Monday, 6 April 2015

NGO’s : changing the world around

4th March evening, i used to be enjoying my hot cup of tea with kurkure whereas serious cyclone was busy destroying the electricity supply and uprooting trees outside, suddenly my mobile beeped. it had been a whatsapp from Raunak, one of my best friends and fellow intern. He conveyed the message from Swati ma'am (our ma'am from community medicine dept.) that a health camp will be there the next day targeted toward senior citizen and that we might be joining her. Primarily I had a bit of dilemma whether or not to hitch the camp wasting a valuable Sunday or not. Raunak shared the message in our intern’s whatsapp group too. Our friends Reea, Rebika, Rimi promptly agreed to join. Their enthusiasm took me under its ambit and I decided to go. That evening we can’t plan more as cyclone virtually desolated mobile networks.
                Next morning Raunak informed me that He won’t be able to be a part of us because of some unavoidable circumstance. He also gave me the mobile no. of Swati ma'am so that I could communicate with her relating to the camp. I talked with her and told her that we four folks will join her. She was terribly happy that so many interns were joining her, however on the other hand, she was worried if we might slot in vehicle she had arranged. I told her we are going to manage anyhow, we are unwilling to leave any of our friends behind. She also told me that we were reaching to Kali krishna para for a health camp organized by an NGO named KP memorial welfare society.
Ma'am with local Panchayat chief.

                It was 10, ma'am rang me and asked to join her, she was ready. Within five minutes we were prepared and going. Four folks on a seat meant to accommodate three, but we didn't even acknowledge it, as we were deeply immersed in our talks, leg pull etc. As we neared the destination, the sky cloud density multiplied. As we crossed Bishalgarh central jail, landscape started changing dramatically. Lush tea leaf plantation was a pleasure for eyes and then, out of nowhere broad-gauge road connecting Agartala to southern part of the state emerged. we all began to imagine, how lovely the scene will be once we’ll travel in train through this greenery. Every good thing must finish, our journey too terminated close to a community hall at kali krishna para, the venue for today’s health camp.
Initial geathering at camp
                Out of car as we stretched, some folks started arranging the hall for smooth running of the camp. 5 tables were set up 1 dedicated to registration, 1 for pressure measurement, 2 for doctors, 1 for drugs distribution. Registration table was occupied by a non-medical employees. me and my friends occupied tables meant for doctors and blood pressure measurement, ma'am hold the drugs distribution table. And a long consultation process started.
Me and Rebika surrounded by patients.

Reea and Sanjayda busy prescribing..
Rimi doing it alone.
   1st i assumed patient load won\'t be that great as I didn't have the thought however massive area the camp was going to cover. initially when I started the registered patient no. was 35. As we completed, virtually a hundred senior citizens availed our services. we all tried to treat them exploitation our greatest skills. Patients we couldn't diagnose were treated by ma'am and a few patient, specially the one’s having eye or ear disorders were short-listed to be treated later by specialist doctors. Free medicines too were distributed among the patients who required them. Hot tea was served as the camp neared finish. On demand we measured BP of some ASHA staff too. 
Selfie time.

                At the end of the camp we did some photo shoot taking a small pond in the background. 10-20 minutes later we headed back to Agartala following same scenic road. This time, rain accompanied  us making the road even more beautiful. As we neared the college, car stopped at nirmala, a renowned food joint. Ma'am organized lunch for us, taking my lunch packets, I returned my home. Power cut was still there, as I entered home, thunderstorm started.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Oh, Natasha!!!

The latest update of Hike (Make in India answer to whatsapp) included 2 new features. One among them was very much awaited, yes, I am talking about the voice call capability. Though it's performance on 2g network below par, it is promising. Another feature was also added which didn't get very much hype. It's the new robo-chat system named as Natasha.
I am confused if they introduced her to make hike a funny app or they really wanted to deliver. Natasha is able to answer questions correctly only when asked in specific format provided like #weather <place name> for weather update, #dict <word> to find out the meaning of a specific word which otherwise you can easily google. Apart from this, she is just a dumb robo and surprisingly she gladly accepts it. I think she is of help only when your time settings are messed up and there is no one to ask time. But again, you can google it. Below are some screenshots of funny chat with her..

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Agartala Book fair 2015

The book worm infected me very early. As long as I could remember, I was in 3rd standard when I fell in love with books thanks to my dad whowas very much insistent. I started my journey with his collection, I was in 8th standard when I almost finished the whole collection of child and youth literature from his bookshelf. Dad understood it was the time for me to start collecting. He took me to the book fair. That year I shop for a thousand rupees. It was the start and from next year onwards it became the most awaited event of the year for me.
As I grew old, budget increased, my taste too started varying. Some times I would shop for Bengali literature only, sometimes it was wholly English literature or Satyajit Ray or Marxist literature or some holy text. But for last few years, the book fair was much less fun. Studies being the culprit, I accumulated piles of unread books. This year the situation is different, book fair accommodated itself into the after exam recess period. I was very much excited to visit the fair this time.
It was the 32nd book fair Agartala was hosting. Book fair here is not same as you would encounter in some megacity like Delhi or Kolkata. Let me explain, this time premises of Umakanta Academy (which also happens to be my secondary school) was leased to be used as fair ground. Temporary stalls were erected using bamboos and wood, decorated with cloth, thermocol, lights etc. For 12 days, these stalls would sell the gold mine of knowledge at 10% discount!!! Publishers from Kolkata, Guwahati, Delhi, Dhaka and Agartala participated. Though participation of outside state stalls were a bit less this time.
As the fair was inaugurated, I started hopping from stall to stall. The grandeur was a bit less this time. No. of stalls were less, some famous books like "The Krishna Key" was sold by none! Dust was another problem. Don't know why the administration didn't arranged to moisten the field, it was a norm in previous fairs. The space too was cramped. There was no map indication position of a specific stall.
Among all these problems, the administration took a good initiative by declaring the fair as plastic free. Though no monitoring was visible, most of the publishers abide by the norm, specially the one's coming from Kolkata. Some local publishers broke the rule, but number was way less. In this era of growing environmental pollution, one must salute such an initiative. Another amazing machine was there in the book fair providing 1-2 rupee coin in exchange of 10-20 rupee notes. It was a great relief for Agartala citizens and publishers both who are always short of small change. UBI bank provided a great service here.
Book fair here is never about books only. It's a common place where a lot of new memories are created, old memories are relived. Here book enthusiasts meet, discuss books, politics, education and a lot of it. There are dedicated sitting arrangements for those who get fatigued with walking. And not to mention, food joints, 'chanachur' (চানাচুর)wala roams around the ground, get a bite for 10 rupee only. The official food joint was hosted by 'cafe jannat' selling different fast foods like egg roll, chop etc. Fair will be there for 6 more days. I plan to visit there once or twice more. Will update here on the latest buzz.
What I brought this time:
1) Collection of novels by RN Tagore
2) Collection of stories by Samaresh Majumder
3) Ghost stories collection. Will update the list.