Jamkhed: A Comprehensive Rural Health Project

    Jamkhed: A Comprehensive Rural Health Project

    Mabelle Arole, MD; Rajanikant Arole, MD  |  2010
    Published by Comprehensive Rural Health Project


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    Jamkhed tells the story of poor, disenfranchised men and women who developed a sustainable community-based primary health care program in the town of Jamkhed, Maharashtra, one of the poorest parts of India. From a single village, the award-winning program has grown to over 2,000 villages in rural India and offers trainings both nationally and internationally. The success of Jamkhed shows that ‘Health for All’ can indeed become a reality.

    “Not only has [Jamkhed] brought better health to the people, it has also been a catalyst in the overall development of their lives.”


    In 1970, doctors Mabelle Arole and Rajanikant Arole were invited to Jamkhed, Maharashtra, to provide health care. The program grew into the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP), which has been a catalyst for social change and positive transformation in Jamkhed and the surrounding villages. Jamkhed details the early years and the experience of developing the project from inception to sustainability.

    The CRHP demonstrates how health work can be an entry point to other social justice issues such as gender equality and caste/social status equality. They focus on training poor and lower-caste women, building their self-confidence, and developing their skills to become volunteer health workers in their communities. Similarly, they demonstrate how using existing structures and groups such as farmers’ groups or women's groups can be a good entry point into doing health work. They also address the benefit of integrating health work with other community development projects.

    Jamkhed is an inspiring story, and it offers creative solutions that others can learn from. For more information about the continuing Comprehensive Rural Health Project, please visit the Jamkhed website.