Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Aur phir ek din ... (Eashwaramma, Varalu ...) - 2

I just spoke to Eashwaramma and Varalu. The poor live so much on the edge, that anything can topple them over. Sometimes one is only painfully, heartbreakingly aware of one's utter helplessness to help those one has learnt to love.

Varalu, abandoned by her husband, provider for her three small children is supposed to teach Sasi, Eashwaramma's grandson.. This was Radhika's suggestion when she came to the village. Anjali organized money to pay Varalu for the tutions. and it worked like a song ... Varlu just has a way with children. And an unruly scamp like Sasi loved learning under her gentle firmness.

But three small children meant that she would reasons to skip going - and I had to tell her that she would not be paid for days she missed. That made a difference, and the small sum she was getting was significant for her. But last week she did not go.

Her sister Teja lives in the next village Dinapeta. Her husband was going by a shared auto (they pack in 16 to an auto), and there was an accident (these overloaded autos frequently topple) tand his knee got broken. Varalu's mother went to the Tirupathi hospital to help. It is a major operation with steel rods ... and the earning potential of one more labouring family goes west ... towards more destitution. Oh my God ! Teja is such a sweet child, just like Varalu. And the operation costs of 30,000/- will be a high interest loan they would have on their heads now ...

Kavya is running the house as Eashwaramma cannot light a fire because of her recent catarct operation. Kavya gets up very early, cuts grass for the cow, cooks, and then rushes to school. She returns in the evening and starts the fire and makes a meal,and into the night finishes her homework. I gave her my usual 'study well' lecture, and she told me that she has too much work now. And I immediately changed direction and told her to help her grandmother well. Despite this assistance, Eashwaramma has to graze the cow in the hot sun, and says her operated eye continues to pain. She has only one eye - the other is blind. Sasi, her grandson, is is not well, and she has been asking Dr. Girija for medicines... She wants ayurvedic medicines because she herself benefitted so remarkably under Dr. Girija's treatment, when all allopathy failed ... But medicines have to be posted from here ... and take time to reach there ... and in this drought the local herds that Dr. Girija suggests to her are all dried up ...

Everybody sounded tired.

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