Village Tamhini in Taluka Mulshi, Pune Zilla, blessed with nature’s beauty is popularly known as the gateway to Konkan. 40 Kilometers away from Pune in Mulshi village is a small dam owned by a private company. It was built 100 years ago during the British rule with the intention of illuminating Mumbai. The construction was given a go-ahead in 1920 – 21. The dam region submerged 52 villages which displaced Adivasis, farmers, and economically backward classes settled there. The dam started the storage of water in 1927.
The chief occupation of the displaced people was farming Submergence of the village displaced the farmers, posing a question about their very livelihood. Senapati Bapat started a satyagraha movement for their rehabilitation which is referred to as the ‘Mulshi Satyagraha’ in Indian history. While the satyagraha proved unsuccessful in conventional terms, it proved to be a milestone event in the history of rehabilitation of dam affected people. Today, 20 kilometers on either side of the dam houses these people from the displaced 52 villages – mostly farmers. The area lies nestled amidst lush green vales and hills. It rains heavily here during the season. Both sides of the dam are blessed by nature’s beauty.
From village Male to Ambavne village and from Tamhini to Ambavne – this stretch of 40 Kilometers has only 2 primary health care centers – one each in Male and Ambavne. There is no medical facility to speak of in the other villages. Also, public transport facilities are next to none in the 40 kilometers radius. Health facilities are therefore found severely wanting in the case of residents in the region.
In recognition of the dire state of health facilities here, Sakal Social Foundation, along with the Health Department of Pune Zilla Parishad and Vinzai Devi High School run by Sahyadri Shikshan Mandal has established a free Out Patient Department to serve patients residing in the neighboring villages. The OPD operates every Thursday from 11:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. Doctors and staff here serve the Adivasis, farmers, and students who frequent the Center. This initiative has been running without break since 2014.
The OPD has extended health care services to date to 5000 people free of cost. Also, they do not have to travel far to avail them, wasting their time and effort. Villagers in the region have also benefitted from free health camps regularly held in different villages from 2011. The camps are organized by Sakal Social Foundation.