Silvarpatti is a drought prone rural area in Tamil Nadu,
where ICT India built a hospital and initiated a preventive
health programme in 1996. Silvarpatti Community Health Project
(SCHP) initially covered 26 villages with a span of 15km and
a population of 11,000. SCHP offers a whole range of primary
health care, outreach work and education. In addition to inpatient
facilities, the centre conducts training in basic first aid
measures, immunisation programmes, training for traditional
birth attendants and AIDS awareness programmes. And, as many
health problems in this region were associated with the lack
of access to potable water, SCHP installed bore wells and
pumps in local villages.
More recently, SCHP was extended to an additional 11 more
villages with a total population 7000, including 1850 direct
beneficiaries. In addition to the extension of much needed
basic services, SCHP has expanded its project work to include
public participation in communication technology to bring
information, power, and prosperity to the most vulnerable
villagers (mostly women) in a remote and seriously deprived
area of rural South India. The project extension takes advantage
of the inter-village goodwill, created by past project work,
to incorporate empowerment and advocacy into the project.
ICT-SEEDS helps the most vulnerable villagers to organise
themselves to promote gender equality, improve health standards
and expect a better quality of life. Economic needs have been
further addressed in the project extension through the incorporation
of income generation schemes, which increase family income.
SCHP now covers its own running costs. ICT continues to partner
with ICT-SEEDS to implement specific piece of work within
SCHP; e.g., the income generation projects mentioned above
were supported by ICT through a one off grant .