So when bringing modern health care to these people, our team walk a thin line between the desire to help them as much as they can, and respecting their customs and their desire to be independent.
65 year old Pusi Ram, a local farmer, had been experiencing breathing problems for several weeks. Following their custom, his family took him to see the local priest. Priests often serve as medicine men in Adivasi tradition. They know many herbs and tinctures, the knowledge of which has been handed down over generations.
This knowledge is inspired by collective experience, knowledge, legend, even divine inspiration, and often addresses local issues very effectively, and more sustainably than pharmaceutic cures.
After a month of unsuccessful attempts to cure Pusi Ram with the help of the priest, his family brought him to the Tulsi Trust clinic. Our doctors immediately recognised his critical condition, and he was transported by ambulance to Raipur hospital.
The doctors there found him to suffer from severe kidney infection, which had progressed beyond treatment.
It is always unspeakably sad to lose a patient, but even more so if it happens in the knowledge that their life might have been saved had they but sought help earlier.
It will still take a lot of effort and understanding from all sides to establish the harmonious side-by-side of old and new, traditional and modern medicine.