Spineless creatures we are becoming!
Two crying images! Some momentary reactions again to give way to the chilling inertia so characteristic of the society we are living in. Why are we so comfortably numb when this very numbness should be killing us?
A whole family commits suicide. The 10 dead include children. And why they took this unthinkable step that puts all of us in the dock! The family had lost its only earning member three months ago due to some lethal disease. Those who committed suicide include her three children. It was reported that the economically weak labour-class family was under depression as they had lost the sole earning member. But shouldn’t we be under depression as we so easily allow such incidents to happen. Mind you, this is not the first instance of family suicide in India due to financial crisis.
Another incident of Kanpur – a 21-year old girl Alka has asked for euthanasia. She is inching towards death. Her family has tried every possible avenue to arrange funds to meet the treatment cost – bone marrow transplantation. In India, Christian Medical College, Vellore is the only equipped hospital to carry it out and it has given an estimate of Rs 12-20 Lakh to the slum-dwelling family. An Antyodaya card holder availing some medical benefits after the family exhausted its entire savings - she has filed a plea in the court to ask the government to arrange the funds. Doctors say she has just one month left if the transplantation is not done soon.
Shocking images of bodies of the Dehradun family or images of crying brother and mother of a young daughter staring at death when they know the treatment is available and they cannot meet the cost.
Such images should be more than enough to depress us to extent that we rebel to say no - not anymore any life would be lost to the hands of such tyranny of circumstances. It’s not about boastful talks of overnight reforms. We just need to be human. We live in a multilayered society and immediate layers always know the things happening in the near vicinity.
It’s already in the media and by now has started losing its value for airwaves but incidents like these should depress the whole nation that boasts for 900 million telephone connections, a country claimed to have 900 million people living on less than $2 a day, a country that is still groping to define its poor with figures of Rs 32 and 26 a day while ministers of the central government see their average income increased by Rs 3.3 crore in two years, a country that is fastest growing smartphone market, a country that gives life to a RIM or a Nokia to grow and compensate for the losses they’re incurring in other markets, a country that is now comfortably home to otherwise gone brands like a Lee, a Levi or an Arrow.
This all is happening in a country where we have debates on languishing of death sentence convicts in jails for years as they die many deaths before the final moment but what about these cases where ‘victims of the system and the society’ have all the rights to have a dignified life but they die a slow, silent, painful death just because they cannot afford the treatment.
Constitution gives us Fundamental Rights to live in a dignified way. A life lost owing to a domestic financial crisis or inability to meet healthcare cost is utmost breach of this guarantee of having a dignified life. Why don’t we, as a growing nation, raise debates over such issues?
What happened with the Dehradun family will always remain a haunting question until we start looking for answers. We must not allow Alka to stare at the slipping cord of her life when we know she can be treated.
Blood is still red. Such incidents should boil the blood to create instant ripples of reaction! Why do we see such shockers as mere bystanders? For how long would we remain mute spectators?