The Genesis

Naujhil Integrated Rural Project for Health and Development (NIRPHAD) is an off- shoot of over 100 years of a health delivery system in District of Mathura, U.P, North India. The Methodist Episcopal Church of USA sent the first missionary to the orient- Dr. Clara A Swain in 1869- who started a hospital for women, in Bareilly, U.P. (“Palace of Healing” By Dorothy Clarke Wilson, McGraw-Hill, 1968 and Hodder & Stoughton, 1969).

• CFC Hospital a sister institution, which was started about 100 years ago by Dr. Gerwood at the request of the then British Resident, who had visited the holy city of Vrindavan and was deeply moved at the plight of the 5,000 widows who were ‘donated’ to the temple for the expiation of their sins, which they supposedly had committed. The widows' souls were expected to join the souls of their husbands when they died. Needless to say the widows were exploited in every way and had to eke out a living by begging for alms.

• The lives and the contribution of these pioneers and their successors deeply touched the Sundarams who joined the CFC Hospital in 1970.

• CFC Hospital was requested by the Ministries of Health and Petroleum of Government of India to build a zonal hospital (Methodist Hospital) in 1978 for the Mathura Oil Refinery. The financial support was provided by USAID, EZE-Germany and ICCO-Netherlands. At the inauguration of the Methodist Hospital, the then Health Minister (Dr. Karan Singh) (GOI) and the German Ambassador were appalled at the extreme poverty and lack of health services for the rural communities in the villages surrounding the Methodist Hospital and requested the Methodist Hospital to start a sustainable community health programme. This is the genesis of NIRPHAD.

• In order to make a scientific study of one sample block of Naujhil, the Association of Voluntary Agencies for Rural Development (AVARD) was commissioned in 1978-79 under the leadership of the late Mr. S.D. Thapar, a noted econometrist. The Director of the Methodist Hospital (EBS) wrote the chapter on health. The geo-physics department of the Banaras Hindu University was entrusted to research and document the water resources section.

• NIRPHAD was established in 1978, as a project of the Agra Regional Conference of the Methodist Church in India. It is registered as an autonomous body under Societies Registration Act XII of 1860 (Registration Number S/10118, dated 1979 & FCRA #231650144).