“Hope Floats: Boat Clinic of the Brahmaputra”, the book on the innovative Boat Clinics run by the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research(C-NES) was released at the organization’s Annual Review meet at Gangtok recently by the LokSabha MP from Sikkim, PD Rai in the presence of Sanjoy Hazarika, Managing Trustee of C-NES and founder director of the Centre for NE Studies and Policy Research in Jamia Millia Islamia. The book co-authored by Hazarika and C-NES Communications Officer Bhaswati Khaund Goswamiis and supported by the National Foundation for India (NFI). Chairman, C-NES Board of Trustees, Dr VA PaiPanandiker, Founder President of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi and Preeti Gill, literary agent and former Consulting Editor of the Publishing House Zubaan were also present.
Speaking on the occasion MrRai said “C-NES is doing fabulous work with the Boat Clinics. I would say it is the most comprehensive work in terms of experience.This book would go a long way in terms of letting us know how the untold miseries of people living in such a fragile eco system has been improved by making health and education accessible to them”.
The book is an accounting of the challenges and achievements of the Boat Clinic programme which started small in 2004-05. The innovative health campaign reaches some of the most marginalized and poorest communities who live on hundreds of inaccessible islands, called saporis, on the river Brahmaputra. There are no roads here. But, over a dozen specially-designed boats, conceived and developed by C-NES and manned by doctors, nurses, lab technicians and pharmacists as well as crew, organizers and community workers reach more than ten lakh people, pulling them out of a deadly cycle of maternal and infant mortality, disease and poverty conditions which contrast dramatically with the overwhelming beauty of the place.The work hailed nationally and internationally, is extremely arduous for the health teams who are the core of this epic adventure. It has tried both to cover the depth of the work and the risks people face as well as the joys of opportunities as well as the deep satisfaction of lives saved, conditions improved and services delivered.
C-NES works extensively on health, education and governance issues. The work C-NES does in the river islands is inclusive and community driven bringing in components of communication with its Community Radio Station, Radio Brahmaputra in Dibrugarh and Family Planning as well. C-NESis supported by the New Delhi based Population Foundation of India (PFI) in propagating family planning methods through constant counseling and awareness sessions.