Friday, January 23, 2009

Orphanage death in Baruipur near Kolkata

A government-run orphanage has made it to the headlines after a child died of malnutrition. Four others have a long road to recovery, after being diagnosed of severe malnutrition. A child had already lost eyesight in one eye because of this and the vision in his right eye is unlikely to be restored, fear doctors.

When this news first came, we were shocked and angry. After these two emotions, we didn't quite know what to do.

Imagining the children huddled by in a filthy room, hungry and unkempt, smelling and itching, craving for bit of food that they were denied at a place they had taken shelter. And even after this unforgiveable happening, though the state social welfare minister Biswanath Chowdhury admit "lapses on our part," he didn't find time to visit the home.

As reported here, the welfare home stank of filth, and the kids themselves were in an abominable condition, many with severe skin infections and rashes.

"When I asked for a soap, I was thrashed," said Sharif Jani Wassa.

And there was no food.

"Many of us would go to bed hungry as the food we got was too little. The ones who protested were beaten up by home superintendent Nirapad Poila," said Raju Rajik, another inmate. (Excerpts from this report)

After all this, what will happen? A probe? Of course, that's the easiest thing bureaucrats can promise to do. They will check what went wrong after it has irrevocably gone wrong.

And this may not be the first or the only such death, hints this report in The Telegraph.

After a time, your soul gets tired of the number of deaths that crave for attention each single day in a newspaper. It begs you to leave it free from such alien misery. But such horrible deaths come back to haunt you in nightmares and take you unawares. I imagine a home shrouded in mystery and secluded, inside which children crawl about in hunger and pain, and finally shrivel and die. And with a shudder, I get back to work. Another newborn has been left in a garbage vat, a child has been strangled after medical expenses began to spiral, another death is waiting to be subbed.


Life is pilgrimage . . . said...

Hi Gauri,

It is very sad to read such articles. Ignorance at governance level, corrupted systems, greedy politicians will lead to more such deaths of innocent children, if we ignore. There are several such social issues that need our attention and solution.

We, an initiative called 1Aim1India (One Aim One India) have recently started taking small steps towards social reformation through awareness programs and are constantly striving to make our society a better place by actively participating in small activities. We wish to offer a brighter future to our children.

We are common people just like you. Some of us are IT professionals, writers, creative visualisers, engineers gathered together to extend our hands for a good social cause.

We are scheduled to visit an orphanage in Malad (west), Mumbai on Sunday, February 8, 2009, to provide all the help we can by donating clothes, books, food, etc. This orphanage is run by a kind old lady and supports 65 children between the age group of 2 to 16. We are aiming to conduct several such social activities for betterment of eduction, towards stopping domestic violence, to stop corruption in government, etc. And are looking for volunteers, representatives, spoke-persons, and even consultants (who can not be physically present for activities) but desire to contribute to the good cause.

We believe, that as well-educated & conscious citizens of India, we are responsible to bring good change in the society and reshape our future into brighter one.

Please join such initiative or start your very own initiative to unite people in good cause. Let's bring 'I say' & 'I do' closer now and start taking actions.

Feel free to contact us for extending your valuable helping hand or share your views on such initiative at:

Spreading the awareness will also be a great help. We will appreciate if you help us grow this good thought of helping others.

Gauri Gharpure said...

Congratulations for the initiative.

I have emailed you and am awaiting a reply.

Warm regards,