Monday, November 11, 2013

The Garden

The Garden: Dagapur Tea Estate, Siliguri, West Bengal, India.

The tea plantation is referred to by local residents as 'The Garden'. It is a beautiful place and a difficult place. A very good description of India herself.  

We have completed our week at the Dagapur Tea Estate. I am touched, inspired and deeply grateful for everyone who took part. Our remarkable team: Rhoda Nussbaum MD and John Adams PhD, the founders of PINCC, India. Ginger Ruddy MD the new medical director of PINCC. Debra Levinsky MD, Lauren Sokolik ARNP and myself Leonie Wolff RN, Vedic Master. We were joined by George Lewinsky, broadcast journalist for Link TV and David Betsill PhD.

PINCC was invited by Sumita Cancer Society (SCS) of Siliguri. We worked closely with the SCS President Papiya Sen and its founder MK Bhattacharjee. 'MKB' as he wanted us to call him, founded Sumita Cancer Society with his wife Sumita who passed away the same day it was dedicated. She died of ovarian cancer at age 27. Their vision was to offer education for cancer prevention and support for those living with cancer. Since Sumita's death in 2006 MBK has dedicated his life to this organization.

We were joined by volunteers from Sumita Cancer Society to assist us in all aspects of operating the clinic including administration, translators and of course the trainees in VIA. These mostly young, enthusiastic volunteers were eager to be trained and will provide a solid base as SCS continues to grow.  

And the reason we were all there… The women of Dagapur Tea Estate. These women live hard lives picking and processing tea. They live simply and almost all are illiterate. It took bravery and trust on their part as we offered them health exams they had never experienced. An uncomfortable and personally invasive exam searching for an ailment they could not see or feel. I will carry their eyes and smiles in my Heart always.

While the large majority of those who came to the clinic were tea workers we had several members of the Sumita Cancer Society also get screened. And the day after the district director of the local police came by to see our camp, several women police officers came for VIA. 

Bikram, the manager of the Tea Garden, partnered with Sumita Cancer Society to be the host site. His wife Sarvaprit, who is a school teacher in town, was the first person screened. The final evening they had us to their home for a celebration that included fireworks and a campfire. 

We screened over 200 women in our 4 day camp and had surprising results. Cryotherapy was only required on 2 women. And no LEEP. These women were remarkably healthy! This is of course great news for their community although it decreased the opportunities for trainings. Pap and biopsy results will be interesting to receive.

We left with strong ties with the members of Sumita Cancer Society and the local community. We are optimistic that the PINCC program will continue to be supported and grow.  

The photos of the Dagapur Tea Estate site include views of the clinic, tea plantation, some of our PINCC team and India volunteers. 


What happens when your soul begins to awake in this world... To your deep need to love & serve life? Oh, The Beloved will send you... Wonderful & Wild companions!  ~Hafiz

Leonie Wolff RN LMT Vedic Master

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