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.

Sunday 27 November 2011


Jhunu Behera is 38-year old bed-ridden heart patient in Odisha’s Ganjam district. She made headlines after it emerged she has written to the President of India as well as the Odisha Governor to allow her Euthanasia. Both of the offices acknowledge the receipt of the letters but yet to reply though the letters sent on October 28 as informed by her relatives.

Typical style of Indian Bureaucratic functioning! 

Jhunu has been bed-ridden for quite sometime due to her heart ailment that requires valve replacement. It costs around Rs 5 Lakh. The family of six dependent on daily wage earning husband is not in the condition to afford it. They have already mortgaged their house. Eldest son, 15, dropped out of high school to work as daily labourer to meet the expenses. Other three children are being looked after by a relative. The family wrote an application to the Chief Minister for help under the CM Relief Fund but found their application went missing in the transit!

Urgency of Jhunu’s medical condition has been diagnosed and certified by government and private hospitals in Berhampur, Bangalore and Bhubaneswar yet no one is coming ahead to extend help.

It’s a crude fact that almost of the middle class families of India without any insurance over would not be able to afford the treatment cost of Rs 5 Lakh in one go, that is the case here with Jhunu Behera. Governments announce health insurance cover to the weaker sections of the society but such help seldom reaches the needy. Hailing from the economically weakest section of the Indian social weaving, she retells the sad story of the plight of the common man who is also an Indian the rich ones. Jhunu’s case has echoes of the plight of Kanpur’s Alka Tiwari, a 21-year old struggling to save her life. They cannot afford treatment worth few Lakhs. 

Welcome to the IndiaIndia of socialist and egalitarian principles.

Jhunu’s primary enemy is not her ailment. Treatment is easily available for it. Her main enemy like in case of Alka is the poverty that is making this medically easily available treatment an impossible event of her life. She reminds us of the curse poverty is. She reminds us how cruel ‘humanity’ could be as we are witnessing in the case of Alka Tiwari.