Bela Banerjee: Bringing Health to India's Villages

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Wordsworth, 1988 - Social Science - 173 pages
Bela Banerjee was a remarkable Indian nurse who spent her life serving the poor in India. This book describes her work in Quacker, Gandhian & other indigenous & international development projects. it shows how her training of young village women to be health workers led to higher health standards & a greater acceptance of women as village leaders. It also tells of her early life as the youngest daughter of a widowed mother & later experiences that enlarged her circle of relationships to friends throughout the world. Weaving together research, interviews & experiences while traveling with Bela Banerjee, the author brings alive the people & places important to the life of this extraordinary woman whose deep sense of identification with the poor gave direction to her life. The book is illustrated with photographs & a map of India indicating places where Bela Banerjee lived & worked. Several RabindranathTagore poems that she found meaningful are included in the book. In memory of Bela Banerjee: A Coda to Her Biography (ISBN 0-945530-17-x, 1996). also written by Platt & published by Wordsworth following Banerjee's death, is available as a companion piece to the biography.

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About the author (1988)

LaVonne Godwin Platt is a writer, editor & publisher. She has written numerous biographical profiles & other articles published in magazine & two chapters in the book Full Circle: Stories of Mennonite Women. Bela Banerjee: Bringing Health to India's Villages was her first full-length biography. For five years she edited From Swords to Plowshares, a newsletter on issues of faith & farming & later was editor of a collection of essays, Hope for the Family Farm: Trust God & Care for the Land. Platt's research for the biography, Bela Banerjee: Bringing Health to India's Villages was funded partially by Individual Member Research & Project Grants of the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation & by contributions from Friends Medical Society. Bela Banerjee: Bringing Health to India's Villages was the first publication of Wordsworth, a small press established in 1987 in Newton, Kansas. Since then Wordsworth has published twenty titles by other authors, in addition to a companion book to Bela Banerjee' biography, written by Platt. The book, In Memory of Bela Banerjee: A Coda to Her Biography (Wordsworth, 1996), tells about the last months of Banerjee's life, when she traveled from India to Canada for medical treatment & eventually visited friends in the United States, where she died January 1, 1993. For a complete listing description of books available from Wordsworth, see the publisher's web site at

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