Monday, August 27, 2012

ToT for Health Staff

On 23 & 24 August I spent the time in Kolkata at a training of trainers for the staff of polio eradication program. Just 10 chosen ones were trained to train over 250 staff in certain communication skills so that they can effectively communicate with people and challenge resistance to vaccination of children. The training was mostly activity based with lots of reflective, analytical and demonstrative sessions. Rina Dey from Core Group was with me as the lead trainer and so that took off a lot of load of work from my shoulders. There was a meeting at ABCD on Child Protection and Education. Mr. Sarbjit Singh Sahota, the Emergency Focal Point of UNICEF country office had invited me to join the meeting. However due to the training of trainers I could spend only about two hours at the meeting on 24 Aug. Returning to Bolpur was uneventful, as I traveled with a Seattle University student who would spend the next couple of days with me.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Training of Doctors in Flood Preparedness

I must write about part of my experience while training four groups of doctors in the State of Bihar in flood disaster preparedness. The training had been organized by Unicef and the Disaster Management Institute of the Government of Bihar. The training support was given by RedR India, and I was part of the RedR India team. In the first two trainings in Supaul and Madhepura we had to go beyond the training module as I and my co-trainer also had to work on improving the training module and schedule to help it more useful for the other eight trainings to follow. My third training was at Darbhanga where the district health administration was sluggish in organizing the program, and so had to wrap up the program in just five hours of total work in the two days. Then six such trainings in six other districts followed in which I was not present. The last of the trainings was in the district of Katihar, where I joined my co-trainer Dr. Prabir Chatterjee who was also my co-trainer in Madhepura. In Katihar the doctors and health personnel were very much interested in the training and wanted to know more and more. But, unfortunately, some of the IEC materials, training tools and some organizational faults on the part of the district personnel ensured that the program was not a big success. 

Looking back, it was time for me to share some very interesting and personal moments with my co-trainers. Learn from them and learn to be a better health conscious person, as all my co-trainers were professionally medical doctors. Thank you Dr. Ravikant, Dr. Prabir and Dr. Sanjay 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Aminpur Water and Soil Testing Begins....

Center for Knowledge and Skills (CKS) and Visva Bharati University have joined to organize Water and Soil Testing as part of internship of two students from Environment Science department of the Visva Bharati University in Aminpur village, near Bolpur. Readers of this blog are aware that CKS works in Aminpur to help the poor tribal people of the village for their socio-economic development. In this major research activity to be conducted over a period of six months, one of the students will collect water samples from source, collection points in the village, storing facility at homes and from the hands of users. The study will help to analyse (a) hygienic behaviour relating to handling of water in the tribal community (b) ascertain the kind of activities that would be required to undertake as part of awareness building in the community.

In the other study, soil samples from the agricultural fields of the farmers will be collected over a period to study the changing nature of soil, and the support the community would require in terms of agricultural interventions to increase their produce.  Dr. B. Chandran from the Environment Science department will guide the students on the technical aspects of the study. We thank the faculty of  Environment Science for accepting to take up this study for the benefit of the poor tribals in the area, in collaboration with CKS.

Friday, August 10, 2012

India Disaster Report 2011

India's Report of Disasters for the year 2011, known as the India Disaster Report 2011 is already released. A friend of mine, Mr. Subhasish Debnath who works in UNDP shared the report with me. For the benefit of all who might be interested in the report, I thought of sharing it with you through this blog. You may view it by clicking on India Disaster Report 2012.

As for me, I am in Kolkata since yesterday. I was working with the Seva Kendra team yesterday (Thursday) to review their budgets, and today I spent my time with Professor P. Sahni from the IGNOU in understanding some new thoughts and concepts in disaster management. IGNOU is undertaking training in 54 districts from 11 states of India, in association with the National Disaster Management Authority. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Annual Report

The Annual Report of Center for Knowledge and Skills (CKS) is released. I thought of sharing a web version with all of you as some friends from other countries and other parts of the country were interested in having a look at it. So, here it goes.... You may also download or view it as a PDF file by clicking on CKS Annual Report 2011-12 Wishing you a happy reading !

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Five Years of Blogging

I didn't realize that I have completed five good years of blogging! Started on 3 June 2007, to be precise it is five years, two months and three days. The first three years got the maximum number of blog posts - almost one post on every fourth day. But the worst years where 2010 and 2011, the time when I had to reinvent myself. I see that I have already overtaken 2011, and will be in all probability crossing 2010 as well, and so, this year, I might end up with about 60 posts. I have shared so many reports, pictures, videos and my own views using this blog. I just love it.

The blogs have been my constant companion, They gave me opportunity to tell the world what it was all about Puthumai when Facebook was hardly known and Twitter was not known. It was also a place I could give window to my feelings. It is also the place where I could spell out my plans, dreams, hopes and who mattered in my life on that particular day or moment. My visits to the USA, Germany and my relationship with Seattle University occupy a lot of space, all thanks to Julia from Germany and Sean from Seattle. 

I remember the days, when if I google my name in Google Search, the name would appear as one of the last, in the 10th or 12th page. Today, you just enter Puthumai, and the first one you would find is this blog, and there is a lot more about me in the subsequent URLs offered. That's all because of the visibility this blog built for me. No wonder, more than 22,300 hits this blog has received in the last five years according to Statcounter that I added within months after I opened my blog. Later, on 17 Dec 2009, I added Clustermaps to see from how many locations people are viewing my blog, and it shows from over 72 countries and over 3,300 locations people have hit the blog since the end of Dec 2009.  Still I have problem with this.... It keeps telling me to join Google Adsense. But it doesn't seem to much sense for me.

This blog has just journeyed with me. Thank you Blogger. Thank you Google.

Leisurely Day

This Sunday was unusually leisurely for me. In the morning I got my travel bills prepared for settlement. Checked through a few reports on the internet. Then played with my dogs, gave them bath.... and had lunch, watched "Gone in Sixty Seconds".....and slept off as I watched. Continued the sleep on bed till 4.00 pm. Then some more play with the dogs. Went out for a while, prepared the accounts for settling training related payments of staff. And finally, sat down to write my blog! Not all days go this way. But I feel much relaxed. I need to prepare couple of one page reports, which should not take much time. And then will have sound sleep.

But tomorrow is another day. I will have a long day, as I will go to Kolkata, meet some officials at Goal India office, and then to Seva Kendra for reviewing the Polio Eradication program budget, and finally travel to Katihar on a two days trip. 

For now, I want to live in the present. Enjoy the time given for letting my body relax. Just RELAX.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Link to Tide and Wind Information Case Study

The report Community Based Early Warnings in South and South East Asia - Best Practice and Learning 2012 contains a chapter on Tide and Wind Information System promoted by Center for Knowledge and Skills with field implementation support from Concern Worldwide, Sabuj Sangha and other non-governmental organizations. The document can be viewed by clicking on TWIS as a Community Early Warning Model