Barefoot Acupuncturist Dharavi Clinic is located in the midst of Dharavi Slum in Mumbai. It’s a precious stone of fraternal help in a multi-cultural neighbourhood. The neighborhood has an highly active population and life never ceases on the narrow alleys and streets, making Dharavi an authentic maze to anyone that doesn’t know the area.
BA Dharavi Clinic is at one brilliant corner of this amazing maze. You would never guess that at this particular spot someone set up a western style multi-bed clinic to help anyone in need.
The Clinic is full of people, and the variation goes from full to extremely full. 80% of the people that come to us mainly have pain related complaints and post-stroke recovery needs.
Acupuncture is a serious business in this part of the world, and its exactly that seriousness that founded this project, and more than that, it provides the clinic results we, as acupuncturists, can observe as the works progresses. Every person is a single case and response takes its own individual time, but progression is undeniable as we see the people siting outside waiting for their turn to receive treatment.
Our team is composed by two indian full-time acupuncturists, one assistant, and an occasional volunteer that takes part of the project. The full time acupuncturists amazingly manage alone most of the patients regardless of numbers – everyone that shows up receives treatment with equal concentration and commitment.
“I arrive at the Clinic every morning at 9:15am. Our assistant Mitali, and my colleague acupuncturist Vrushali, are already there preparing everything that is required for treatments, I say “good morning” to everyone, and go around to make sure everything is at its right place. Then I sit on my chair to have my morning chai and prepare myself to work. Patients start to show and sit patiently at the waiting room with their file on their hands and the eagerness for their turn. Every time I feel surprised when I look at them and realize that they come not for regular medicine but for a treatment with needles. Happiness and satisfaction fills me when I greet them in, and happy faces greet me back with “namaste”. Some lay down on the treatment beds, some sit on chairs as they come in and wait for me.
My first patient, Mr Nadar who lives nearby, has pain in his right leg and he’s coming to the clinic for 2 months now. I ask him how is he feeling about his complaint, he replies that he has had an improvement of 80% and that he feels much better but still some little pain remains. He’s very happy and rests on the treatment bed with total faith. I start my treatment as always taking his pulse and seeing the tongue, then I apply acupuncture.
To be able to witness this is pure happiness to me and I’m thankful to Barefoot Acupuncturists which had given me the way of joyful, blissful life and inner peace.” Satish, Acupuncturist at BA Dharavi Clinic.
“I am suffering since one year from pain in leg and lower back. I have done so many treatments but didn’t found relief. When I started treatment at Barefoot Acupuncturists at Dharavi Clinic I got an improvement of 80% in my pain. I take treatment twice a week since 2 months. I’m truly thankful to Barefoot Acupuncturists.” Mr A.M. Nadar testimony from 9.11.12.
This article was written by Chetan Sharma, a staff member of Barefoot Acupuncturists.