Falak means sky; yes she has been named sky by the people at the AIIMS Trauma Centre. What has happened with this two-year old is beyond imagination when you go beyond the news reports, to have the first hand account. Wet eyes, you cannot ask them not to flow. It changes much.
Any visit to the AIIMS Trauma Centre in Delhi is traumatic for many reasons. Either you visit to see someone known or take someone to the centre for emergency care or just to enquire about why some needy patient is not being attended to. The basic thing, humility, you find, is generally so precious that you should not expect from the hospital staff and the doctors. Here, I am not making some arbitrarily generalized statement. My experience of visiting different hospitals over the last year has much to do with it. Why the government hospitals function like this – sans humility, sans facility (What do you say on continued Crib deaths in the West Bengal Hospitals?)
But Falak has changed even the stoned care-givers of AIIMS. She was admitted on January 18 by a teenaged girl in a battered state with serious head and body injuries. Slowly, the issue started getting media attention and now it is in the national conscious. Much is being written and reported. And every concern is genuine. It has to be.
Falak continues to be critical. And the very same AIIMS Trauma Centre is taking every possible step to save her life. Now she is getting the medical care that she needs and we all need to raise the pitch of our collective prayers for this girl child. She is getting helping hands, and sure, some family would adopt her. Reality of this after-thought is the much needed relief after seeing and feeling the horror that Falak is living.
It is soothing to know that the media that mostly acts with the elitist bias is giving Falak her dues. But the condition beyond Delhi is still critical. How much do we hear of Alka Tiwari or Jhunu Behra in the mainstream media? What is the latest update that we of Bhanwari Devi’s son and daughter as father being behind the bars, they have no one to look to? Do we know what happened to the survivors of the Dehradoon family that committed suicide some months ago? Majority of the answers would be a clear no.
The sky is still falling. India is beyond Delhi and metros. There are genuine concerns beyond glamour of high-profile events, sloganeering and electioneering. We still have figures of famers’ suicides reaching in multiple thousands annually. We have the highest share of the malnourished children globally. We, simply, cannot have the choice to be elitist before embarking on the journey to give helping hands to the babies like Falak or the farming families like the one in the Chamrajnagar, where five of the family members committed suicide after consistent harassment by the moneylenders.
The spineless absurdity of the absence of the bridge is killing.
Some days ago, while en-route, my car was at the red-light of the AIIMS Metro Station. A girl knocked the window pane. It is normally a usual site but what caught my attention was the cheerful face of the girl on one of the coldest days of the season. Not clad properly, she would not be more than five year old. She was not asking for some easy coins. She was happily selling pens. Her smile was really charming. Captivated, I bought pens from her. I felt content after doing so but felt unease on the growing paradox in the society, the growing gap between the have’s and have-not’s, between the larger ignored and the selected few pampered lot. Immediately before this incident, I had a phone discussion on whether sending my sister’s kids to the school given the extreme weather. I said no. And here was this girl, no school, no proper winter covers, but cheerful.
It felt like slapping me in the face. I know I am not wrong in not sending the kids in my family to the school on a freezing day. If I am in some sort of comfort zone, I have earned it.
But why can’t we have a largely egalitarian society where such questions lose their track? Can we do something? If we can’t then who else?
No one! It is just us! Till then, the sky would keep on falling.
Let’s do something.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/