Association of Medical Doctors of ASIA, founded in 1984, Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC since 1995








COVID-19 Outbreak: AMDA Peace Clinic Food Donation in Bodhgaya, India 14

Publication date:2022-03-01
By Dr. Archana Shrestha Joshi, AMDA Headquarters

Between the months of October and December 2021, AMDA Peace Clinic (APC) in Bodhgaya, India, continued to provide food aid to its registered women patients and their families. Focusing on maternal and infant healthcare services, APC has been supporting pregnant women in the locality who are faced with financial difficulties.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures that followed, many of the breadwinners lost their jobs. This affected the household income so badly that malnutrition among pregnant women became a serious concern. To respond to this problem, APC has increased the number of monthly food distribution activities to twice a month since September 2021. The target recipients are approximately 60 women as well as those staying in a nursing home run by a former APC staff.

The set of food items includes 1.5 kilos of lentils, 500 grams of chickpeas, a kilo of potatoes, a kilo of onions, 500 grams of salt, and 500 milliliters of cooking oil. In addition, 5 kilos of flour have been provided to those who are not entitled to government food aid. In this article, four mothers shared their stories concerning APC’s food distribution drive.

Karuna Devi (a 33-year-old mother of four children):

 “My husband is a rickshaw driver. However, ever since the novel coronavirus hit Bodhgaya’s tourism, the number of visitors has been dwindling. Despite the lack of tourist needs, local people have started using rickshaws after the lockdowns were lifted. This did help us a bit financially compared to the worst times.  But it’s still far from enough to make ends meet. To that extent, APC’s food assistance has been a lot of help. Rumor has it that there could be another lockdown to be imposed. This worries us so much about our future. My sister-in-law is also a regular patient at APC. She visits the clinic for her gynecological consultations. We feel secure to have a doctor nearby whom we can rely on.”

Sharada Devi (a 25-year-old pregnant mother of one child):

 “My husband has been currently out of work and has gone to a different state to find a job for the last one month. Being pregnant, I have stayed home with my older child. However, I feel insecure as we have no income at this moment. I have experienced miscarriages twice, and my doctor told me my baby’s growth has been weak due to malnutrition. Hearing that there could be another lockdown in the near future, I don’t know how we could manage ourselves if that happens. I don’t want to lose my baby and I can’t help crying. I feel grateful for the organization in supporting poor people like us. AMDA is our only hope.”

Rohini Kumari (an eight-month-pregnant mother-to-be):

 “My older sister used to come to APC when she was having a baby. The service the clinic provided was very good, and that put the whole family at ease. It was my family that brought me to APC to see a doctor right after I got pregnant. I was 18 at the time, but thanks to her, my baby’s growth has been well and steady. In addition to Bodhgaya, the clinic has also been providing free consultations in the Mastipur and Piparapati districts. For those of us who have no money to go to private clinics, being able to receive proper care at APC means so much. APC Doctor is very kind, and I also feel thankful for the Japanese people’s support.”

Ashmin Khatun (a mother of one child):

 “I was receiving a regular checkup at APC while I was pregnant. Six months after I gave birth to my boy, it was found that he had a problem with his anus. Ever since he has been receiving treatment at a national hospital in Varanasi. The medical fee is free because it is a public facility. However, medicine and other necessities are on us. In addition, only one family member is allowed to accompany a patient, so my family has no choice but to rent an apartment near the hospital. Including all of that, it costs us quite a bit. My son is turning five and he is getting better. But the doctor told us it would take another six months to complete his treatment. My husband is a day-laborer and without getting paid every day, it would be difficult for us to make a living. Whenever we are back in Bodhgaya, we are receiving food aid from APC as long as our schedule meets the day of distribution. We’d also appreciate it if you could assist us in any way you can with our son’s treatment bills.”

    •  Primary Health Care & Promotion of Health Awareness (Promotion of Health)
    •  India
    •  2021
    •  AMDA Peace Clinic
    •  COVID-19