Migrants and medical refugees: a short report
“What is the catchment area of your hospital?” the well-meaning person from the funding agency asked. I responded with our oft-quoted figure of people from over 1,500 villages coming to us for healthcare, including many from the adjoining parts of Madhya Pradesh. But what I did not tell him then were the life experiences of some people from these villages in an era where all aspects of rural life seem to be in a crisis. As the harvest season of the single rain-fed crop draws to a close, and no other employment is in sight, an annual exodus begins that is all too visible at bus stops, railway platforms, and in the general compartments of trains bound for Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
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