The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Monday, 28 November 2011


Continued from:


Jhunu’s condition is yet another blot on the face of humanity when we come to know the plight of Alka Tiwari of Kanpur (  Suffering from Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria since she was 12, bone marrow transplantation costing around Rs 25 Lakh (up from the last estimate of Rs 12-20 Lakh) at CMC Vellore is her only hope. Like Jhunu’s family, Alka’s family, too, is living in abject poverty and cannot afford the treatment. They have already sold their house and other properties to meet the ever-increasing treatment cost of Alka in last nine years.

Like Jhunu’s family, they appealed to the high offices like the Prime Minister office or the Chief Minister office but didn’t get help. The resulting frustration led Alka's family to file court plea to order the government to make arrangements for her treatment or else she be granted Euthanasia. That was October 1. Doctors have given her very less time and the need for transplantation is urgent. This is November 28 and she is still waiting in Vellore for the funds that the central government says has already been deposited in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, account.

What happened with Alka is inhuman and beyond any perceivable cruelty. Her court plea to Euthanasia made headlines and some silly politicians saw an opportunity to gain some (cheap) publicity. One Rajya Sabha MP from BSP called Alka her sister and announced to donate Rs 20 Lakh for her treatment. That was October 3. A fake assurance and a silly politician! Nothing came. Why this breed is so insensitive?

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, too, came forward to offer her help. But the uncommon common sense was lacking. When it was so abundantly clear that CMC Vellore was the only place for her bone marrow transplantation, she was admitted in AIIMS where the Health Department transferred the required sum (Rs 20 Lakh). And AIIMS is another hell for poor and resourceless patients with most of the doctors behaving insensitively and they maintained their track-record with Alka’s case. After taking her in and wasting 15 precious days of her life when every passing day counts for her, AIIMS doctors said she had to leave AIIMS as her treatment would be done at CMC Vellore and that they would transfer the amount to CMC. That was October 26. Alka left Kanpur for Vellore on October 28 and since then she has been in Vellore waiting for some generosity from AIIMS so that her fund could be transferred. Bunch of inhuman traders – what else can we say of AIIMS after this!

Another aspect of Alka’s case is the lingering court process. We all know the pace of judicial process in India owing to the huge backlog yet cases like Alka need special provision. It becomes all the more relevant in the light of the fact that Alka had directly approached a court with her treatment cost or Euthanasia plea mentioning she had very few days left if the transplantation was not done. The court has not reached on any decision yet and I could not locate any report if any decision was taken by the Kanpur court on November 26 hearing on Alka’s plea to direct AIIMS to transfer the amount in CMC Vellore account.


Jhunu and Alka – two names that tell us where are we heading?
Why can’t we be sensitive, at least in cases where human life is at stake and where every moment counts?
Agreed corruption has become a way of life and it would take us time to weed it out but have we become absolutely inhuman?

Delay in positive action by the government and the civil society in cases like Jhunu and Alka tells only this when their months old pleas to even the highest office of the country remain unheard; pleas to their right to live; pleas to their right to have health care in a country that proudly quotes social orientation of its administration and mixed economy.

That is just the lip service that this political class practices shamelessly. Health care is in shambles in India. A UNICEF report says one in every three malnourished children in the world lives in India. In a country where 64.9 percent of community health centers report lacking specialists while 68.6 percent of PHCs function with only one or no qualified doctor, we can easily find thousands of cases like Jhunu and Alka – cases that need specially trained medical aid – cases that cannot afford the cost of the treatment. There should have been a war scale effort to correct the wrongs. The only positive thing has been some of them have started speaking out like what Alka and Jhunu decided – going to the courts or writing to the higher offices. They got some attention but, as of yet, nothing concrete has come out.

These two cases may well be the test cases for the civil society to open a window of legitimate demands in the largely neglected area of health care rights concerning the specialized health care needs of the economically weaker sections of the society.

Shouldn’t we expect some landmark court ruling in Alka’s case to set a precedent?

Jhunu and Alka – the two names that remind us to repeat these lines again – 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?”