It has been about 2 months since the start of my journey at Dimagi and this train that chugged off in Delhi, has passed through the city of Varanasi, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Patna, Saharsa, Alibaug, Bangalore and is now steaming back to Saharsa (How ironic that I’m writing this blog sitting in a train!). Through the course of this journey I’ve had the opportunity to travel and share stories with ‘fellow’ passengers while I have also seen some of them travel their last journey on the Dimagi train.
I have always thought of Dimagi as a travel organization, an organization that is constantly exploring- Ideas, problems, solutions and most of all exploring innovative approaches to drive change and impact lives at the grassroots which every Dimagian is part of through their individual journeys.
In all the time I have spent in the field, I was and still am in search of Dimagi’s on ground impact. But it didn’t take me long to realize in whose direction I should be looking at a.k.a The ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist). They are not just community health workers but form CommCares’ largest fan base and more so a part of a rising global population of semi-literate yet passionate and motivated women who are actively driving mHealth.
In India, the Asha doesn’t just have to deal with the mobile replacing a simple book and pen but she also has to deal with client visits in the harshness of 48 degrees heat, the widespread superstitions and beliefs India is immersed in, the fact she won’t be paid for months together for the services she has provided and being made to work on number of menial schemes unrelated to her profile and this list goes on. These are some of the tiny pieces of observations that have driven me to explore the system further. As my train continuous to chug along and makes more stops, I will be searching for answers to the questions on Asha’s motivation and impact.
I believe the more we focus on the user, the more it credits the maker.
Sri is a Dimagi Field Manager based in Bangalore. His work includes design, development, testing, training, and evaluation of CommCare mobile applications for use by community health workers in rural India. To learn more about CommCare, please visit www.commcarehq.org