Thursday, 6 August 2015

Kiranmayi - Life and Health on the brink.




Kiranmayi of the next village Kumarapalle is the child of a potter. She had a boil on her foot which was treated badly at the local PHC, and led to wasteing away of the leg. She used to scramble up and down the tank bund and drag herself to school. When she was in 6th we managed to get a Jaipur foot fixed, and she started walking with a crutch fixed. When her mother saw her daughter stand erect for the first time in her life - I saw her eyes fill up.


The family is utterly poor. They are potters by birth, and also treat herpes for all villagers free - as is the mandate of potters. The mother grazes sheep. The father does odd 
painting jobs. Pottery stopped a generation ago as demand for pots slowly died. I have never seen the mother without a smile, and she used to be strikingly beautiful. Then she underwent a hysterectomy after a scare by the local doctors and her health was badly affected. She came home the other day for ayurvedic medicines. And she was then telling me how they had even taken Kiran to Bangalore as an infant in a hope to save the leg. She said that she spent months weeping over the child till she went there and saw children far worse off. And then she dried her tears.


 

August 2015

When I saw her this time she was walking hunched, and i discovered that the artificial leg and crutch were both too small and needed replacement.  With the stick, way too small, she was hobbling daily to the busstop 2 km away. When I asked, she said her back and legs ache with the hunching. And she had not even thought of this as needing any mentioning to her parents. After much searching we found the place where they would fit the leg. Kiranmayi and her father came from the village for the artificial leg they were called to collect. They had come last month to give the measurements. Today they were told the measurements were lost, and asked to give the measurements again and come after a month. Nobody seems to care how hard it is for a lame child to hobble down from afar. And for a man to give up daily wage in drought and get the money together to make the trip.  

Subbaraju was telling me how with utter grasslessness, he will also have to sell his cow away next month. Will his meagre earnings pay for Kiranmayi's college fees or food at home or straw for the cow.  Kiranmayi has been supported thro’ a computer course at Pakala for which the fees were 5000/- and the incidentals including travel came to another 5000/-. She had failed a paper in 12th, which she passed with much effort on her own from her village where there was no tutoring possible, and there was obviously no guidance possible at home. She then joined college this year at Pakala. The busstop from their home was 2km away, and then as it was an inner road the bus would often not come. So that option became unviable. Her father put her in the Tirupathi government college, again at an initial cost of 10,000/-. Unaffordable costs in unsurviveable days.

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