Photographer Lynn Johnson takes you to rural India, where women volunteers save lives.
They are not doctors. They are not nurses. They are illiterate women from India’s Untouchable castes. Yet as trained health workers, they are delivering babies, curing disease, and saving lives -including their own.
The challenge in much of the world is how to keep people who don’t have access to sophisticated medical care healthy, and in most of the world there is a lack of doctors and nurses in rural areas.
There is an organization in Jamkhed, India, that started training women who are members of the Untouchable castes. They chose these women because they thought they were the lowest of the low.
Most women in that position were daily victims of domestic violence, of the hands of their parents, their husbands, their mother in law… So for the first time in their lives they were in a position to scape, becoming independent, and then, in turn, give back to their community.
It’s a country of women who still live in the villages that they are serving, which is one of the great powers of the project.
They have broken the taboo of the fear of leprosy patients, TB patients, HIV patients. They have broken the superstitions that actually would contribute to allowing babies to die at birth. Most of the women have been community workers for between 15 to 30 years.
See the video with Lynn Johnson pictures for National Geographic clicking here.