SOCHARA team members work on various community health and public health challenges with partners who are members of civil society and function as NGO’s with specific focus or on general health and development activities. The communities that these partners serve may be rural Communities, Adivasi hamlets or urban slums. Those that focus on specific marginalized or socially excluded groups are also supported and here the communities are groups representing those marginalized sections eg, street children, people with disabilities, disaster affected communities, workers in unorganized sector, dalits, women, persons with mental illness and pollution impacted community.
The starting point of all involvement is building community interactions in which both learning from the community and sharing an understanding of health with them is seen as community awareness building. Symbolically a SOCHARA team member or fellow sitting in a circle or group involved in such activity is typical of this process.
The broad philosophy of this function is based on the practical application of the well known Chinese poem featured in the Manual for Community Health Workers of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare 1978:
“Go to the people
Live among them
Learn from them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have“