Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Musings from someone who sees stories everywhere.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

My Village Home

I've been living in a medical college campus in rural Andhra Pradesh since nearly a year. My son is an Asst Professor here, and I stay with him. We have a village postal address, and are surrounded by green fields and rocky hills. Within the campus, we have modern housing and amenities such as backup power and internet, not to mention our own large teaching hospital. The villagers come to our institute for medical care, and many of them are employed by the hospital and medical college. We institute residents go to them to buy vegetables and groceries, and employ them  as babysitters, cooks and domestic helpers.
The positives I see are:
1. pure, fresh air. The peace and calm is refreshing

UFOs spotted over our campus. Really!

2. The people are hard working and more honest, sincere and tolerant as compared to huge metros.

3. People are comparatively more friendly, tolerant, hospitable and gentle. The owners of the fruit and vegetable stalls I frequent, have taken it upon themselves to teach me the local language, correcting my mistakes with a smile.
The local women who come to babysit and work here, are very sincere and nice.

4. Locally produced fresh fruits and vegetables may lack the variety of supermarket produce, but they are fresh from the fields. The flavour and nutritional value is unbeatable. Not to mention that this leaves a lower carbon footprint since the produce is not transported over distances.

5. People are doing their bit to make the best use of food wastes. The village women who work here, leave pots for us to toss our kitchen and food waste. They then take it to feed to their cattle.

6. The social fabric is yet to rip apart, as is happening in big cities. People still care for each other, and there is stronger community feeling.

These crows are as polite and friendly as the locals

7. Our privately run hospital provides medical care, and specialist doctors are available around the clock for emergencies. The 108 free ambulance service is excellent. They come to the hospital in a steady stream, bringing in patients. Patients come here from 30-50 kilometres away, sometimes from even more distant places.
The state government's health insurance scheme for people below the poverty line, ensures that they get proper medical care. Hospitalisation and surgeries are paid for by the government.

8. The nearby town has respectable English medium schools as well as vernacular language ones. Some of our institute staff's children go to these schools. They are as well mannered, well informed, and articulate as the children I see in my home town, Bangalore. School buses come from the town to pick up children from the villages nearby.

9. One can see exciting and unusual sights like UFOs (see my photo). As the resident writer, I'm enjoying this retreat.

The negatives.
1. Ignorance. People first go to faith healers and quacks, and sometimes come to the hospital as a last resort, when they are in very bad shape.

2. The feudal system is still entrenched.
A stone age dolman worshipped as the village deity

3. People are poorer compared to city dwellers.

4. Agriculture and animal husbandry are tentative means of livelihood. Rains fail, crops can be blighted, and valuable cattle die.

5. Plastic waste is a huge hazard here. Large piles of waste plastic bags etc pile up over the wayside, and this can grow into an enormous problem, which our cities are already facing.


Indrani said...

So nice to know you as a doctor is serving the village community. My salutations to you!

Nice description of the village, a typical Indian village where India's heart beats!

monideepa sahu said...

Thanks for dropping by, Indrani. My son is the doctor, an Asst Professor in the medical college. I stay with him, and am very happy to be here. The peace and quiet is a pleasant change from Bangalore

Amrita Sabat said...

Very nice post.Congrats to ur son who serves so many people there as a doctor.:)
Congrats to U as well for being a published writer n I love your blog. Thanks for this post which candidly brings out differences b/n urban n rural places.

monideepa sahu said...

Thanks for sharing your views, Amrita. There is a world of difference between life here and in the big metros. Though we are around one and half hours by train from Bangalore, it's a completely different life.