New Delhi: CURE International India Trust (CIIT), a Delhi-based voluntary organization working towards eradication of the club foot disease, a deformity of the foot from birth, says an ideal employee must have a perfect balance of the brain and heart.

“When we meet such candidates, we create positions for them in our organization because the intention to commit to a cause trumps educational qualifications for us," said Santosh George, chief executive of CIIT.

Club foot is a congenital deformity in which one foot or both feet appear to have been rotated internally at the ankle. If not treated early, it can cause chronic pain and disability for a lifetime.

CIIT uses the Ponseti method of club foot management using castings and special shoes designed to correct the deformity. It is a manipulative technique that corrects congenital club foot without invasive surgery.

Started in 2009 as a one-state programme in Delhi treating 800 children a year, CIIT clinics are now spread across all 29 states with over 1,000 children being enrolled for treatment every month. The programme is being run in partnership with the central and state governments in 220 locations, with 254 clinics running in various hospitals and medical colleges.

CIIT employs 246 people working across various roles; every employee has to undergo a rigorous induction training.

“We have a detailed induction programme starting with a week; depending on the positions it may last longer. To create more leadership, we have divided regions into north, south, east and west. After the initial one-two days of training, we send new hires to these regions where regional team leaders train them," said George.

CIIT employees remain constantly connected over instant messaging platform WhatsApp, where they share their progress, challenges and milestones. At quarterly and annual meetings, best practices and innovative ideas are discussed and approved.

The organization conducts a week-long annual capacity-building training programme for its employees. It also helps them to improve their qualifications through online or distance education courses. “Many of our employees, at our special shoe production centre, do not have a 10th board certificate. We encourage them to pass the exam in open school by providing them with teachers and study materials. We want everybody to become professionally competent," said George.

CIIT is working with the government’s Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram under which it will treat children with club foot in 640 district early intervention centres. The organization has recently received a global grant from Rotary International which it aims to use to take the club foot clinics to small districts

“We want to leverage their vast network and experience in the polio eradication programme to target club foot in India. Our goal is to create a network of club foot clinics which are easily accessible to the poorest of the poor children where they do not have to travel more than two to three hours to get treated. In 2016, around 10,000 children were enrolled in the programme; we are targeting to take this number to at least 14,000 by this year," said George.

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