In a huge conference hall in Washington DC, over a thousand participants listen with rapt attention to Muktabai Pol, a village health worker from Jamkhed, India. The listeners include officials from WHO and UNICEF, ministers of health, health professionals and representatives of universities from many parts of the world. Muktabai shares her experience of providing primary health care in a remote Indian village. She concludes her speech by pointing to the glittering lights in the hall. “This is a beautiful hall, and the shining chandeliers are a treat to watch,” she says. “One has to travel thousands of miles to come to see their beauty. The doctors are like these chandeliers, beautiful and exquisite, but expensive and inaccessible.” She then pulls out two wick lamps from her purse. She lights one.
“This lamp is inexpensive and simple, but unlike the chandeliers, it can transfer its light to another lamp.” She lights the other wick lamp with the first. Holding up both lamps in her outstretched hands, she says, “I am like this lamp, lighting the lamp of better health. Workers like me can light another and another and thus encircle the whole earth. This is Health for All.” The audience rises to its feet in a standing ovation.
'nuff said =)