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The Sub Centres in Narayanpur, Gondwananagar and Sawangi Burg


In order to reach the more remote interior villages where nobody else has attempted to do developmental work, the Sangam introduced Sub Centres. In these areas the villages are often cut off for weeks during the rainy season and the distance from the Base centre and the high transport costs limit the amount of work that can be covered by the Sangam Health Team based at Bamhani.

In 2005 the first Sub Centre was established in Shedeshwar which is more than 30 km away from the Bamhani Base Centre over mainly unmade roads. Following this successful pilot project at Shedeshwar a second Sub Centre was set up in Gondwananagar which is adjacent to the MIDC Industrial Area and about 18 km away from the Bamhani Base Centre. In January 2008 the Sangam established a third Sub Centre in Narayanpur, 21 km south of the Bamhani Base Centre. Each of the three Sub Centres provided a kindergarten class for the village children, a sewing class for young women and a healthcare clinic base for the surrounding villages run by a Trained Birth Attendant who supported the home based Village Health and Social Workers.

The Sangam's Sub Centres were based in rented rooms in village homes with the Gondwananagar Sub Centre split between two homes that did not even have running water. The Sangam’s staff had to fetch water from the village well which is about 500 metres away.

With the Sangam established in the three village centres, the Ecumenical Sangam successfully applied for a Development Grant from the German Government, to build three purpose built Sub Centres. The Sangam acquired a 5000 square foot plot of land on the approach road to Narayanpur village in September 2009 and the new building was completed and inaugurated on the 1st March 2011. Photos of the ground breaking ceremony and inauguration of the new Sub Centre in Narayanpur can be seen on the 'News pages'.

The Sangam team actively searched for a suitable plot of land in the area around the existing Sub Centre in Shedeshwar village but were hampered by the fact that ownership of available plots could not be established with the Land Registry. Shedeshwar village was established when a reservoir was created by flooding an adjacent valley and people from a number of small villages were re-housed. The plots of land were granted to them on the basis that they lived on and worked the land but would be unable to move on and sell the plot. The Sangam finally acquired a plot of land in Sawangi Burg in December 2009, a small village of about 180 houses, located about 6 kilometres from Shedeshwar. The site of the new Sub Centre is in a more central location enabling the Sangam to reach out to the surrounding 12 villages in the Shedeshwar group. The plot was 2720 square feet with an adjacent quarter acre of agricultural land suitable to lay out a play ground for the kindergarten children. The construction work was completed and the new building handed over on 7th September 2011 (See article on 'News Pages').

Narayanpur Gondwananagar


Each building has its own tube well equipped with an electric pump for the water supply plus a 20,000 litre underground water tank for rainwater harvesting. The new Sub Centres have spacious accommodation for two kindergarten classes, a tailoring class, a multi-purpose community hall, Kitchen, a ground floor clinic/office and living accommodation for the residential staff.

Two adjacent plots of land totalling 3200 square foot were purchased in Gondwananagar village in October 2009. Construction material was purchased and the tube well was sunk to provide a water supply for construction purposes and the finished building. Unfortunately the start of building work at Gondwananagar was delayed but it has now been completed and the Sub Centre has been fully operational since Spring 2012.

Inauguration of the Narayanpur Sub Centre TBA taking Blood Pressure of a patient in Shedeshwar Sub Centre

  The Kindergarten  
  Between 15 to 25 children of 3 to 5 years of age attend each of the two kindergarten classes in Sawangi, Gondwananagar and Narayanpur Sub Centres. In the kindergarten classes they not only play but they also learn songs, poems and the alphabet in Marathi, Hindi and English. In the same way as the Base Centre the children are given two nutritious meals a day with supplements and receive regular health check-ups from the Sangam Health Team.  
  Health Work  
  A Trained Birth Attendants (TBAs) runs the Health Centre in each Sub Centre. They look after between 5 and 12 neighbouring villages with the help of the home based Village Health and Social Workers (VHSWs). Regular Diagnostic Camps in various disciplines (including Eye, Gynaecology, Paediatric, General and Veterinary) are held in the Sub Centres to ensure a minimum basic health service in these otherwise rather forgotten villages.  
  Sewing and Tailoring School  
  As in the Base Centre, each of the Sub Centres has a Sewing and Tailoring Class which offers 12 to 15 girls from the surrounding villages the opportunity of a 12 month tailoring training, at the end of which they take either the Government examination or alternatively the Sangam's own tailoring qualification. As with the Base Centre courses the young women are instructed in basic health care and in how best to set up and run their own businesses from home.  
Students in the Tailoring Class in Shedeshwar Sub Centre Student working on a sewing machine in Narayanpur Sub Centre