Follow-up day traditionally is the day when door-to-door checking starts and every house is visited to ensure the children inside have been vaccinated. This time however, follow-up was simply more vaccination and we started at a Ragpickers camp in the town.
Ragpickers are amongst the poorest classes in India and make their living doing what their
name suggests, collecting rags and anything else thrown away which can be sorted, recycled and
then sold for a very very small amount.
Here their “houses” are adjacent to some flats bit separated from them by a brick wall.
The camp was relatively tidy and spaced out, water comes from hand pumps which bring up water from the water table which will be not more than 15 metres down (the maximum depth from which this pump will bring up water). This is also the depth to which water from the toilets or waste from open air defecation will sink to. Hence the obvious health hazard.
Despite their poverty and very basic living conditions, everyone (bar one whom you will meet later) was very pleased to see us.
Their houses are made from anything they can find
and hence look rather basic.
We were impressed with the general tidiness here
when compared to those we have seen elsewhere.
Inside most of the houses evidence the relative poverty of their owners
but poverty does not mean that you cannot have a satellite dish (no doubt recycled) !
As usual, our vaccination process was fast and efficient
and Geoff was welcomed by almost all of the children in the camp.
Having completed vaccinating here, we went off to our last vaccination point which was at a Rotary sponsored home for retired cows.
For Hindus, cows are a sacred animal and hence they are not killed when
they reach the end of their useful life but allowed to retire and die gracefully (at least that is what we were told).
The Rotary Clubs of Bhiwadi have established a methane project at the home and when we went their to vaccinate, we also saw how the project works.
Cow manure is placed into a container where is ferments. As it does so it gives off methane gas,
the waste products are collected
dried and used as fertiliser
and the methane gas is collected in a gas holder (similar to the method used to store gas in gas holders in the UK).
It is then piped into a nearby house
for use on a cooking range
or a household light. A very impressive project and a great idea.
What does Polio Vaccine taste like?
We had always suspected we knew the answer and we found out when Geoff vaccinated Pat.
What do you think the answer is?