# Days


# Days


Dr. Gurpreet (Physician)


7th and 25th October.



Mr. Pannu (Administrator)


Half day on 1st of the month.



Mr. Sunny (Field Coordinator)


8th, 11th and half day on 12th.



Mrs. Anita Uniyal




13th of the month.

Ms. Meena (Senior HP)


11th October.



Mrs. Banita (HP)


18th October.



Mrs. Lata (HP)


12th, 15th and a half day off on 11 October.



Mrs. Maya (HP)


8th of the month.



Ms. Pooja (HP)


4th, 29th and a half day off on 1st October.



Mr. Sanjeev (HP)


27th, 28th and a half day off on 25th October.



Ms. Sarita (HP)


8th October.



Mrs. Seema Devi (HP)


1st and a half day off on 6th of the month.



Mrs. Seema Kohli (HP)


7th and a half day off on 6th of the month.



Mrs. Shanti (HP)


Half day off on 5th October.



Mrs. Sunil Vidla (HP)


Half day off on 18th October.



Mrs. Manjeet Kaur (School Teacher)


28th of the month.



Mrs. Meenakshi Chauhan

(School Teacher)




18th October.