Brother of six sisters two of them dead, a kid who could have done well in life because of poverty, tried running the house by blisters and abscesses on two thighs that have rendered him incapacitated!
By the way he has just seen 20 years of life and that is not long by any means!
-‘He had no reference nor he had any idea to the kind of anguish that comes with destitution, that is so endlessly bitter and cruel, and yet so sordid and petty, so ugly, so humiliating, unredeemed by the slightest touch of dignity or even of pathos. It is a kind of anguish that poets have not commonly dealt with; it’s very words are not admitted into the vocabulary of poets or writers, the details of it cannot be told in polite society at all and what he in any case tell that he has no money for bandages and ointments.’!
-‘Yes there exists a sub-district health care unit in Mendhar. Though it looks like it is working fine, more often than not it does have drugs that can immediately cure it and thus the patients have to rush to the medicos. Prices are exorbitant and the poor cannot pay, especially so the people living in the border towns. The health care scenario if we have a look at Mehfooz Ahmed resident of Gohlad Mendhar, who is moving about but check out on his flannels, in all probability you will pus stuck on to the cloth and flies and mosquitoes hover around or over him as and when he tries to take a break after a painful walk’!
-‘ He has lost the hope that humans from Mendhar will take a decision to reach out in such a dramatic fashion to help him out. He feels that Gods have been unkind to him as to lay all rightful privileges for him aside and he being born into abject destitution tells us that his (God’s passion) for us exceeds our desire for him. Mehfooz sits lost and forlorn and he is convinced that one day he too would perish like any other mortal but his only regret is that he was just born two decades back and is one of the nine children his father produced who himself is a defunct man since he is handicapped. This is what can be said as a double whammy by destiny: the answers to which no human can ever have obviously Mehfooz could not have had!’
-‘It’s an old saying, beggars can’t be choosers. Basically it is the diseased legs that are worrying Mehfooz. Though his name suggests that he is safe and secure, the fact is that he is the most insecure of kids in Mendhar (I will talk about this later in the script). He yet far has not given up though and that is because of his true love for God. That is the precise reason as to why this lad is holding on to his faithfulness in the midst of poverty as prosperity he has never seen, happiness and hardships, sickness and success; in whatever is appealing or appalling! So far in his life he has never found anything appealing. But will he ever’?
-‘The only thing that could have helped him was education but he could not have continued with his studies. His father was on the bed unable to do anything except for the fact that four elder sisters got married and the other two died. Amongst the three brothers he was the youngest. Living in penury ensured he could not study and the stomach urged that it needed food. But he was not the only one. He did become an earning member but had to ease out that his fragile legs came under the onslaught of skin diseases. His thighs and calf muscles are perilously poised and he cannot afford treatment. In short this is the wretched life he is leading and there is no one in the household he can bank upon. He cannot get on to electronic media and the big channels to flash his pictures along with his predicament asking people to donate and the locals well they do but that is not enough!
But one thing is certain: his urge to survive is tremendous. He is ten multiplied by two years of age and his whole life is right in front of him. If a kid knows how to earn at an age which is of going to school then he can definitely start his second innings because he has age on his side. But the first is the cure for which he can be helped!
We may be comfortably living in our apartments or houses. We may not be getting affected by hunger during this time of despair. But there are so many people out there who may not have eaten a proper meal all throughout the years they have lived. We all can do our bit. Let’s feed the hungry and help the less fortunate among us. Together we can make this world a better place. Food is not the only thing. The poor are affected by diseases and they do not have the cure. For example Mehfooz. He needs bandages that are extraordinarily costly along with medicines and antiseptics. Medicines such as, amikacin, amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag), ampicillin, cefazolin (Ancef, Kefzol), cefotaxime, ceftriaxone, cephalexin (Keflex), tetracycline etc cost a lot. Special bandages suc as Mendwell Belladonna, Hansaplast Lion Heat Plaster, Nuvo Medsurg elastic adhesive bandage cost hell of a lot to a poor boy like Mehfooz they are simply unaffordable. Therefore he has to live with whatever SDH Mendhar gives or has. Cotton and a white bandage are in no way going to improve his cindyion. Had that been the case he would have got cured but he isn’t. Both his thighs are under the screws although one has slightly improved but the other one is detonating by the day and he has given up all hope but one!
He has been to the hospital in Mendhar, got bandaged his thighs and calf muscles but the recovery has been slow and hence is confined to bed because he has no money. While speaking to me he did not ask for many but the thematic tone of his melancholic tone told me several things and one was straight forward. I had Rupees four hundred in my pocket for a sort of three days expenditure to move around in search of what is called news stories but I will say that every human is a news story by himself and today I had one already in my bag which has been scripted for you. He was not taking the money but I forced it upon him and I handed it all to him! Four weeks ago I had done a similar story and by the way due to a great effort by the Indian Army the gangrene ridden man is on his legs and is being treated with all the love. No one else could have and the word spreads faster by mouth!
So many have been helped by the great sea of humanity in Olive Greens, if they could spare a thought for this kid he will be on his two legs and may be able to study and earn something for better? He knows that if someone can help it has to be the Indian Army. Other than them, no one else! Just for the sake of humanity. Children are basically children and twenty years is an age to be here, there or everywhere! This kid, if I read children correctly, wants to do something but his penury will not take him anywhere and at the end just a forgettable death! One man can make a difference, we all think, let us take a chance on him, if he does not deliver as most thought then let me be added to a list of failures, but if he is the finisher to win a complex game then do not say that he told me and perhaps I was at fault! It has happened many times in insurgency areas!
Anyway, as usual I will end this one too with a story of humans. It was early in the morning and Bhikhiwind (Punjab) was the area. It was almost four in the morning and we had to reach a particular house in search of one of the most dangerous faces in the area! The water tube wells were flowing as freely as ever and the fields were without the crop as the rice crop (Chona had been cut off). The sounds of machines separating the husk from the grains was reverberating in the air as we parked ourselves in the waiting alongside the road to Patti. She ( a kid of approximately class four standard) came right towards us and behind her was a lady and they both stood in the middle of the road! My message was ‘abort the operation as I walked towards the kid’ and asked, ‘why are you here so early in the morning? The girl kid responded by asking my mother? I did and the answer paralyzed me, ‘had you allowed the bus that was to pass through last night, my sister would have been alive’! I smiled and said, ‘sister Manjeet, I was not here, but someone else like me was? Your sister is safe and so the newly born kid like this one with a massive jug in hand has come into the world, tell her she has another sister now’. I had never seen such a massive smile on an elder sister’s face as I saw them early in the morning’! People in olive green are humane, they know what has to be done when and I’m sure Mehfooz will not remain disappointed like this in his life! There is always a smile waiting on the other side of a door not opened! Maybe the most treasured one!
God’s do send someone though they are not and cannot be present since everywhere situations develop and anywhere they cannot be ruled out! God tells you where to look; love tells you what to see. That has been the crux of humanity thus so far it has survived! I think the only way to help someone is when you know he/they cannot return the favor you did or help you gave. Anything else but just a thank you with moist eyes is what is most gratifying!