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education

IS A SOLUTION THAT IMPOSSIBLE?

 

It had become the order of the day for people all around the world to protest or agitate to exhibit their displeasure on some issues.  In a free country, everyone has the right to raise their voice against injustice. More than often this agitation brings out a positive response and people are satisfied.

People have become conscious of their fundamental rights in our country too and had started to rebel when they are met with injustice.  As our country is too vast almost every day there is some agitation at some part.  There are various types of agitation. There is peaceful march with candles, people going around doing their usual job wearing a black band, people sitting on hunger strike opposite some government offices, or people gathering in large number and make a march through the town are some of them.

Now we are analysing this type of agitation where people gather in large number at one spot or march through the town. As the person who calls for the agitation believes only in the number of supporters, they try to pool large number as many as possible men as supporters.  This is where the person calling for the agitation or even the very purpose of agitation loses its motive.

When a large number of humanity is pooled it is a known factor that people are hired for payment.  The sad fact is when a huge mass of people are shouting slogans and waving their flags, ask any one of them a few questions about the reason for their agitation!. One will be shocked. The one man who is shouting for a river issue may not even know where the river flows. Without any doubt, this is the best chance for the criminal elements to grease their palm or pull down a government.   It starts with a few stone pelting,  then burning of a few vehicles then all the criminal elements are let loose like wild animals on the loose.  This is the chance for which they had joined the agitation and it is the chance for them to loot shops to fill their pockets.  Is it ever possible for the leaders of these agitation to point out the faces as to who indulged in violence and destroyed the public properties? Who is going to pay for the loss of life and property of the innocent public who were caught in between this agitation? Finally, when the police are compelled to control the mob to save lives and property from these unruly crowd they start lathi charge or in extreme cases open firing. Then the media is quick to come out with crocodile tears blaming the police for violence and the whole country is against the police who were only trying to control the violence and restore order in the society..

The ugly truth is many times the agitation is a vested interest in a particular group or some political parties.  A college student could have committed suicide because he was not able to cope up with the high standard of education. But the whole university and the town went into a fire for days together calling the death as a victimisation of a particular sect. Few  loss of lives due to the blunder of any single person is instantly coloured by the name of Cast and sect and immediately violence breaks out in that area.

 

It is true that there are genuine causes of grievances like the insurance allotted to farmers had not reached them or the insurance for the treatment of the poor had not been implemented.  In such cases, a few leader representatives should take up the case and publicise the case in the Media.  A selected number of them can have a peaceful march against the authorities who had erred them. But the moment anyone believes in numbers and accumulates people they will definitely lose their point and the public sympathy.  Just imagine the irony of a group,  protesting for a waiver of their pending loan due to their utter poverty— then from where do they get so many funds to make a million flags, shirts, caps and even petrol for their vehicles? Has anyone thought about this folly?

We are not against an agitation and people raising their voice against injustice.  The agitation should not turn violent at any point or hurt innocent people or destroy the public property.   Hence it is time that Government thinks seriously about this.

 

To begin with, they can draw out some guidelines for the protest.  It should be made compulsory that The party which wants to make an agitation should give in writing the reason, the day and time of protest the names of every individual who are going to participate and the place where they are going to protest.  This way the citizens will be prepared and they can avoid the spot of agitation. The public won’t suffer having caught up in a traffic jam for hours.  Secondly,   since every individual’s names are given in writing, no one will dare to indulge in violence.  The party calling for the protest cannot hire people nor the criminals would dare to enter the group.  There will be no violence and large police force energy and time will not be wasted.

Nothing is impossible.  The political parties with a vested interest are the root cause of almost all protest and violence,  it is high time that that government and we the common man start thinking about this seriously.

 

 

 

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education, floods#rainwater harvest# re plantation of trees#the underground water

 IS  ANYONE  LISTENING?

 

The May month is fast rolling out fast and monsoon is around the corner.  At least in Mumbai, as usual, the corporation is doing a lot of work, cleaning drains and Naullas and is adding larger pipelines in the usual flooding places to save Mumbaikar from the oncoming floods.  All these are very good moves.   But why no one is caring for the rainwater harvest which will have a double benefit of avoiding the flooding and also help to save the fast drying groundwater resources?

I am not an engineer and is not an expert to talk on this issue. But I am a   simple citizen living in this city for forty years. Thus I had watched sadly the erosion of once total green cover of Matunga and the Hindu colony today.  All the lush green trees more than a hundred years old are cut down for the so-called redevelopment of small houses to tall towers.  The compounds do not house a single tree now as every inch is taken away for the development.  Added to this tower constriction all the plain soil compound around the houses which housed flowering plants and bushes are now totally paved into shining concrete for the smooth movement of their cars. Thus the loss of green covers and the radiation from the concrete structure and ground areas are increasing the warming up of the environment. Secondly, the paved cemented ground prevents the percolation and seepage of rainwater into the ground.  Hence there will be more and more floods in future and soon there will be an utter shortage even drinking water.

With increasing population, the need of development of the old buildings into towers is unavoidable. But is it not the duty of the Government,   that before permitting redevelopment why not make it mandatory of a few conditions.  Like if trees are to be axed then the same number of trees are to be planted on the footpath in front of the same building. Using modern techniques actually, trees can be uprooted safely right out from their spots and can be replanted. This way many hundred-year-old trees with thick green cover can be saved.  Till one year after the plantation when the trees had taken proper roots and started growing,  the builders should not be allowed even to start the digging for their foundation.  This is so simple and implementation will not cast even half the money which the NGO spend in their commercial videos.

 

The second part is every new building should compulsorily do rain harvest.  The huge volume of water pouring from their terrace etc could be collected through the pipes and fed into the underwater tank. The towers will also benefit from this as they mostly had to buy water from tankers and one monsoon can easily make up for their few months supply to the complex.

The other thing the Corporation can easily manage is to dig deep a and narrow well like structures at the corners of the point where large water pool accumulates during heavy rain. These pits had to be securely covered with grilled covers to prevent people or cattle falling into them by mistake.  Such pit can be dug in the corner area of all public gardens and the private green areas of the tall towers. This will help the rainwater to flow underground and increases the decreasing groundwater level.  Once the monsoon is over these pits can be covered back till the next monsoon.

 

These ideas may look wild but are not impossible.  Instead of inventing a hundred types of software for cell phone luxury it is time that every man thinks seriously about water for future.

 No amount of money they hoard for their next generation can get drinking water for their loved ones in future.   It is high time that everyone starts thinking about this.

 

 

 

 

bullying#violence#sexual assault#murder, descipline, education

Violence in school–Is the school curriculum focusing on this issue? Part III

 

In our earlier two blogs, we had seen the responsibilities of the parents and the structure of the school in reference to the weeding out of the increasing trend of violence among the school children. In this blog, we will analyse the various methods or changes that can be done in the school curriculum to neutralize the rapidly increasing trend of violence among the school children.

With the increase in the technology and science, school syllabus had steeply increased the standard of education in schools. Every school try to prove their system’s superiority and the children are overburdened with lots of projects submission. These projects call for the good amount of research from the internet.  The need of access to computers to collect the data for their submission becomes imperative to every child even from the sixth grade.  Parents had to allow the children to work on the computer for hours for this purpose.  When the children are working on the computer without supervision they get a chance to visit various sites which are unsuitable for their age. Children are thus subjected to double vulnerability– lack of physical activities, sitting in a cramped position for long hours and secondly the young minds picking up criminal traits.

There is absolutely no doubt that learning by researching is the best way of learning. But until school level, the children should be asked to do the research under the guidance of the teacher and only in the school computer laboratories. The teacher can direct the students to search the specific sites. This way wasting time over non-productive sites could be saved and secondly, the children will never dare to go in search of wrong sites.  Teachers can also encourage the children to collect part of the needed data from a variety of books from the library and physically write down the collected data rather than taking the print out from the computers. Parents who have computers for their children should keep them in the main hall where the elders are around and put parents lock on the unwanted sites.

Most of the present day children are a bit pampered, have access to good food and cell phone or tablets etc. They travel to school by bus or car. Thus they have a lot of physical unspent energy which when not channelized out properly will become the seed of violence.  It is a pity that even the so-called fancy schools lack big playground and children do not get the chance to play as they should.  If not in the open ground it should be made compulsory for all schools to have large indoor playrooms and children should be allowed to play minimum one hour every day.  The syllabus should include compulsory classes on Marshall Art or boxing etc.  which calls for vigorous physical activity The  child should have one of these classes every day so that his pent-up energy and  the rush of hormonal imbalance due to the developing adolescence are properly channelized.

There are counselling secession in schools, but sadly  only in few schools and for a few students only.   It is to be remembered that in every class there are only about 10% students, the cream of the class,  who are the apple of the eyes of the school because they excel in studies or sports. The middle bulk of 75% of every class forms  are the average, but they are good children and follow the discipline of the school. The rest 15% in every class are not good either in studies or in sports. But they  are not the disciplined ones and don’t want to remain  in the average group.  They crave for recognition.  When they are not able to get in a positive way they try to get it in a negative way exhibiting violence, bursting temper and destructive mentality by harming the feeble children or the school property. This mentality gives boost to their ego and the punishments given seldom deter them.  The school should focus on these neglected children and make sure that they also get participation in school activities.  They should realize that a cricket team or football team is not just for winning medals for school but it should be the venue for equal participation for every child and every child has the right for this.

The school syllabus should have two periods of counselling for every week for the entire class. The counselling teacher should be one who will be able to talk to the student convincingly ABOUT POSITIVE behaviour and help them about anger management. A children’s complaints box can be kept in each class where they can freely write about their grievances without their name.  The counselling teacher can discuss these in the class as a general topic and give a solution. As there is a dearth of qualified counselling teachers for schools, the regular school teachers could also be trained in counselling to broaden the facility of help for children.

In conclusion, we have to remember that the duty of the school is not just to produce scholars, scientists and sportsperson. The aim of the school is to groom every child into a good citizen for future who would be able to create peaceful environment for the future world.

 

 

behaviour, bullying#violence#sexual assault#murder, death, descipline, education

Bullying -Is the school safe for your children—part II

The school building

In our last blog, we had discussed the increasing trend of violence among the children and how parents can try to curb this attitude at their end. The child spends nearly seven hours in school including the time spent in travelling from home to school or vice versa. Hence the school has a greater responsibility to take care of the children’s wellness from the moment they leave for school till they reach back their home. In this way, the schools today have a much larger role to play than it was needed some time back

If a critical evaluation of the school system and children’s behaviours is done it can be concluded that most of the bullying and hence the violence happens only when the child is not under the supervision of a teacher.

These vulnerable points are generally the washroom, water coolers, lunch rooms, and the corridors. Monitoring these points continuously will help the school to control the breeding of violence in the premises of the school.

Most of the schools have now installed cameras at some points like the classrooms, in the corridors etc but no school has installed the camera at the entrance of the washroom. Besides installing these CCTV cameras there is a urgent need that during the break hours, one of the staff member should physically monitor these cameras. The grown-up children or the physically strong children attack the feeble ones mostly in the washrooms –sometime verbally or some time physically and sexually. In the case of primary or pre-primary children, a male or female help should be present in the washroom to help if they need. The very knowledge that they are being watched is enough to deter the children from indulging in violent actions.

The Physics, Chemistry and Biology laboratories are one of the other place where teachers move from student to student for explaining etc. This gives the opportunity for some of the students to bully others on the back of the teacher. The presence of a CCT camera will force discipline automatically.

The children are also harassed when they move from one class to another through the corridors like going to the computer room or Art room etc. A school peon should accompany the students in all these cases to see that move from one to other without any argument or fight.

In some schools, the children had to change their uniform before or after the Exercise classes. In many occasions,  the senior boys present there tease the younger children and some time even strip them. In this case it is the responsibility of the PT teacher to be present inside the changing rook to prevent such activity.

The  School management should insist that school buses are fitted with CCTV.  Not only the school children will be discouraged from fighting because of the fear of the camera, the many sexual assaults done by the bus conductor or his help on children will also be curbed. In case of any child missing, not reaching home etc the entry and exit of the child can be confirmed from these cameras.

Some children reach the school early and if they are allowed in the vacant classrooms this can lead to fight and violence. Hence all the children entering the school should be made to wait outside the building just like the way the examination halls managed. The students will be allowed to go to the class just ten minutes before the bell. If it is very hot or it is raining the children can be asked to wait in one or to two classrooms on the ground floor where the school peon will keep a watch.

All these installations of CCTV will cost dearly for the school. But both the school and the parents should know that this measure is needed for the safety of their children and make financial contribution for the same.

All these measures almost make the school as a military training ground. But sadly, with the prevailing violence among children, this has become the need of the hour. With all these measures we are not only just curbing the bullying and violence in the school. But on a longer time period, when the kids are prevented from violence consistently the very attitude  and tendency of violence will slowly die on its own and the school will once again become the place where we love to send our children.t

behaviour, education

SCHOOL – IS THIS A SAFE PLACE?

 

Part I  —  The parents

 

SCHOOLING— overnight, the very word seems to have turned upside down and now it has become like a  metaphor of death trap. The escalating incidents of suicide, rape, physical abuse, and murder inside the very four walls of the school, has left everyone too shocked and traumatized.  No one is able to comprehend as to why these things are happening inside the school where most of them are innocent children and the remaining ones are supposed to be their guardian angels– their teachers!  It is so disheartening that many times these children are so innocent they do not even understand that they were a victim of violence and were physically violated.  No one is able to answer the question as to what had caused this sudden shadow of holocaust inside the education system.

 

In short, this violence exhibited by children inside the school can be attributed to the cumulative effects of many parameters like our changing society, the sudden explosion in gadgets, the shrinking family and living spaces, the lack of social interaction etc. But it can be said that one of the largest factors, at least in the Indian contest is the lack of elders in the family or the vanishing system of the joint family. The elders prefer to stay on their own in the senior citizen colony and the young parents are alone with their children.

 

It is now a trend with the modern day parents, rich or poor, to lavish their children with luxuries of games and gadgets unheard of so far. One may be surprised that even the daily wage workers, the maids etc working for limited salaries also try to pacify their children with costly mobiles, watches, and shoes, only to satisfy their parental ego.

 

But everyone had forgotten the highest need of a child. The COMPANIONSHIP,  the need for someone to talk to or play, to share their thoughts.  Their day to day fears, disappointments, failures or hurts which might look meaningless for elders is, vitally very important for the children. They need someone to vent out these feelings to get the comfort and calming for their heart.  If these feelings are not vented out they become deep-seated hate and then turn into violence. The presence of elders in the Indian family system earlier was a divine blessing in disguise for the children. The elders not only listened patiently to the children but comforted and encouraged them. If they had some pent up anger or sorrow the elders pacified the child and gently advised them about sharing and caring and thus helped in controlling and diverting their emotion.

 

But today in most of the house both the parents are highly educated and are working at highly responsible posts, calling for their major part of their time. They work late, are too busy, travel frequently and have no time to listen to their children. Frequently it is seen that the children craving for attention keep on pestering them trying to tell something which bothers them when their parents are busy on phone or on their computers. But the parents brush them off.  To compensate their lack of time for their children, the guilt-ridden parents load them with gifts beyond their age or need.

 

Today we see that a child of 6 yrs old is busy with a video game that teaches him only one message–. WINNING!.  It is the only thing which matters in his game. While playing the game, he is killing the pig or a bad guy. But it is an underlying streak of violence which is actually giving him the satisfaction.  It is the satisfaction of his ego. Later in the school, he cannot differentiate between the virtual and real-world violence. For him winning is the only correct end.  Hence if the boy sitting next to him refuse just a pencil or eraser, he instantly pokes his friend’s eyes with a pencil without even a moment of hesitation, and never feels that what he has done is wrong and he had harmed a child for life.

 

It is generally observed that nowadays many children show very violent behaviour b beyond their age and have an explosive temper.  They cannot take, “ NO” for an answer. The bigger boys of the school don’t even hesitate to kill their own mother or grandmother if their wants are refused as. We had read in the news that grown-up boys had killed a girl if she refuses a very simple wish of him.

What is the immediate solution for this cancerous epidemic of violence among the minor children? Where will we go for help to save our children?  Can this be arrested or stopped?

 

It is not possible to change our family pattern or change the system of highly educated parents fro working and contributing to the country be changed now. But its time that the parent definitely takes some concrete measure in their behaviour to reduce the growing attitude of violence in their children.

To begin with, they should restrict their urge of going overboard with too many gifts for their children.  Give them only that which is fit for the age and that which is creative like building blocks or puzzle. Minimum gadgets like a cell phone or I pad.

However difficult it may be, make time for your children. Remember all the hard work and money you are earning is only for their happiness and their future. And not paying lawyers or bailing them out.

Make a practice of sitting with your child without your mobile ( not for homework) to have a light conversation.  Ask about every detail of every period and the happenings in the class. Learn everything about his classmates. Does not matter even it is just the bedtime. But spend time with them for conversation. Not just mechanically reading a bedtime story.

If you have a garden nearby take your child there and engage some time with him if it is possible.  Fresh air and playing freely with other children will relax their mind.

Since we live in small apartments and children travel by bus and car it is necessary that your children get enough physical exercise.  Recruit them in hard physical games like football, basketball, athletics, and swimming.  It is better that they are enrolled in proper classes for the same so that they will learn organized and disciplined play.

Instead of organizing lavishing birthday party, take your child to a nearby orphanage or physically challenged children’s school and make them donate their books and toys and clothes. This will create a sense of compassion and kindness in their heart.

Finally, keep a good atmosphere in the house. Don’t talk rudely to your help in the house but show compassion to them.  Remember at any given time your child is listening to you even when he is playing. All arguments in the house should be done behind the closed doors away from children.

The bringing up of our children, safeguarding them from violence and the umpteen poisonous habits of the society have become more challenging than ever before. But if you have a child it becomes your prime duty towards the society to groom him up to be a good citizen for future. Change yourself before it is too late.

( Since this topic is too vast in this part  I had written about the parents. Wait for my next blog where we would look into the prevention  OF VIOLENCE from Schools’ angle)     

 

 

 

 

 

 

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behaviour, Cheating#courage#determination# single women, death, education, Suicide, dejection, cheasted

THE PURPOSE OF LIFE

 

Uma , too shocked, stared at the sparkling diamond ring on Teena’s hand.  Looking at her shocked expression Teena laughed and said, “Uma I told you that idiot is just behind you only to get his examinations notes.  Just four days’ meeting with me and he had presented me with this ring.  A bloody @@@@”. As Uma was still looking at her with a dazed expression, Teena threw the ring in the toilet and flushed it off.

 

She came back and said, “I have a night shift.  You forget about that fellow and have a good night rest” Picking up her stethoscope and white overcoat Teena left the hostel.

Uma still could not believe that Anish could have done this. But she also knew that Teena, her best friend, could not lie to her.  It was about four month’s back that she had met Anish,  her junior,  for the first time. He was doing his post-graduation in Gynaecology, while she had completed the course and was working in the same hospital.  She remembered the first day how he approached her with a nervous look asking for some doubts.  She being brilliant student immediately sat with him and helped him with the subject. Then the meeting shifted from the library to canteen and they became more frequent as they discussed the lessons over a cup of coffee. Before she realized she was in love with Anish and started actually waiting for him.  He seemed to respond with equal warmth and they even started planning about their future.

Uma was not very pretty or attractive by Indian standards and never had any response from any male member in her life so far.  She was a brilliant student throughout her academics and always concentrated only on her examinations.  Hence this first love, the admiration Anish showed to her, bowled her over and she was in her dream-world.

 

A week back she disclosed her love for Anish to her roommate Teena. Teena was shocked. She said, “Uma that Anish is a rogue and hangs around with so many girls. He is cheating you” As Uma refused to believe her, she accepted the challenge and said that she would prove the truth about Anish in a week’s time.  Teena was a very pretty girl and a head turner wherever she went. But Uma was so sure that the love of Anish will not fail. But, today just after one week Teena brought a sparkling diamond ring which Anish had given her as s present for their love and proved her point.

 

Uma never worried about the lack of attention from the opposite sex and she knew that she was not attractive. Hence Asish’s praising her knowledge and intelligent all the time instead of her looks, made her believe that he was a different man who respected intelligence than the appearance.  This shock was too much for her to swallow. She felt highly ashamed as if she was exposed to the whole world in her skin.  She felt totally empty inside.

 

She put on her white overcoat and walked towards the hospital.  It was her night off and she knew that no one will be calling her for any emergency that night.

 

Reaching the hospital she got into the lift and entered the 5th floor.  She started walking the long corridor outside the maternity ward.  At the end of the ward, there was a storeroom, which had the medicines and other needed things for the patient.  As she entered the room the staff nurse at the desk got up and said, “Good evening Doctor. Do you need any medicine?”

Uma forced a simile and said, “No it is OK, I am looking for some specific combination of a new medicine.  I want to find how many combinations are available here with us in the store” She walked inside and the nurse took her position back in her chair.   She walked across rows and rows of cupboard till she came to the one cupboard she was looking for. She took a bottle of very strong sleeping pills and quietly slipped it into her coat pocket. In her total dejection her mind was all blank and she never even once thought about the seriousness of her action.   She came out of the room and thanking the nurse started walking towards the lift.

   She was just about to enter the lift she heard a scream, “Doctor Uma, Doctor, please stop” It was a voice of a known a nurse. As she turned she found nurse Hema Patil, running towards her from the maternity ward. She stopped and waited for the panting nurse to reach her. The Nurse blurred out more than talking, “Doctor, please come for help.  Doctor Shweta is not able to handle the patient and the patient is sinking” Without a single word Uma turned and started running towards the maternity ward along with the nurse.

The operation theatre was in a total chaos. The patient was about a sixteen-year-old girl and was trying to jump off the bed screaming, “   “Leave me alone! Let me die. I don’t want this baby” While two nurses were struggling to pin her down to the bed. The fresh young Doctor Swetha in her scrub clothes and gloves was struggling to do her work. As nurse draped a scrub coat and face mask to Uma, she whispered, “The patient is a rape victim, teenage girl”

Uma started talking loud as she dressed saying, “Hey are you not the pretty girl who was selected for Super dancer show on  the TV last year. I am so glad to see you here”

For a moment the girl blinked and stopped fighting. Using this moment the nurses pinned her down on the bed. The girl looked at Uma with her tear-stained bewildered eyes and said, “I never went on any TV show. Which show are you talking about? “

Uma now gestured Sewtha with her eyes to continue her job and coming closer near the face of the girl she said, “ Are you sure that you were not in the TV anytime? But your face is very pretty and looks exactly like the winner girl”

The girl’s eye widened and said, “But I had only watched the TV shows. Which one are you talking about?” Uma kept her conversation on as she joined Swetha in her work. Together they pulled out the tinny baby struck at an odd angle, safely from the mother’s uterus.  She handed over the baby to the smiling sister and leaving the remaining delivery process to Swetha , she came near the face of the girl and said softly, “If you don’t want the baby it is OK.  The hospital will keep the baby. But you take care of your health as your life is precious and be happy that now all the pain is over” She tenderly touched the face of the girl, the victim, who was crying heartbroken again. She injected the girl with a sedative and the girl calmed down.

   As she came out to the side room and washed her hands the nurse said, “Thank you so much, doctor. I know you are on off duty today. In spite of that, you came and helped us. But for you, we would have lost both the bay and the mother”

  Uma patted the nurse and said smiling, “It OK,  Hema! I was around here just by coincidence. God decides everything. Take care of that girl”

 

Just as she was talking the intercom on the wall started blaring.”  All doctors please listen.  An emergency situation had occurred. All the doctors free, off duty, on duty, all are requested to come down to the causality ward immediately. A large number of accident victims are there to be attended urgently.”  The announcement started a second time. But by that time Uma had already rushed to the lift. She went down to the main reception area which leads to the causality ward.

 

The reception itself was filled with wounded, bleeding patients all over as there was no room in the side the causality ward. Two buses had collided head-on and loads of sleeping passengers were injured.  There were young and old women, men and many children too. They were bleeding so profusely that it was difficult to make out where they were injured.  Within seconds doctors and nurses started busily treating the injured.  IV stands and oxygen cylinders were drawn to the same place as there was not much time to shift them to a proper bed.

 

By half an hour all the doctors who were sleeping peacefully in their home also came down to help.  Some of the patients needed blood and they were attended in priority.  Many patients needed stitches for heir cuts and wounds.  Some needed orthopaedic help for their broken bones.  The night stretched to the next day and then night again and the doctors and nurses were not even aware of that, as they worked tirelessly.  Three pregnant women went to premature delivery due to accident and Uma’s hands were full.  By the next early morning, as the patients settled down, she went to the doctors changing room. She flopped on a chair and instantly fell asleep.

 

She has woken up by a friendly nurse with a cup of hot tea in the morning.  Smiling the nurse said, “Doctor, most of the patients are now stable and our regular duty doctors are taking care. You can go back to the room and take a good rest” Uma got up and took the tea. Thanking the nurse she went back to the ward again, to have a look at the patients.  Now each and every bed had a group of relatives, most of them were villagers.  They had reached the hospital on hearing the news.  As she went to each bed all the relations thanked her profusely with folded hands for saving the life of their near and dear ones. Many of them actually fell at her feet and she had difficulty in stopping them from doing it.

 

After one hour she returned to her room. She removed her white coat and threw it on the cot. The bottle of sleeping pills rolled out of the pocket. She picked it up and stared at it. She turned and saw her reflection in the mirror. The hundreds of faces which thanked her including the rape victim’s crying face, swept through her memory.  She looked at her reflection and talked to herself.  “ These are the hands which helped so many patients to overcome their pain.  This body had the strength to go through two days work without a break doing the greatest job to humanity. When God  has made me for this purpose, how silly of me to think of destroying the will of God.  Thank you, God, for saving me from my stupid emotional mistake”   After her shower, she went back to the storeroom to replace the sleeping medicines safe in the cupboard.

 

Now Uma is running a counselling service along with her hospital job to help the people who think of committing suicide, especially for the students who get low marks or girls who end up with a broken heart.

 

She advises them, “God has created everyone for a purpose.  Life is very precious.  If you meet a dead end turn your direction. Maybe God is waiting for you with something  much bigger”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

behaviour, Cheating#courage#determination# single women, education, Explotation, grief, iggnorence, kindness, love

A CUP OF COFFEE & A BUTCHER KNIFE

       The maid came in switched on the light.  She looked at Akshara sitting very still and said softly,” Madam you had been sitting like this whole day. Please, drink this Tea.   I assure you Madam, Sir will be all right”

 Akshara looked up. The concern of her maid Malathi touched her heart.  She silently took the Tea and sipped it. The tea really did some good.  She handed over the empty cup to Malathi, and went to the washroom and washed her face with cold water. She looked at her reflection.

 She was looking so pretty at the age of 34. She never looked one year older than twenty.  And how much her husband Aravind loved her! Four months of happiest marriage.  What could have driven Aravind to this end of trying to take away his own life? Why did he not share his problems with her?  Endless questions burst into her head with no answers.  

She decided to freshen up and started changing her dress. Her cell phone started ringing. She picked up and said in trembling voice, too afraid of a bad news, “Hello” It was Nitin, her PA from the hospital. He said, “Maam, Good news.  Aravind Sir had come back to consciousness. You can come and meet him” 

The maid, listening to the one side conversation understood the massage from the relief in her Madam’s face. She called the driver and then got into the car with her without being told to do so. 

As the car speeded towards the hospital waves of the memory of her past life kept flashing in her memory— Her short interaction with Aravind and her quick  decision for a marriage. Though she had never taken interest in any men earlier in her life, frequently seeing Aravind in so many charity events, blood donation camp, books distribution for poor children etc somehow made her take an interest in him. He was an Engineer and was earning a very average salary most of which he was spending for the poor.  She had never seen a young youth taking so much of his time for the welfare of the poor and needy. Her heart softened towards him without her knowledge. She was the Vice President of an international Bank.   She was the one who proposed to Aravind while he hesitated pointing at this difference in their status. But Akshara was adamant and they married. Four months of blissful married life. Being an orphan and having grown up in the hostel she had not seen much affection in life. This boundless love which Aravind showered on her made her life heaven.  But suddenly everything seems have come down crashing 

Today morning she had an early Bank meeting. She was getting ready at 6.30 A.M. When she was just finishing, she heard the scream of Malathi.  Rushing to the office room she found Aravind sprawled on the sofa, his mouth frothing.  The quick-thinking maid called the driver and with his help got him into the car and they rushed him to the hospital. After the painful waiting in front of the critical patients’ ward for two hours, the doctor came out. He said that though they had washed away the poison from Aravind’s stomach still his condition was critical and they have to wait for next 24 hours to assure that he   is out of danger.  Earlier Akshara’s office staff had already rushed in  to the hospital to help their kind boss.  Now they convinced her to go home and they took charge of sitting in the waiting room by turns. 

The car jerked as it pulled in front of the hospital. As they entered Aravind’s room, the doctor examining him looked up and said, “He is still not out of danger. So please take care and no emotional talk please!” 

Akshara looked at the pale white face of her husband.  Aravind’s eyes looked at her face and as his eyes filled with tear he said, in feeble voice his lips trembling, “I am very sorry Akshara” 

She smiled warmly and gently patted his hand and said, “Don’t worry about anything Aravind.  Get well soon and come back home “  She left the room. 

One week passed. After his discharge from the hospital, Akshara took leave from office. She spent all her time with him, nursing him, taking care of every need of him. Not a single time she asked him about the reason for his suicide attempt.

Akshara started working again. One fine morning during breakfast Aravind on his own, talked in a stammering voice all about his problem. He said that a month ago he was fired from his job. He and two of his friends together decided to start a software business. Since he did not want to burden Akshara, the three of them took a loan from one of the money lenders.  One fine morning Aravind found that his two friends had cheated him, sold away his office and all the furniture etc and vanished with his money. So the heavy loan from the money lender was on his head who was giving threat calls to him  now because there was no more any office left.  To avoid being humiliated he decided to end his life. 

Akshara said in a soothing voice, “Arvind if you had asked me I would have arranged for a loan properly from the bank. Why did you get entangled with the money lenders who are mostly illegal operators? By way, now tell me how much loan you own to that man?” 

Aravind swallowed hard and said, “Three crores of rupees” 

Akshara was shocked.  She said, “Such a huge amount just to start a company?  Even I cannot raise a loan for this amount. Neither I have liquid cash or some investments which I can encash immediately!  But still, don’t worry. I will find a solution in two days” 

Next day when they were at  the dinner table Aravind started, “Akshara, I have an idea provided  you don’t get me wrong!  But, I can give you an easy solution” 

A surprised Akshara said, “What solution you have Aravind ?” 

Aravind cleared his throat and with a little hesitation started “ Akshara, I heard that our CM  had sanctioned a huge cash of 30 crores to your Bank. This is for the distribution to the poor families of Farmers who had committed suicide. I understand that you are the head of this entire operation. From this fund, you can easily give me three crores against any false farmer’s family name and no one ever know about this” 

Akshara was shocked beyond words.  She looked at him in disbelief. After a few moments she said, “How can you misuse a fund so easily?  We have to show so many records of transaction like the signature of the family members and the witness also for the same.   It is not done in isolation. Fund distribution has rigorous rules for implementation. It is not easy as you think” 

Aravind now laughed. He now looked a completely changed man.  He said “Akshara, leave all that to me.  I can get a dozen farmers signature and three witnesses for everyone at the flash of my hand. I can manage it all in no time.” 

Akshara sat like a statute blankly looking at him unable to believe her ears.  After five minutes she got up abruptly and said, “OK Aravind, I will think over it tonight”  She quickly went to the bedroom and locked herself in– the first time in their married life. 

Next day morning when Aravind came to the breakfast table, she was waiting for him, already dressed up for a meeting.  She said, “Aravind I got an early meeting to attend.  You ask the money lender to come to the Red house at eleven AM today. I will give him the money there” Before Aravind could talk anything she turned and left the house. 

Aravind asked Malathi, “Which is this ‘Red house’ she is mentioning?” Malathi said, “That is the small apartment No 303, next to the “ Steaming Coffee House” on the main road. I will get you the key” . She brought the key and gave it to him. 

At 11.30 AM ,  Aravind got an SMS from Akshara asking him to meet her in the Coffeehouse at 11.45 A.M.  When Aravind reached the hotel,  he found her sitting at a table all alone and sipping a coffee.  Her handbag was on the table half covering a red stole, she was wearing in the morning.  

Aravind reached her in two steps and pulling a chair sat down. He asked in a hurry, ” You gave the money? Hope you gave him the money in cash. You know these transactions cannot go by cheque.”  She continued to sip her coffee coolly and nodded her head. He asked impatiently, “Tell me how it went. Did he argue or took it quietly” 

Akshara spoke calmly.”You have nothing to worry now Aravind. He cannot trouble you anymore. Because  I had killed him just now with this” 

 Saying this, she moved her hand bag and pulled the stole away. Aravind almost screamed when he saw the blood-soaked butcher knife.  Akshara continued calmly, “You don’t worry about me. It was a perfect murder. I came out in between the meeting and within five minutes was back in the meeting. Thus I have the perfect alibi.   You should be happy dear as all your problem with money is over permanently now “ 

Aravind burst out in an angry tone , “ You killed my friend?  He only knows the password for our money in the locker. Now how will I get that money? You stupid lady….” 

Akshara interrupted him and asked in surprised voice, “Which password my dear?” 

Aravind suddenly realized his mistake and said, “Oh!  I was worried actually about you and….” He stammered to continue. 

Akshara smiled and said, “Aravind, I have not become the Vice- President of a Bank just like that by chance. We study about a lot of frauds and cheating in our MBA. You men think that a single lady, bonded with marriage, will do anything for you? Though I will send you behind the bars anyway still, I would have even forgiven all that drama of your false charity,  your drama of of  suicide , paying the doctor to act as per your wish everything as a common corn man’s drama. But what I can never forgive you is,   that you wanted to steal from the fund allotted to the poor farmers” 

As Aravind scrambled to get up and run, the iron hands of the Inspector standing behind him quietly so far, caught him and promptly handcuffed him. The Inspector said, “Thank you, Madam, as per your phone call we had already arrested the three criminals who were hiding your Red house thank for your co operation and help” He dragged Aravind away. 

Akshara called the waiter. When he came she said “Thank you so much for your meat chopping knife”   The waiter smiled. She kept a heavy tip on the plate and stood up.  Akshara,   the modern educated Indian girl, walked away with a smile on her lip and her head held straight with pride.    

 

education

Love has no boundaries

 

old couple

 

A dozen ladies of the village were near the well filling their brass pots and generally enjoying some village gossips.  At this time Sita, heavily pregnant, reached the well with her pot in hand.  Spotting her at a distance itself there was peals of laughter and funny comments about her.  Knowing well this daily drama Sita walked with an impassive face towards the well.

As she was close enough Jamuna, the most talkative lady of the village said with a faked sympathy, “Oh God, Sita, walk carefully.  Even otherwise the pregnancy at this age is so difficult. Added to this if you slip or fall it will be hell. Please wait there itself and don’t come down near the slippery well. I will fill your pot and give you”

As everyone hardly bothered to hide their suppressed giggles, Jamuna walked three steps towards her and collected the pot from Sita.  She tied the rope on the pot and dropping the pot inside the well started drawing water.

Another older lady Mangamma, asked Sita her voice with forced concern, “Sita are you taking proper care of your health? We know that when things are so costly now, it will be a big strain on you and the Ram Sasthri to manage the house. What to do?  God always troubles only the good person”

Sita did not reply but smiled gently. Jamuna gave her the filled pot and without a single word conversation, she walked back. Once she started walking back, there was a loud laughter noise at her back. But Sita patiently walked away without looking back.

For the past two months, since Sita’s pregnancy started showing outwardly, the village had gone into this mocking and gossiping mode. Sita’s husband Ram Sasthri was the poorest man in the village who was a temple priest.  They had two daughters. In spite of his poverty somehow he had managed to get both of them married and they were well settled. He was taking some Sanskrit slokas classes besides his temple income and the husband and wife were just managing their life living from hand to mouth.

Now at the age of thirty-four, Sita was pregnant again.  This was the cause for the villager’s gossip. Firstly, she was too poor and cannot afford a child. Secondly, when her daughters are already married off, she was an old lady, and it was shameful to get pregnant.  Sita was very patient for all the gossips, which irritated the villagers more.

One fine morning when Sita reached her eighth month of pregnancy, she and her husband packed off to the town and the villagers assumed that she had gone to one of the daughters for her delivery.

Months rolled by and after four months Sita came back with her husband.  There was no child.  When one day the Jamuna enquired about the child Sita told that she lost the child as it was stillborn. Very rudely Jamuna said, “It was good that God saved you from the burden” Sita smiled without replying.

Sasthri was listening to this and said, “Sita, I am so sorry that you have to put up with all  this villager’s thrash just because of me. I sometimes wonder if you should have…”

Before he finished the sentence Sita rushed to him and closed his mouth. She said with a loving voice, “You are my life and as long as you are there nothing can affect me”

One year ago it happened. Sasthri thought about the events of   that happened that day when Sita took him for check up for his breathlessness.  The doctors told them that he had a thick blockage in the artery and a operation has to be performed. The operation charges were about four lacks.

As Sita sat on the hospital bench shocked, one of the young lady doctors who was the classmate of her daughter in school came to her and smiled warmly. Then she took her to her consulting room and had a  very long conversations.

First Sita was shocked. But as the young doctor told her that not only she can save her husband but she can also make a young childless couple happy.  Finally, she decided to accept the offer.

From the ten lakhs promised, she got 6 lakhs as an advance and Sastri’s was operated and became well. Same time Sita was impregnated with the donor sperm.

Eight months she carried the baby with all the care and went back to the hospital in the town.  The lady doctor gave accommodation to her and her husband and took care of her final days before the delivery.

After one month she delivered a healthy baby. The baby was handed over to the couple. The childless couple touched her feet with tears in their eyes for her service. She returned home with a substantial credit in her bank.

Sasthri thought heart in heart. In the mythology, they mention about so many great women like Savithri, who got her husband’s life back from Yama the God of death. But his wife Sita is a real Savithri of Who without bothering about the gossiping world, single-handed stood by his side and got his health back without borrowing money from one.

Sita came with coffee and looking at his husband asked, “What are you dreaming about?”  He smiled and said,” I am dreaming of an angel I married”

 

 

 

Love has no boundaries.

 

 

 

A dozen ladies of the village were near the well filling their brass pots and generally enjoying some village gossips.  At this time Sita, heavily pregnant, reached the well with her pot in hand.  Spotting her at a distance itself there was peals of laughter and funny comments about her.  Knowing well this daily drama Sita walked with an impassive face towards the well.

 

As she was close enough Jamuna, the most talkative lady of the village said with a faked sympathy, “Oh God, Sita, walk carefully.  Even otherwise the pregnancy at this age is so difficult. Added to this if you slip or fall it will be hell. Please wait there itself  and don’t come down near the slippery well. I will fill your pot and give you”

As everyone hardly bothered to hide their suppressed giggles, Jamuna walked three steps towards her and collected the pot from Sita.  She tied the rope on the pot and dropping the pot inside the well started drawing water.

Another older lady Mangamma , asked Sita her voice with forced concern, “Sita are you taking proper care of your health? We know that when things are so costly now, it will be a big strain on you and the Ram Sasthri to manage the house. What to do?  God always troubles only the good person”

Sita did not reply but smiled gently. Jamuna gave her the filled pot and without a single word conversation, she walked back. Once she started walking back, there was a loud laughter noise at her back. But Sita patiently walked away without looking back.

For the past two months, since Sita’s pregnancy started showing outwardly, the village had gone into this mocking and gossiping mode. Sita’s husband Ram Sasthri was the poorest man in the village who was a temple priest.  They had two daughters. In spite of his poverty somehow he had managed to get both of them married and they were well settled. He was taking some Sanskrit slokas classes besides his temple income and the husband and wife were just managing their life living from hand to mouth.

Now at the age of thirty-four, Sita was pregnant again.  This was the cause for the villager’s gossip. Firstly, she was too poor and cannot afford a child. Secondly, when her daughters are already married off, she was an old lady, and it was shameful to get pregnant.  Sita was very patient for all the gossips, which irritated the villagers more.

One fine morning when Sita reached her eighth month of pregnancy, she and her husband packed off to the town and the villagers assumed that she had gone to one of the daughters for her delivery.

Months rolled by and after four months Sita came back with her husband.  There was no child.  When one day the Jamuna enquired about the child Sita told that she lost the child as it was stillborn. Very rudely Jamuna said, “It was good that God saved you from the burden” Sita smiled without replying.

Sasthri was listening to this and said, “Sita, I am so sorry that you have to put up with all  this villager’s thrash just because of me. I sometimes wonder if you should have…”

Before he finished the sentence Sita rushed to him and closed his mouth. She said with a loving voice, “You are my life and as long as you are there nothing can affect me”

One year ago it happened. Sasthri thought about the events of   that happened that day when Sita took him for check up for his breathlessness.  The doctors told them that he had a thick blockage in the artery and a operation has to be performed. The operation charges were about four lacks.

As Sita sat on the hospital bench shocked, one of the young lady doctors who was the classmate of her daughter in school   came to her and smiled warmly. Then she took her to her consulting room and had a  very long conversations.

First Sita was shocked. But as the young doctor told her that not only she can save her husband but she can also make a young childless couple happy.  Finally, she decided to accept the offer.

From the ten lacks promised, she got 6 lacks as an advance and Sastri’s was operated and became well. Same time Sita was impregnated with the donor sperm.

Eight months she carried the baby with all the care and went back to the hospital in the town.  The lady doctor gave accommodation to her and her husband and took care of her final days before the delivery.

After one month she delivered a healthy baby. The baby was handed over to the couple. The childless couple touched her feet with tears in their eyes for her service. She returned home with a substantial credit in her bank.

Sasthri thought heart in heart. In the mythology, they mention about so many great women like Savithri, who got her husband’s life back from Yama the God of death. But his wife Sita is a real Savithri of Who without bothering about the gossiping world, single-handed stood by his side,  and got his health back without borrowing money from one.

Sita came with coffee and looking at his husband asked, “What are you dreaming about?”  He smiled and said,” I am dreaming of an angel I married”

 

behaviour, Cheating#courage#determination# single women, child labour, poverty, new education, education, Explotation, iggnorence, kindness, parenting, responsiblity of parenting, teaching, underprivileged, violence

LET US STOP THIS EXPLOITATION

girl 1

 

Divya was a new teacher who joined our school at the beginning of that academic year. She had earlier worked in Nagpur and along with the transfer of her husband’s job she moved to Mumbai and was selected as a maths &science teacher in our school.  She was allotted one of the backward divisions for teaching mathematics.  It is an irony that most of the children who are backward in studies were also from a poor background.  Many of them lived in shanties where the electricity used to be disturbed most of the nights and the children were not able to study in the night or they had serious water problems and the children were required to sit late to fill water in the house.  Coupled with so many domestic problems these children had to fight a battle every day to study and make their life better and to get the education.

There was a girl Seema in this class.  Her father was working as an electrician and one day he died in an accident while working. The corporation did give his family a handsome compensation but the relations of her father cheated the uneducated mother and took away a bulk of the amount.  Thus Seema’s mother was struggling for very existence by working as a cook in some houses but still, she managed to send her child to school. Seema, after helping her mother for the cooking and washing, was very weak in health and was also exhausted by the time she came to school. Naturally, she was very average in studies and was always in the borderline.

One day Divya talked to me in her free time. She said, “Madam, I am very worried about Seema.  Poverty, lack of a supporting male member at home, uneducated mother, these are all potent combination  which can easily  destroy the future of the girl.”

I was rather surprised. I said, “ Divya why are so worried?. For so many years we had seen such children coming from very poor families and having only mothers supporting them. But the girls had done well in past. These girls know their responsibility and in by the time the final examination is around they put in more hard work and they all pass by the end of the year”

Divya said,“ Madam, I was reminded of a girl Aruna in my Nagpur school and the dangerous situation she was trapped into,  just because of the same circumstances”  As both of us had a free period I settled down to hear her story and she started.

She said, “The school I worked was a corporation school and mostly had children coming from the nearby slum.  Most of the children were very weak in studies and we used to give them extra classes to help them to catch up with the regular classes.  There was a girl Aruna in my class.  One day her mother came to school and told me that she had lost her husband recently in an accident,  and she was working very hard to manage for the books etc for Aruna. I told her that I will take care of Aruna and pay some extra attention to her in the class and she will be alright.  Days rolled by and we had finished the first term.  Aruna had scored the lowest marks in mathematics.  We had a teacher’s meeting and we were discussing a project for the possibility to coach the very weak student.  But somehow this did not materialize as all the teacher had already too many extra activities such as preparing children for elocution, science, maths and such competitive examination etc.

As I was wondering about how to manage the situation for Aruna, I  noticed a sudden change in Aruna.  She started wearing some types of flashy trinkets in ears and flashy jingling bangles.  Her face looked a bit too much made up for the school. Then she started remaining absent. First two days, then next two days I brushed off.  But when she was absent for the third sequence I pulled her up and asked her for the reason for her absence. Aruna was a bit shaken up and she said “Madam, my grandmother lives alone in a house close to the school. Many times when she is sick, I go to her house to help her” I told her strictly, “Aruna. You are in X the standard and your attendance is very important for forwarding your application form for the Board.  If you remain absent so many time,  I am afraid I cannot help you and you would miss the year”

I asked some other girls who stayed close to the Aruna’s grandmother’s house to give a message to the Grandmother. Next day the grandmother came to school. What she told me with tears flowing from her eyes was too shocking.  She said “ I was not bothered when my daughter in law went into the cheap flush trade after my son died. But she is now trying to force my grand- daughter also into the trade.   So the poor girl runs away from home and takes shelter in my house.  What can I do? How can I stop my daughter in law?”

Now I did not know how much she says is the truth. Hence I told Aruna to get her mother to school.  When she came I said, “Aruna is missing too many classes.  She is already poor in studies and added to that the bad attendance will force us to hold up her form, from appearing for the board examination”

This is one type of false threat,  we give to all parents when their wards are frequent absentees or there are other in discipline problems.  Without fail, all the parent will buckle down under this threat and will definitely improve their children’s behavior.

But Aruna’s mother gave me the shock of my life with her answer. She was neither a humble, nervous mother I  had met some time back.   She was all dressed up now in a flashy way and she said a rude arrogant voice,  “  Madam not only you,  even the Principal of the school cannot stop my daughter from appearing for the examination. I am dead sure of it. So don’t give me this empty threat”

Swallowing hard my pride and the shock I said, ” How are you so sure? I am her class teacher who is supposed to certify her attendance and the Principal is the authority to forward her application form for the examination.  I hope you know that, don’t you? Then how can  you say that we cannot stop her application?”

She said in the same arrogant manner, “ You teachers or your school cannot do anything.  Because I am giving tuition to my daughter from Mr. XXXX,  who you know is a management committee member.  He is more powerful and he will see that not only my daughter gives the exams  but also she passes the SSC. He has contacts you know!”

As I stood with open mouth she walked away.  Though I was in the school for past three years I was little aware of any details about the management member. Later I approached a senior teacher and asked her about the Mr. XXX.

She looked a bit surprized and said, “Divya, why are you asking about that dirty dog?” Then she further told me that he was now an X management person. He was about 68 years old and was a widower. He used to trap the poor girls in the name of free maths tuition in his house and abuse them. The girls compelled by their need to pass the examination used to keep their mouth shut. But one day one of the parents discovered the truth and the news exploded.  The management immediately threw him out. So now he was not at all connected to the management anymore.

I remembered what Aruna’s  grandmother told me. I remembered all that sudden flashy dressing pattern of Aruna. I understood that old fellow had fooled Aruna’s mother and lured her in sending Aruna for maths tuition. Her life was in danger.

After an urgent meeting with the Principal, we contacted an NGO who worked for the Women and Child Welfare.  This member along with police visited both Aruna’s mother and the ill-famed man and gave them the threat of arrest. Aruna’s mother agreed to keep her in her Grandmother’s house till the board examination was over.  One of our retired Lady teachers agreed to give a special coaching to Aruna in her Grandmother’s house.

Aruna’s mother was given a clerical job in one of the NGO’s  who also gave some councilling for her.   Aruna passed the examination and life changed for both the mother and daughter.  Later we heard Aruna went for some technical school and later got employed there.”After finishing the story Divya said, “Madam  can you now understand my fears.”

I somehow convinced that in our school such things can never happen and even the single uneducated mothers are world wise, and they take care of their daughters.  But though I talked to her very convincingly the fear now got transferred from her mind to mine and started haunting me. I started watching all the girls very carefully to see if there is some change in their behaviour pattern etc.  As and when possible gave some general advice to the backward division children that we teachers are their best friends and they can always approach us as and when they have some problem. One by one I called the poor mothers and talked very friendly to them encouraging them to approach us for any help needed. Days rolled by and as usual all those girls from the very poor families passed the SSC with good marks in their first attempt.  The haunting fear slowly disappeared from my mind.

But as a teacher, many time I wish the educational institution could do something more to these struggling children beyond their usual teaching. The school building remains vacant in the night. If a project is implemented with some retired senior teacher volunteers, the school could be opened for these poor children for studying in the night up to 12 in the night.  The children will have electricity, fan and more than that a peaceful atmosphere.  The retired teachers can supervise that discipline is maintained.  How many poor children can benefit from this? Hope someday such dreams will be realized.

 

 

behaviour, death, grief, health, iggnorence, kindness, love, Organdonation#awareness#saving lives, sharing and caring, teaching

When the truth strikes!

 

As Ram Sastri watched through the round window of the special ICU,  the emergency critical patient’s ICU, his most loving grandson  Yoges’s figure started dimming from his sight. He wiped his overflowing tears from his eyes with his wrinkled hands and looked again. Just yesterday evening this boy hugged him tight and went out to get his favourite sweets on his motorbike. Now his almost lifeless body lay there in the bed, connected to a mesh of monitors around. His life was now only the sound of the beeping of the ventilators.

 

A nurse came from the back side and said in a soft voice,” Please Uncle go and sit, you had been standing for hours near the window.  God will save your grandson. Please go and sit”.  Reluctantly he walked back to his chair near the wall. The eerie silence of the long deserted corridor seemed to echo the approaching dark shadows of death. He saw his son Mayur and doctor coming out of a room on the other end of the corridor. They were far away for Sasthri to hear any of their whispered conversation. But the silhouette of both of them, the doctor’s sort of shrugging his shoulders, and his son’s stooping, shivering shoulders explained everything to him. The doctor walked away and Mayur sat down there itself on a chair. Sasthri knew he was too afraid of coming near him to report what the doctor told him just now.

As the uncontrolled tears, once again welled in his eyes it was not only just the pain of the accident victim of his grandson but more of a guilt which was swallowing him alive. Exactly three month’s back he was in the same hospital in front of the same  ICU where his wife Sudha was on ventilators, brain dead after a stroke. His son Mayur was pleading with him for his permission. There was a ten-year-old boy who urgently needed a heart transplant in the ICU. Mayur was begging Sasthri that he if he could allow Sudha’s heart be donated to that boy. He repeatedly begged his father that his mother was dead except for the ventilator, but all her organs were fine and the donation of her organ could save eight lives. Two blind people could get their eyes, two can get a kidney, her heart and liver can save two more and her skin can save four or five burn victims fighting in the deathbed.

He said, “Papa this is the greatest gift we can give to the society.  Mother’s soul will also be so pleased if we donate her organs which are now just going to be sacrificed in the last pyre” Sasthri who was a Guru of Sath-Sang angrily retorted, “I had lived with her for 65 years. It is my duty to give her an honourable farewell by cremating her with all religious rites. How can I agree that a part of her body still to be left in this world of Maya? Are you not ashamed of asking me that your dead mother’s body is cut into pieces and parts taken away? You lived inside that body for ten months and you want to shame that body of your loving mother?”

A million times begging, from his son and the doctors, failed to make an impact on him to change his decision. Just when they were taking charge of Sudha’s body the young mother of the ten-year-old boy was also collecting their son’s body, and even that did not affect Sasthri at that time

Now his hardly fifteen-year-old Grandson is in need of an urgent liver transplant, The road accident has totally punctured his liver. Sastri was 85 years old and was still living.  But he cannot give his liver to the boy. If someone is not stubborn like him and is generous than his grandson can get the donation of lungs for him. If he was not stupid the other day he could have saved 8  lives when Sudha died. May be God is punishing him for his insensitivity and today he is the one who is begging for a donation.

Suddenly there was a commotion as a new was patient was wheeled in from the causality room. As the attendants rushed in pushing the stretcher, he saw vaguely a blood soaked image of a person.  Behind the stretcher came a handful of relations of the victim.   They all stopped as the operation theatre door closed on them.  Slowly one by one they all moved to the chairs around him. Forgetting momentarily his sorrow he looked at them. There were some elderly people, and an older lady from that was crying uncontrollably while others tried to pacify her. But one very young lady sat among them totally silent, just staring at the wall.

Mayur came to him and took him aside. He gave him a cup of Tea and said,” Papa, just drink this. You cannot starve yourself for a long time. Doctors are trying, telephoning all over India. We may get a donor” Sasthri took the tea and looked at the face of his son. Mayur turned his face away from his father to avoid his eyes. Sasthri understood. There was absolutely no hope now. May be they have to wait now only to collect the body.

Sasthri went to the wash room. After five minutes when he came out Mayur was waiting for him at the entrance. Expecting the worst he looked at him.  But Mayur face was bright now and he was breathless as he said, “Papa, God has helped us. We got a donation of the liver. I am going to sign the papers for the operation. I came here only just to inform.   You please wait here” As Sasthri stood unbelievably he ran through the long corridor in a hurry.

Sasthri could not still believe.  How did his grandson get a liver so fast? Who was the kindest person in the world who donated it? Is this a miracle?  He closed his eyes and started praying.  Suddenly a group of about ten doctors came rushing into the operation theatre where a patient was taken in some twenty minutes back. The old lady waiting there now fainted and others started reviving her. Sasthri noticed that the young lady who was sitting there was not there now. Who was she and why did she disappear?  From the old lady’s reaction, it was clear that the patient who was taken inside is no more. But,  that young lady?   After about five minutes that young lady came out of the operation theatre and sat quietly again. The elderly went to her and hugging her started crying again. The young lady hugged the old lady but her eyes were still dry.

The large group of doctors now came out carrying many rectangular ice boxes with them.  One by one they all stood near the young lady and whispered something softly to her and then left in a hurry.  Sasthri waited quietly and so did the group in front of him. No one talked a  and a dead silence enveloped all of them. Only the senior lady kept wiping her tears still.  Two hours passed.

 

Mayur came running his face relaxed. Sasthri could understand from his face that the operation was successful.

He just nodded his head to Sasthri but without stopping near him he crossed him and walked over to the group seated there. As Sasthri got up half guessing Mayur walked to the young lady. He stood there for a fraction of a second. As the lady lifted her eyes with a question mark he suddenly dropped himself full length near her feet as a “ Sashtanka Namaskar. He held both her feet with his hands and cried repeatedly saying “ How will I ever thank you, Madam. How will I ever…….:” As Sasthri looked stunted, the other male members waiting with her got up and gently pulled Mayur up. As Mayur got up and stood, his hands still folded, the lady who was so quit for so much time whispered,” It is OK, I can at least live the rest of my life thinking a part of my husband is alive somewhere” For the first time her eyes welled with tears.  Sasjthri now walked to her and folded his hand and said” Beata I am too old to touch your feet. Let God bless you with peace of mind  for  your greatest  gesture”

Both Mayur and his father now walked to the other operation theatre and sat waiting for doctor’s permission to see their child. Mayur spoke in trembling voice, “ Papa  Doctors told me that the lady is married just six months back and her husband met with an accident. He was declared brain death. This lady had donated all his organs and by this time they are transported to different pairs of India for the needy one. That lady is just Goddess.”

One month latter Sastri was doing his Upanyas as usual. Once he finished his usual preaching he aid “ Before you people come forward to the donation box I  want to tell you that the greatest donation you can give To God is your organ donation. Pledge your organs and after death also you will be giving life to the living once. Who knows one of us may be tomorrow the person begging for a donation. So instead of putting money in the donation box fill up the organ donation form and that will be a million rupee worth and surely you will get all the God’s blessings”  The entire group of people started forming a queue in front of the organ donation forms piled on a table.

 

This Story is dedicated to all those angels who had kindly pledged or donated their loving one’s organs. Please pledge your organs—-  The greatest form of gift— Give life to the living ones.