Sneak attack

by Sanjiv Phansalkar
Godda district, Jharkhand

A young development professional was working in Sunderpahari (around the year 2005), one of the most backward blocks in the country. A Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) lived in parts of that block, and that region was extremely prone to falciparum malaria, a severe disease that causes many deaths.

This development professional was responsible for running a self-help group (SHG) in the area, but he soon realised that malaria was a much larger problem for the community, and it threatened their very existence. He wanted to do something about it, but malaria was not a part of his organisation’s agenda.

To encourage people to use insecticide-impregnated bed nets as a prevention technique, he adopted an unconventional path. He made the purchase and use of the nets a precondition to receiving a loan from the SHG. There was resistance, but many people did start using it. He possibly saved many a life by intervening. Was he interfering, or was he merely doing his job as a development worker?

Sanjiv leads VikasAnvesh Foundation, a research centre established by Tata Trusts to study social development processes.

Know more: Read more about the impact of community-driven development.

Read next

View next

Follow us
Get smart. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter, IDR Edit.

IDR is India’s first independent media platform for the development community.

We publish cutting edge ideas, lessons and insights, written by and for the people working on some of India’s toughest problems. Our job is to make things simple and relevant, so you can do more of what you do, better.

IDR is produced in partnership with Ashoka University’s Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy.

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact
© 2020 India Development Review    
India Development Review is published by the Forum for Knowledge and Social Impact, a not-for-profit company registered under Section 8 of the Company Act, 2013.
CIN: U93090MH2017NPL296634