Network Team’s visit to Assam
Engaging important entities to work closely on the fluorosis problem.
A team from the Fluoride Knowledge and Action Network visited Assam from 9-14 Dec 2013. The main aim being to engage important entities in the state including government departments; NGO’s and others to work closely on the issue and forming a regional alliance of sorts to work on fluorosis.
Team members were Dr Raja Reddy (Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon), Ms. Suneetha Sapur (Nutritionist), Mr. Karthik Seshan (Research Associate, Arsenic network), Mr. Ayan Biswas (Arghyam, Bengaluru), Dr. Rajnarayan Indu and Mr. Vikas Ratanjee, (INREM, Anand).
There were a series of meetings that the team engaged in with different stakeholders during the visit, important among these were; meetings with the Director WSSO, the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, the secretary PHED, the Director NHRM, Coordinator UNICEF and representatives from regional NGO’s i.e. Centre for Microfinance and Livelihoods (CML) as well as Environ.
Besides engaging with different stakeholders the team also made a field visit to Nagaon District and participated in a two-day workshop organized by WSSO on the 12th and 13th of December.
The successful outcomes were:
- The network team getting acquainted with ground realities in Assam with regard to fluoride and fluorosis
- Partnership with state level entities and NGOs getting established by the Fluoride Network in Assam
- State level as well as the Field level recommendation based on the network team’s field visit to the two affected villages of Tapatjuri and Niz Parakhowa being discussed in the Water Quality Task Force meeting of the State on December 18.
- The task force agreed that there should be a pilot to start within Assam which brings together safe water and nutrition aspects in Assam.
- The Task force also agreed that there should be a “Central Resource Centre for Fluoride issue” in Assam which has a “knowledge bank” of information guiding all interventions on the issue.