Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (Chirag)
Country of Operation
SummaryChirag is a rural development organization based in the Kumaun region of Uttarakhand in India that works closely with communities on issues relating to forestry, soil and water conservation, agriculture, animal husbandry, drinking water, health care, and education.
Chirag aims to improve the quality of life of rural people – especially the poor and women – in the Central Himalaya. We try to do this through interventions in health, education and natural resource management, and by providing access to diversified livelihood options. We promote the sustainable ownership and management of common resources by the community.
Key program components
Chirag has run two rural health centers (RHCs) at Sitla and Sargakhet since 1988. More recently, a local family donated land to Chirag to construct a hospital at Sargakhet, which is now an 8-bed facility inaugurated in January of 2009. Hospital facilities include a laboratory, an X-ray device, ECG machine, treatment rooms, a delivery room, a general ward with six beds and two private rooms. These facilities are currently being upgraded and the hospital is being better equipped to cater to in-patients.
The curative services are managed by a full time doctor trained in Ayurveda and modern medicine and surgery, a trained lab and X-Ray technician, a pharmacist and two nurses. The hospital focuses on the health of women and children in addition to emergency services. Specialists with an expertise in obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics, paediatrics and dental health are invited to conduct camps in the hospital.
Preventative and promotive:
Chirag's preventive and promotive health program seeks to mobilize the Health Committees of 38 Gram Panchayats (local governments) in the region. Chirag has invested in the capacities of members of the statutory health committees. It provides support to the committees as they formulate and implement health plans for their panchayats.
Chirag has also commenced supporting the ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) in these Panchayats and in 4 blocks of Nainital district by assisting the Government in their training. Over 70% of the members of these health committees are women and the top two issues that the Panchayats seek to address are women's health (safe delivery, anaemia and leucorrhea) and water borne diseases (jaundice and diarrhea).