Nanaji Deshmukh is a person who needs no introduction. His sharp intellect and extraordinary organising skills have left an indelible mark on Indian politics. In fact, Nanaji has made such a name for himself over his long career that he was awarded the ‘Padma Vibhushan’ title in 2001, the highest title in India for services to humanity.
Nanaji established the Deendayal Research Institute in 1972 and went on to establish the Chitrakoot Project or the ‘Campaign for Self-Reliance’ in 2005 in 80 villages around the Chitrakoot area in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The project hopes to make the 500 villages surrounding Chitrakoot self-reliant and serve as a sustainable and replicable model for the India and the world.
The charity started in 1998 with the simple aim of bringing basic oral surgery and dental care and health education to the children and families of Chitrakoot using volunteer staff from the UK.
Our UK volunteers are a mixture of surgeons, university professors, NHS consultants, Harley St practitioners, nurses and other helpers – all united by the common ideal of bringing the best of Western Care, in a sensitive manner, which respects local custom and need. The volunteers are also self-funding so that any money we raise goes into front line services.
Some of the distinguished team are UK domiciled Indians and speak fluent Hindi and have a deep understanding of the cultural and religious sensitivities of the area. This is absolutely essential to working in rural India. It has also allowed networking to take place and we have important administrative and political connections within the area.
We know from the welcome we receive in the villages that our efforts are much appreciated. Word passes by mouth from village to village and we receive reports of an increase in the number of villages requesting visits. It is clear from the welcome from the school children that a dental day is a very special day off school, and really an occasion for celebration.
At the base in Chitrakoot there is a constant stream of patients waiting who pass the word around and see us as part of the life of the town. As a result we are invited to the many events that occur particularly weddings which go on all night.
Read more on our Volunteers Page
- Dr Naresh Sharma (Chairman of Trustees), Oral Surgeon, Yorkshire
- Dr Ghite Bhavra, Consultant Orthodontist, Northampton
- Mr Stuart Clough, ODA Spire Hospital Elland, Yorkshire
- Ms Nicola Cockroft, Communications Consultant, London
- Dr Promodh Datta, GDP, Essex
- Professor Monty Duggal Professor of Paediatric Dentistry, Leeds
- Mr Oliver Fenton MBE, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Wakefield
- Dr Crawford Gray, Dental Surgeon, Aberdeen
- Mr David Hutchinson, Retired Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Wakefield
- Mr Frank Jennings, Retired Anaesthetist, Huddersfield
- Dr Keith Judkins, Anaesthetist, Yorkshire
- Dr Ashok Sethi, Oral Surgeon and Specialist Prosthodontist, Harley Street, London
- Mr Naresh Sethi, Chartered Certified Accountant, London
- Mrs Sashi Suri, JP, Yorkshire
About Chitrakoot Township
Chitrakoot is a small town of about 35,000 people situated on the Mandakini River, a tributary of the Ganges, and lies approximately 500 miles South East of Delhi. It is on the border between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, two of the poorest and most deprived areas of rural India.
Chitrakoot is best known as a major historic religious centre of the Hindu faith. There are 500 surrounding villages with a total population of over a million, all struggling with extreme poverty and an almost total absence of health care.