It is largely unknown that India, a vast country of more than a billion inhabitants, has its own “native” or tribal communities that have populated the subcontinent for tens of thousands of years. One of these communities is called “Bhils” and lives in the isolated and barren district of Jhabua in central India. Characterized by abject poverty, drought and disease outbreaks, Jhabua has been consistently ranked over decades as having the lowest literacy of the country’s over 600 districts.
Helping the most vulnerable members of the Bhil community, the children, a group of local individuals who had the luck of receiving education, built a residential school and a community health center with the help of German volunteers and donors ten years ago.
Today Chetna Education and Healthcare Center is home to 750 tribal students and serves families in 15 villages through immunization, nutrition and safe motherhood program. The Real Medicine Foundation has also established combined education and healthcare programs in Jhabua district.