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Combating TB and Silicosis: Yoga's Healing Touch in Panna

Ajay Singh Gond, our barefoot health volunteer from Bador, teaching asanas to TB patients.

In the scorching summer heat of Panna, Madhya Pradesh, our dedicated young barefoot health volunteers are crafting a tale of hope and healing through yoga. With unwavering commitment, they conduct yoga sessions for individuals affected by TB and silicosis — those in treatment and those who have successfully completed it — blending simple respiratory exercises and asanas with their prescribed medication plans. Through collaboration with PATH (People’s Association for Training and Health), these volunteers were equipped with the knowledge to help patients combat the physical and mental challenges that come with these diseases.

"The patients feel a little relief after continuously following their medication course and practicing yoga. It's not just physical; they say they feel relaxed mentally and it is helping them have a better state of mind," shares Ajay Singh Gond, who works with patients in Bador village.

However, the path to wellness is not without obstacles. Ajay highlights the struggle many patients face in finding time for these sessions, as their daily lives are ensnared by the demands of survival.

"Most of the patients can't afford to take a break from work. They have to leave early in the morning to collect firewood, go for manual labour or tend to their fields. There is hardly any time for them to sit down peacefully and take part in these yoga sessions for their wellbeing."

Their frail physical condition makes any progress slow, with breathing difficulties and their poor lung capacities. Our volunteers have to be careful in guiding them with gentle exercises to build their stamina.

Triumphing over TB: Barefoot Volunteers Chart the Way

Yet, amidst these challenges, glimmers of progress emerge. Working in close coordination with the Panna PHC, our barefoot health volunteers have ensured that 23 TB patients across four villages in Panna successfully completed their DOTS course.

Barefoot health volunteers giving homemade tonic to patients

To further aid their recovery, the volunteers prepare homemade tonics and remedies using local forest herbs, guided by the wisdom of Adivasi healers. "We're trying our best to help those within our reach. We collect mahua and other herbs to make tonics and other remedies for patients. When paired with medicines, we observe that they're able to find some relief and are coping better with their ill-health. Hopefully all of them successfully recover in due course of time," Ajay expresses optimistically.


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