These Indians might as well be in Bangladesh

#1 Nov 5th, 2017, 12:03
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It was love at first sight. But Nirman is a shy man not used to sharing his feelings in public so that's not how he describes the first time he met Dila. His version is more matter-of-fact: “I saw her and asked for her hand in marriage“. It's hard to get him to open up about his late wife. After a lot of prodding, he finally whispers a few details: she loved cricket, football and fishing; and she didn't want to die.

But Dila did die because their village, Huroi in Meghalaya, has no motorable road.It was exactly two years and two months ago.She'd been in labour all night but her baby's head wasn't crowning. Finally, 15 villagers lifted her up in a blood-stained bedsheet, strung it across two bamboo poles, and began walking to a hospital in Bangladesh.

They carried Dila, who was screaming in pain and bleeding profusely, over a hilly terrain through the dense East Jaintia Hills forest while dodging the Border Security Force (BSF). While the Bangladeshi hospital in Kanaighat was just an hour away , the Umkiang primary health centre on the Indian side was a five-hour trek through the jungle. Driving to Umkiang over the `kacha' road would have taken seven hours.

Dila, who had lost her own mother as a child, died shortly after reaching the hospital. Before she lost consciousness, she begged her husband to be a good father to their six boys. For a long time, the youngest, who was three-years-old, would wake up at night to search for his mom.“Now, he doesn't remember her,“ says Nirman.

Huroi, where the couple lived, is one of four Indian villages that might as well be in Bangladesh. The others are Lejri, Lahalein (aka Lailong) and Hingaria. In these border villages, which have about 3,800 residents, people buy Bangladeshi goods with Bangladeshi currency (takas), call India from Bangladeshi SIM cards and rush to Bangladeshi hospitals during emergencies.Shops accept takas and double up as currency exchange kiosks. And villagers, most of whom know Bangla, admit that 70-90% of their income is in takas. We even met a nine-year-old named `Medical' after the hospital where he was born * Osmani Medical College in Sylhet, Bangladesh.

The villagers would prefer to turn to India for their needs. But navigating the 35km unpaved stretch of the Sonapur-Borghat road that leads to these villages is a costly, time-consuming endeavour. During the monsoon, which lasts about six months, driving over this road is akin to manoeuvring a jeep through quicksand. Drivers double up as car mechanics, replacing parts and fixing oil leaks en route, and a team of six men, armed with shovels and tasked with pushing the car, accompany every vehicle.

A Rs 98-crore proposal to blacktop the Rymbai-Jalalpur road, which overlaps 15km of the `kacha' Sonapur-Borghat road, is awaiting an environmental impact assessment report. And plans to repair the Sonapur-Borghat road haven't progressed beyond a concept paper. Neither the area's MLA nor the district's deputy commissioner can provide even a rough timeline for these projects. But work on a border fence is racing along, restricting Lahalein and Lejri's access to Bangladeshi markets.

Since their inception, the economy of all four villages has rested on the sale of betel nut and paan leaves to Bangladeshi traders, who pay in takas. Villagers then use this Bangladeshi currency to pay for clothes, food * even hens * that are smuggled across the border by Bangladeshi salesmen. Indians know they are at a disadvantage in this trade because the Bangladeshis set the exchange rate; but without a `pakka' road, villagers feel trapped into accepting their terms.
Times of India
#2 Nov 5th, 2017, 13:53
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Very difficult to read this, so sad that something like this happens still today. But it reminds me of the conditions everywhere not too long ago, and still at many places in India, for instance in Orissa, where villagers have to walk for hours in an emergency to a rural health center, just to find out that there is no doctor there.


This documentary: Incurable India, tells the story, about the suffering of the rural population (70% of the population) in India. It also tells the story of the scandal of the Apollo hospital, which in Delhi is obliged to serve poor Indians, but refuses to do so.

#3 Nov 5th, 2017, 17:12
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Very sad indeed. Caught between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
#4 Nov 5th, 2017, 20:03
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Originally Posted by atala View Post Very difficult to read this, so sad that something like this happens still today.
Another story which was difficult to read.

This Durg village’s ODF tag is a cruel joke on disabled girl

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The open defecation free (ODF) tag of her village in Durg seems to mock Neera every morning as she drags herself — by one hand — to the fields, while the other hand holds up a lota on her head.

Neera is 90% disabled, and moves around using her hands. Residents are accustomed to seeing her crawling along the dirty lanes of the village. She often slips in the muck. Then, she has to crawl back to fill up her lota.

Her father was asked by the administration to dig holes to be used as septic tank for a toilet. He did so, but no one turned up to help him build the loo. Neera's torment makes Chhattisgarh's boast of its ODF achievements ring hollow.

The next day's article Disabled girl gets tricycle and toilet

Quote:
Within hours after TOI published a report on Neera's plight+ , the Durg administration on Saturday gave Neera a tricycle and started building a toilet for her at her home. She has been given a key to a public lavatory nearby for personal use till the toilet at her house is ready.
I feel when some new members come here asking to see 'Real India', they should be taken to such places.
#5 Nov 5th, 2017, 20:08
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Originally Posted by atala View Post It also tells the story of the scandal of the Apollo hospital, which in Delhi is obliged to serve poor Indians, but refuses to do so.
Read something similar about AIIMS Rishikesh.

AIIMS Rishikesh 15 times more expensive than AIIMS Delhi


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Patients availing of treatment at AIIMS Rishikesh are forced to shell out several times more for treatment — in some cases as much as 10 to 15 times in excess — than AIIMS Delhi, the institute on which the Rishikesh facility is modelled and which should be the benchmark for its rate card.

For instance, a normal child delivery is done free of cost at AIIMS Delhi's general ward and for Rs 2,000 in its private ward. But in Rishikesh, it costs Rs 7,500. Similarly, knee replacement costs Rs 99,000 in AIIMS Rishikesh while in AIIMS Delhi, it is barely Rs 8,000 in the private ward. Cancer radiotherapy costs Rs 3,000 at AIIMS Delhi while in Rishikesh it starts from Rs 29,750.

A biopsy which is done for Rs 250 at AIIMS Delhi is being done for a staggering Rs 5,100 in Rishikesh.

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