Friday, September 18, 2009

The Launch Event

The invitation to the launch event for the GOI's new program, NSSK (the Hindi acronym), for newborn care was arranged for us by IAP. One goal was to meet Dr Kishore who is the actual moving force behind the government program. His agreeing to meet with me was another small recognition step for Latter-Day Saint Charities and the church and was the primary goal of the trip in addition to just making our presence and who we represented known and meeting people. We wore our Elder and Sister badges with the church's name on them.

During the time before the event started, we met the new head of UNICEF's Indian Health Section in Delhi, Dr Henri van den Hombergh from the Netherlands. We also met and talked with Dr Yonas Tegegn, originally from Ethiopia, and if he isn't the head guy, he is at least a key player, from WHO's Country Office for India. The program was over an hour late in starting while 200 of us waited on the government big wigs to arrive.

Elder Tanner and Dr Kishore. He is a very gracious person and I would consider our conversation a success. He later returned to where we were seated to introduce his boss to us.

Waiting ...

... and then the press and TV (c)rush when the officials arrived.

A full room and up front, L-R Dr Hombergh, UNICEF, Sam, head of the Rajasthan UNICEF state office, Dr Mohan from UNICEF Delhi and someone we have worked with previously, and to the front right, Dr Tegegn, WHO.

The top man, Gulan Nabi Azad, Honorable Union Health Minister. (the term Union is used similar to Federal in the states)

I'm not trying to be cute with a hidden message, although when you see the following video after the meeting write up you may be tempted to think along those lines. Here is some trivia you probably did not know. The marionette, or string puppet, originated in a town called Kot Pulti in India. We passed through it on our trip down to Jaipur. There was a group at the hotel we stayed at putting on a short show for those that were interested. Sister Tanner watched and took some video Monday night. Interesting.

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