Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The young and the helpless...

Just saw the news and was shocked to hear of a poor father who pushed his small daughter down a bridge into the river hoping it will kill her. The reason...the child suffers from a rare disease and it will take at least Rs 2 lakh to treat her. The father is a poor laborer with 5 other children. What more can be an outstanding example of the vicious circle that grips our poor and marginalized? Man is poor. He doesn’t know about contraception. Has numerous kids who are potential bread earners for the family. But if they become ill then they are potential disasters for the family.

I am not pointing fingers at anyone here. But I can feel the father’s pain and desperation here. I am not condoning what he did, but what could he do? Would anyone shell out the money to treat his kid? And even if there are organizations who do that how is a poor illiterate man to know whom to approach? He did what he could do to alleviate his child's pain. Poverty doesn’t give you too many choices.

News like this though shocking is something we read and ignore in a hurry because we ourselves are helpless. We can only feel pity or anger at the father or at the system.

The news will attract attention. Funds will pour in from kind individuals. And the child who was rescued will get good treatment. But there are many parents out there who are unable to treat their kids and have to silently watch them suffer and die. What can be more heartbreaking? Knowing that your kid could have been saved but you had no means to save him or her!?

I know it is easy to blog about this and make the right kind of noises. But right now I can feel the helplessness of the father of that little girl. What he did was horrific, but none of us can point a finger at him unless we have done our little for the welfare of the poor.

Addendum: Latest report on the little girl