By Life Positive December 2009 It is not often that we hear about successful professionals giving up a life in the lap of luxury in order to serve humanity. It is not often that we hear about successful professionals giving up a life in the lap of luxury in order to serve humanity. However, Dr. Regi and Dr. Lalitha have done just that for the tribals residing in Sittilingi, a remote village in Tamil Nadu. A village that only had quacks and superstitious practices to help the inhabitants deal with any and every disease, can now boast of proper medical care and facilities. The doctor couple found their calling in serving the underprivileged. An extensive hunt for the right place to offer their service ended at Sittilingi, a totally backward and neglected tribal village. In spite of initial resistance and challenges, the couple finally found a place in the heart and village of the tribals through a full-fledged medical centre for the natives. The Sittilingi initiative flagged off by Dr. Regi and Dr. Lalitha is called the Tribal Health Initiative (THI). It has drastically improved the living conditions and health of the villagers by reducing the mortality rate for infants and mothers, besides enhancing the nutritional levels and general well-being of the people. The couple also train and recruit local girls to not just provide human resource at the centre but also to increase their own self-respect. The village girls, thus trained, are happy to be able to live a life of dignity and in turn do something for their community. The THI helps the villagers help themselves by providing requisite knowledge about health and hygiene, proper treatment and general awareness about basic first aid. Today, over 21 neighbouring villages are benefiting from the Tribal Health Initiative that sprung up at Sittilingi. Educational programmes, cultural activities, and community development initiatives also form a crucial part for THI. As long as compassionate professionals like Regi and Lalitha are willing to take the initiative and make the necessary sacrifice, it can be safely said that society will continue to feel the positive ripples of hope. – (source: www.thebetterindia.com)More information at: http://www.tribalhealth.org
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