The need for a hospital had slowly started manifesting among the community. Slowly but surely, patients were beginning to land up in our office. As has always been the case, some benevolent entity high above heard our call and gifted us with Dr. Nandakumar and Dr. Shyla who, along with Roopa, Deva and our first group of community health workers set up the fledgling Gudalur Adivasi Hospital. Subsequently, the first batch of nurses were selected from the community and provided intensive training – Padmini, Sita, Patta, Meenakshi, Ambi, Janu and more.
During this same period, Marimuthu Srinivasan joined us and we experimented with providing families with chickens, goats and cattle. Marimuthu also trained the first batch of “barefoot vets”.
Our first attempts to preserve the culture treasure trove of the Adivasis of Gudalur also starts in this period with the arrival of Anita and Manu who worked with Lalitha and others from within the community.