Rural Missions and Grassroot Community Based Organizations. As mentioned above, these movements were pioneered by individuals and groups of MMS networking with other likeminded organizations.
By this time, we recognized our mission (included our doing and being) as one of trying to be a healing presence of Christ in a wounded world, owning at the same time our individual and corporate woundedness. Presence is the base of our healing mission; it is essentially a relationship in love and in living among people, we are open to them and to their concerns, what affects them, affects us.
Health was not the people’s priority but the unjust structures and gross injustices that made people poor and keep them poor. So we entered the struggles of the poor: in Kasiadih, Hazaribagh Unit among the marginated Santals, where land problems, loss of forest and water resources, displacement of people—by Multinationals taking over their land, eroding the community, its culture and its ethos—has reduced them to a voiceless, suppressed people. We have also represented the cause of Indigenous Tribal People at national, regional and international fora; in Hajipur of Vaishali Unit and Maner of Patna Unit among the marginalized dalits; in Phulgaon, Pune Unit among poor women in need of empowerment because of the deeply entrenched caste-system and economic backwardness. This year, 2012, the women of the production unit have registered an Ishwari Women’s Cooperative, making it possible for them to run the unit on their own; the latest is the work of an MMS in the remote rural area of Murmune, Sattari, Goa, which creatively responds to needs of children through teaching that imparts values and attitudes.
Gradually in all our areas of involvement, whether institutional, Community Health or Grassroot Movements, we began to see health and healing becoming more all-encompassing, more holistic. It focused on the whole person, the whole community, whether rural or urban and the many and varied factors that impinge upon them.