The HPVHA Story
In 1987 a group of people and a few member organisations got together to create an organisation with a clean-character, accountability and transparency- which would set a standard for other NGOs to follow. Miss. Kshama Metre of Chinmaya trust was one of the founder members along with some other organisations like Sutra and Ruchi. VHAI was looking to start State chapters and few members who already were thinking on the same lines (SUTRA, RUCHI and Chinmaya being the prime ones) grabbed this opportunity offered by VHAI. Things like accountability towards government and beneficiaries were discussed. The initial objective was to create a supporting and enabling environment for all. "Health for All" was a mission which everyone wanted to achieve during the period of late 80's. The public health sector was not able to satisfy the needs of the people. So a supporting organisation was required which would help generating demand for such services and also facilitate the government to implement the same. Initially there were only 3 people running the organization. There were some programs and events that were held regularly but no major projects were done during this period from 1987-1989. No major activities were carried on except a bit of advocacy and selling of publication. Mr. Manphool Singh and Mr. Anil Sharma were the Executive Secretaries at this stage who were mostly sent from VHAI. Other than this VHAI also provided some financial support to start running the organization. The practices adopted at other VHAI chapters were also communicated.
The Faded Phase
During the period of 1989-92 the organisation was almost defunct. When Mr. Sinha arrived in 92, the organisation was in a complete mess, there hadn't been a financial audit and the bills and records which were not in place. It was a question of survival in the 1991-92 period. The organizational development depended on the structure of management board. The actual dysfunctional period is around 1991-1992 where no work was carried on and the organisation was on the verge of closing. The failure of HPVHA in that time can be attributed to many reasons some of which are:
Scaling hurdles and Spearheading the Struggle
In 1992, National Health policy workshop was started in order to revive the state voluntary state association. 4 major points to be noted at this time are:
Mr. Mukesh Sinha remained the executive secretary of HPVHA till 2000. His emphasis on networking and competency improvement took HPVHA a long way forward. In 2000 Mr. Rajan Mahajan joined in as the ED. Being an MBA in finance he was very particular regarding the quantitative parameters of evaluating everything. He also stressed on the fact that in order to be financially stable, there needs to be a definite shift of the organization from being coordinators to implementers.When he joined, he was not satisfied by the processes especially for managing finances, review of projects, and understanding of key indicators for each of the projects. His emphasis was mostly on scientific methods. He believed that only qualitative targets and achievements won’t help, we need to rate each of them and define proper metrics. Mr. Rajan Mahajan went a long way in improving the balance sheet of the company. Under his tenure most of the so called "Umbrella or MACRO Projects " was initiated, the major ones being the status of MNGO, Miserrior project, great advance on counselling for AIDS, better evaluation and review of each of the projects. According to him HPVHA handling the projects on its own was a practice started during the days of Mr. Sinha only and he continued the practice. During his tenure he had taken specific interest in Child Issues, most of the NGOs were doing only Women-Centric activities which were then being linked to children (mostly mahila mandals getting involved), but there was no specific programmes for children. He and his team studied these aspects and made presentations to the International child Trafficking groups. This was the origin of projects related to Child Issues.
Keeping up the Good Work
After a brief tenure of Mr. Chauhan in between, Mr. Narendar Sharma joined in as the executive director and he being an MBA too, has gone a long way in focussing on implementation. There have been major improvements in the balance sheet of the company and the new full fledged office in New Shimla can be directly attributed to him. HPVHA has started handling a variety of projects and the scope of the organization has also widened a lot. From handling only health issues, the organization now has a wide variety of projects involving child issues, environment issues, etc.
Factors involved in Organisational Genesis
Role of VHAI
VHAI got interested in forming HPVHA in 1987 after some organizations like SUTRA, CHINMAYA and RUCHI had already started a communion of their own. VHAI helped in the formation and registration of the organisation. It also provided the initial support by appointing an Executive Secretary and sending the relevant reading material and publications but there have been issues regarding the appointed executive secretaries that were raised by the previous members. Practices adopted at other VHAI chapters were also communicated. VHAI has played a major role across all chapters. Regular meetings that were held by VHAI give an update about good practices of the other chapters. Although apart from publications, there hasn’t been any major financial support. In 1992, when the organization was at the verge of closing, VHAI did lend a helping hand financially but with time the help has slowly diminished. Presently VHAI provides very minimum help to HPVHA and HPVHA is almost an autonomous organization. The presence of VHAI still influences HPVHA and thereby HPVHA like VHAI has taken projects that avoid government clashes which in turn has played a role of supplementing and supporting the government
HPVHA associates with different organisation for the welfare of the people of Himachal Pradesh.