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Puja as one dimension of a sensitive, relational approach to community health care provision

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This article compares two projects designed to train groups of rural Rajasthani women as community health workers. Through ethnographic research conducted during the training periods of each project I highlight stark differences in the management and structural approaches. The successful project recognised the importance of rituals, specifically puja, in the daily lives of participants. Both the NGO management and the trainees performed daily rituals that helped foster a supportive network. Sensitivity combined with a wider insight into the practical realities and constraints facing women in rural Rajasthan contributed to the long-term success of the second project. The first project has folded. I argue a lack of open dialogue and real connection with participants meant the project’s management were unable to adapt /tailor the program to the needs and experiences of the women involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-515
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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