Had a bracing conversation with Vasu Vittal and Abby from Oasis India trust. They are in the process of putting together a health centre at Kurla in Mumbai to serve women who are in prostitution, women who have been rescued out of 'the trade', people with HIV and community members from the two church-partnered community health projects OASIS runs.
This is an exciting prospect and more so because they have managed to find an existing nursing home which is fully registered and where the owners are willing for them to rent out the whole place - 4 beds - small OT and all.
They are looking for a committed doctor to provide leadership for the next 3 years. Any takers?
Over the course of our conversation we touched upon an issue. The women in prostitution get their health care from the local quack doctors. Church workers who go regularly to meet the women say that if a white-coat doctor could come and conduct a weekly clinic - that it would greatly improve the status and acceptability of the church-run work.
What do these women really want?
One of the things that came out was respect. And dignity. To be treated as someone special. To be loved.
It may or may not be possible to recruit the doctor and have the clinics. But one thing is certain. These women - as warped and as horrible as their circumstances / choices / situations are - each one of them is precious in the eyes of their loving maker.
Could we structure our work so that we genuinely care? Its so easy to become utilitarian and ugly in our work. Could we make something beautiful? Would it not be possible to take that extra effort to communicate that the person is valuable - even if it is not accepted - or even laughed at?