What does it take to save a life?

Words on a wall

Painted yellow sign with black and red text on a pink wall.

How do you get information in an emergency? In the absence of the Internet or even phonebooks, building walls are the billboards that get messages across in rural India.

In the villages where Sure Start works, the community health workers called ASHAs and other members of the Village Health and Sanitation Committees have become handy with paint and brushes. Look for walls painted yellow and you’ll find a list of the warning signs to watch for in pregnancy and childbirth. “In case of any of these symptoms, go immediately to a medical facility,” readers are advised.

You’ll also find emergency information for women in labor: names and cell phone numbers of villagers willing to donate blood, vehicle owners who have agreed to negotiated rates, and medical facilities.