At a time when most politicians and their progeny are making headlines for the wrong reasons, Dr.Indrajit Mohite is proving to be an exception.
Graduating as a surgeon from one of Mumbai’s top medical colleges, Indrajit and his wife Savita ( a practicing gynaecologist) left their life of comfort to return to his native village of Rethare Budrukh. There in the heartland of rural Maharashtra , they set up a 15 bedded tertiary hospital. This tiny healthcare centre with the latest medical equipment made quality healthcare affordable and possible for the people of Karad and its neighbouring districts. Despite keeping a low registration fee of Rs 30 and the cost of major surgery to Rs 5000, the couple realised that their practice would dwindle to a mere service, simply because of the low income levels in the area.
So they adopted a more holistic approach that would improve the overall standard of the community. This they achieved by setting up a not for profit micro finance company through which they encouraged other income generating activities like helping farmers set up dairies and providing loans to buy livestock and agricultural equipment.
While Savita gravitated towards the women related social welfare activities, Indrajit concentrated on modernising the cooperative sugar factories and ensuring compliance with pollution control laws. He also set up a renewable energy plant generating electricity from sugarcane waste and bagasse. But tiring of the politics that was far from sweet, he gradually restricted his activities in this field to agricultural research.
However , top most on his mind still remained his desire to fulfilli his mother’s dream of setting up an English medium school in rural Maharashtra. Thus the Jayee English Medium school was established offering its students a host of extracurricular activities comparable to those offered by elite urban schools. Generous friends provided sports equipment so that the school could conduct activities like athletics, cross country, elocution, debates and racquet games like badminton.
The school also introduced a concept that was revolutionary to the villagers and one that involved active participation of the parents in their children’s education : the PTA . This vibrant organisation arranges special guest lectures to help parents address adolescent and other issues . The school has an Open Day where parents can interact with the teachers.
The 396 students who attend this school are children of agricultural labourers . The fees are low and several girls from under privileged families have been sponsored by the good doctors’ friends. In order to encourage attendance there is a school bus . Apart from the traditional curriculum, students are exposed to public speaking, elocution, art&craft and the rudiments of cooking .
For the past three years the school hasn’t had a single failure at the SSC exams and many of them have passed with merit !
Not everything the couple did met with such success though . In fact , their venture of providing quality teachers through a Teachers’ Training College had to be abandoned because of the government’s withdrawal of accreditation.
Luckily the Yashwantrao Mohite Industrial Training Institute could hold its head above water despite the government’s policy of online admission and every year it produces skilled electricians, welders and fitters.
The couple work tirelessly to improve the lives of their neighbours. They have tree planting rallies, AIDS awareness programmes and even celebrate World Environment Day in the village.
With children given the chance to attend summer camps, watch English movies to improve their language skills and partake of specialised training for appearing in competitive examinations, it won’t be long before the people of Karad taluka begin to enjoy the benefits that education and social awareness bring. Indeed , the people of this sugarcane country are lucky to have Drs. Savita and Indrajit Mohite looking after their general well being.
. I’m participating in We are the World Blogfest where bloggers share positive acts of humanity in life, in the news, or social media on the last FRIDAY of each month.