Helping women stand strong


Among its many programmes, the Society for Youth Development Sanjeevan has been training young women in home nursing too. And students who have completed this course are now helping in the fight against COVID-19


With the aim of helping downtrodden people, especially women and youth, Asha Sawardekar started Society for Youth Development Sanjeevan, 40 years ago. Over the years, the NGO has helped a large number of people, through its programmes like Arogyadham, Sanjeevan Higher Secondary School and other activities, which have especially helped women in need to learn to stand on their own feet and live a dignified life.

Among its various programmes, the Ponda-based Sanjeevan has also been offering a home nursing course under Human Resources Development Fund.

During the one-year course, students are trained in the basics of nursing like first aid, medicine administration, dieting, pre and post-operative patient care, hygiene and maintenance. The NGO also provides theory and practical training in their own institute and hospitals in the state. This year, they also added yoga and basic Ayurvedic massages to the syllabus.

Mamata Badami who is in charge of the course states that the home nursing course was started in 2000 and Goa was the first to start a course of this kind which is completely free of cost with doctors and well-trained teachers, instructing the students.

«Every year I used to go to every nook and corner of villages and schools in Goa and search for students especially from classes 8 to 10. We prefer dropouts as this gives a chance to help them stand on their own feet,” she says. However, she adds that many often ask if they will get a government job post completion of the course and this mentality need to change, she says.

There is a lot of demand for home nursing, she adds. In fact two years ago they also trained students from neighbouring states, with some now working in the Gulf too.

“Now those who have completed their course, are placed in various hospitals and working for COVID-19 patients as well. This has given great relief to hospitals,” says Badami who prior to joining Sanjeevan, used to teach underprivileged students and support them till they completed their desired studies.

To be eligible for the course, students should have completed class 7 and have knowledge of Konkani/ Marathi/ English. Also, students should be a minimum of 16 years of age. At the end of the course, the institute will conduct examinations, both theory and practicals.