India Alternative Therapies Learning Experience

Shairin Farrell

I went on an international practical experience programme to India working with Beyond Boarders where I experienced things that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to in Australia. I learnt about traditional medicine practices in India, I attended Masterclasses in Ayurvedic medicine, observed Allopathic Doctors and Ayurvedic Doctors, visited community service providers at Kiranniketan Community Clinic, Primary Health Centre, Matruchhaya Rugnashray and Goa Medical College/Goa State Hospital.

At each of these observations and visits the history, community and state involvement, funding, the services provided, growth and success of the health care and ancillary support mechanisms was presented by a Doctor or leader at the centre. I had community involvement specifically at Kiranniketan Community Clinic where we received instruction and assisted Ayurvedic Doctor Prafullata Rajput in a free Community Health Clinic for women from the nearby Zuarinagar slum.

I was immersed in the community where we were based. The Zuarinigar slum community residents are predominantly of the Lombani tribe, an illeteriate population in need. A few participants of our group got to interact with this community outside of the health camp by participating in a traditional dress and dance evening during Divali – The festival of Light.

Part of our practical experience programme required us to create a sustainable community engagement program where we liaised with Community representatives, the CEO and Board members of Beyond Boarders, Medical professionals and CSU Faculty. This was a valuable practical experience with benefits that not only contribute to my degree but I can also promote on my resume. The Academic, professional and Personal benefits of embarking on this experience will stay with me for a lifetime.

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