Thursday, 19 June 2014

The accident - Ramamurthi

Varalu's sister's Teja lived in Dinapeta, 5km away. Her husband Ramamurthi has had a severe knee injury in an accident. His earning will get compromised for life. Another landless labourer, unable to labour. Varalu's mother Chinapaapakka was away at the hospital. Varalu was manageing her three children - and was unable to go and teach Eashwaramma's grandson Sasi daily for her daily small earnings. Meanwhile her son fell and damaged a muscle, and they went to Kallur, our local bone setters. Chinapaapakka had to return to help - and will go again to the Tirupathi hospital. In times of no employmenty, and no earnings, to manage bus fares, and medical bills ... is what drives people to unutterable debts and thoughts of suicide.

Sasi will be taken to get an antram tied - Easharamma told me that his condition is due to 'graha'. The vaidudu will chant some mantrams, and tie the amulet. The mantram treatment is as integrel of the local healing as are medicines. Where Eashwaramma is raiseing the 400/- for that - I do not know !

The poor need very good public health systems ... intelligently designed to incorporate their own health systems as well. They need insurance to make sure they do not slip into destitution - some poverty is OK.

In poor families, when it rains it pours. Because there are simply no reserves and one crisis is enough to sink them past recovery.
I did not even dare ask Chinapaapakka what the costs of that operation in a private hospital in Tirupathi were, what the costs of the local bone setter were and what the costs of all the bus travels were. Where they are manageing from when there is total unemployment.

When I asked had earlier asked Varalu how they were manageing, she had said that the small sum we are paying her for Sasi's 'tutions' and for boiling and giving milk were enough to buy rice for the family. At least we are also giving rajanyadi churnam and dadimadi grutham for her children which, she herself says, has improved their health so much that they do not fall ill. And we give milk for her children as part of the 'payment'. A very small intervention ... but it means something to her ...

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