The Fluoride India Mavericks
A motley crew of Fluoride Network Change makers meet up for next steps
You can say there is a certain madness to their method; nothing that you’d be able to find in books, manuals or research papers; but there’s an unbeatable passion in Fluorideindia changemakers and in what they’ve done for Fluorosis so far across the country that has led to some terrific results for the Fluoride Network.
AB Paul from Assam and his brand of engaging with the government, showing it examples to work with, Nilutpal Das his tremendous ability in bringing the issue in a communications space, Anil Gautam and his passion for igniting communities to take charge of their own problems, Kesarji and Minakshiji on reporting real stories on fluorosis from the ground, Bapuji from Karnataka, and his work on exciting people to understand the science behind the issue, Srinivas Chekuri from Telangana and his efforts on integrating fluorosis into government programs
Surprising, though; that in spite of doing so much independently for the fluoride movement across the country for over a period of 2 to 3 years of being associated with the Network, barring a few of them; others had not met each other before.
There were two days of reflection and planning in Anand, Gujarat therefore on the 24th and 25th of Nov and the two days gave these key people a chance to meet up, share with each other their incredible stories and develop a certain camaraderie around the issue that enabled them move towards a wider purpose for the Fluoride Network nationally.
The discussions that happened for these two days were intense and were engrossing, they were direct and were well debated. They brought forward six high priority areas of intervention for this group to work collectively on for the next year.
These six things were: Better focus on nutrition and safe-water, work on rehabilitation, incorporation of Fluorosis education in school, college and medical curriculums , more messages about Fluorosis on Media i.e. Print Media, Newspapers and TV and more institutional mechanisms for work on Fluorosis on the lines of DFMC, State Fluoride Resource Centre etc.
it is now hoped that there will be better coordination between these key people of the Fluoride Network to make significant inroads into influencing policy on fluorosis at a national level.