Operation Mercy India Foundation (OMIF) was formed in response to requests from local Dalit leaders. It works among the most vulnerable and abused groups in Indian society.
HART began supporting OMIF in 2008, and currently helps to fund the Jeedimetla Medical Clinic in Hyderabad.
The Jeedimetla Medical Clinic works with those who are poor and marginalised, including Dalits, slum dwellers, migrant workers and victims of trafficking. Patients only pay what they are able – the vast majority are treated either free of charge or at subsidised rates.
The clinic is open six days a week and 40 to 60 patients are seen each day. It has a laboratory, facilities for x-ray and ultrasound scanning and a pharmacy. Since 2010, it has held the status of a Government ICTC (Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre) for HIV and AIDS. The clinic provides testing, counseling and treatment for HIV positive individuals, as well as long-term support from their medical team and social workers. The clinic has also been conducting outreach to five nearby slums, including regular community health work and HIV awareness and screening programs.
The Jeedimetla Medical Clinic provides holistic support to vulnerable women, including the Devadasi. Because they are so stigmatised, Devadasi struggle to access medical services. The Jeedimetla Mobile Medical Unit – essentially a ‘clinic on wheels’ – undertakes monthly medical camps for the Devadasi, aimed at meeting their health needs.
In just three months at the end of 2014, 2953 patients were seen in the clinic and a further 1223 patients were seen in medical camps in the slums.
HART has previously supported the provision of health and counselling services amongst the Devadasi, helping them to create new lives. Now, at the request of OMIF, we have returned to supporting the Jeedimetla Medical Clinic.
Find out more about OMIF on their website.