<link rel="stylesheet" href="//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans%3A400italic%2C700italic%2C400%2C700">Suri, Author at Aam JanataSkip to content

We failed as a society - not the first time

We are ashamed of ourselves - damn right, we should be

We will never forget - until the next time it happens again

And we fail, we feel ashamed and we forget

How about we try something different? How about we really show our elected govts how concerned we are and how desperate we are to address these concerns?

How about we stage a #NationalWalkout on April 23rd, Monday @ 10:00am?

What is a #NationalWalkout?

Simple answer is no matter where we are, who we are and what we are, we can just decide to walk as an individual or as a group, leaving aside whatever work we may be doing at that point in time

Walk to where?

If we are in the city, closer to the parliament or the state assembly hall, walk to that place

If we are not, we can walk to the nearest court or the nearest district headquarters or the nearest police station or nearest any office dealing with public welfare.

Why a NationalWalkout?

This is a problem concerning not just a village or a town or a city or a state or a child or an adult but a problem concerning an entire country and the entire humanity, because what we are witnessing is a rape of our consciousness.

Why April 23rd, Monday at 10:00am?

Its the following Monday giving us a weeks time to prepare and organize.10:00am because its the time when its not too early and not too late, but just about the right time to cause inconvenience to us and to send the message to our elected govts

What do we demand?

  1. No more victimization of the victims and the guilty should be punished
  2. Nirbhaya Law should be implemented in spirit

What after the Walkout?

We can chose to continue the fight and keep the pressure on the elected govt and may be even the rest of the political parties. Let this be the beginning of the end of our inaction and indifference.

What kind of preparation is required?

Prepare placards, banners, invite ministers, press, media, organize events around these themes and basically try and do everything to rally people and create pressure.

One week may be a bit aggressive for a #NationalWalkout, but may be it isn't after all - it may be a bit late.

Would it be worth it?

Remember the last time this happened, the result was the Nirbhaya act. Yes its another issue that the act itself is yet to be implemented, but without the public pressure, the law makers would not have done what they were forced to do. So yeah its totally worth trying, but one thing is for sure, if we don't do anything other trending on twitter or sharing on facebook, we are just fooling ourselves.

If this still doesn't convince you, I will let the data do the talking

520 kids all below 6 years of age were survivors of rape i.e. Five Hundred and Twenty. I repeat Five Hundred and Twenty. And if we include all the kids below 18 years, this number rises to 16863 i.e. Sixteen thousand eight hundred and sixty three.

  • 16863 children will carry these scars for the rest of their lives
  • 16863 children may never get justice and may never get a closure
  • 16863 children may never get a chance to heal their wounds
  • 16863 children and their loved one’s may forever try to move on, only to dragged into with every single incident that makes it to the news headline
  • 16863 children may never know what a normal childhood feels like, what growing up feels like
  • 16863 children may be living in constant fear for the rest of their lives

Girl-Child-Victims

22,205 women i.e. Twenty two thousand two hundred and five women. As these horrific numbers prove, rape crimes are beyond any age groups, beyond any cultural divides, beyond the norms of society – yes beyond the norms of society, since

Women-Rape-Victims

94.6% of the offenders are known to the rape survivors i.e. Ninety Four percent of the offenders are known to the rape survivors. Some of the offenders are family members who include grand fathers, fathers, brothers, sons, relatives and neighbors. Not implying everyone is an offender here, but what the data is proving, yet again, year after year, that the offenders are amongst us. They could be from our family, from our neighborhood, not some random person on the street and not some random person in a desolated place.

Offenders-Relation.PNG

So what is the police doing? Well, what can the police do? What can the police do when most of the cases don’t even get reported and even when they are reported, there are so many backlogs, the police can’t possibly afford to investigate the cases.

Police Cases

And what about the courts? Well, its no secret, the courts have been buried with cases pending from several years, in fact, several decades now.

Court Cases

Total-Rape-Victims

source: ncrb.gov.in

 

The people who died today taught us a very important lesson that its not only our job to remind our elected officials of their responsibilities but also see to it that, they actually do the work.

Name changes v.s. Foot Over Bridge construction

Unknowingly, Sachin Tendulkar, asked the most important question in Rajya Sabha under the circumstances - He raised a question in 2016 about the status of Foot Over Bridge (FoB) at the  Elphinstone railway station.

In response, the ministry stated that the work was sanctioned in 2016 and unfortunately, as we now know, nothing much happened. This is despite the umpteen number of tweets, letters and other forms of communication (pictures and tweets in the blog) , where the commuters had raised serious concerns about the imminent dangers.

On the other hand, the Maharashtra state assembly passed a resolution to change Elphinstone station to Prabhadevi in Dec 2016, which was approved by the center in April 2017. According to the news sources, the name change was to take effect in Sep 2017.

While the ministry was quick to announce the compensation for the kith and kin of the deceased and those seriously injured, it was anything but quick to begin the sanctioned work.

Below is a list of tweets sent to the authorites forewarning the imminent threat to their lives

  • No more crying in the middle of the night 
  • No more playing in the middle of the street
  • No more mischief in the class
  • No more tantrums in the house 
  • No more exams to pass 
  • No more dreams to chase 

How can they, when the children are no more?

Not one, not two, 13 children died yesterday, 309 died in August alone, 1269 this year and all in the BRD government medical college, Gorakhpur, Uttarpradesh. 

This is not just because of a doctors negligence or an equipment failure or a random incident of negligence but a deliberate failure of an entire system. A system that was meant to diagnose, treat and cure, was left to decay so much that the rot just became toxic claiming innocent lives.

The CAG report published in August 2017 for the period beginning from 2011 ending 2016 March, exposes the rotten system of the BRD medical college. From failing to treat cancer patients to failing to conduct prenetal diagnosis to misusing funds to shortage of medical equipments - the medical college broke rule of law and violated the moral code of conduct. 

Excerpts from the CAG report 

✓ the GMCs failed to provide adequate treatment to cancer/heart patients as equipment such as Cobalt Teletherapy, Brachytherapy unit, Left Ventricular Assist Device, etc. were not being operated in hospitals due to lack of doctors/technical personnel/infrastructure.

✓ The GMCs did not execute Annual Maintenance Contract for equipment. As a result, the machines were not functional and tests for cervix cancer, foetal monitoring, prenatal diagnosis, bio-chemical and hormonal tests etc. could not be conducted.

✓ GMCs did not procure clinical and teaching equipment though adequate funds were provided by the Government, resulting in shortages of equipment

✓ The GMCs failed to provide adequate treatment to cancer/heart patients as equipment such as Cobalt Teletherapy, Brachytherapy unit, Left Ventricular Assist Device, etc. were not being operated in hospitals due to lack of doctors/technical personnel/infrastructure.

✓ The GMCs did not execute Annual Maintenance Contract for equipment. As a result, the machines were not functional and tests for cervix cancer, foetal monitoring, prenatal diagnosis, bio-chemical and hormonal tests etc. could not be conducted.

✓ GMCs violated the provisions of General Financial Rules while procuring equipment by extending undue favour to suppliers and purchasing equipment at a higher rate

✓ Financial management of the GMCs was not adequate as there were instances of retention funds for long periods in PLA, diversion of funds, etc

So what's next?
I'm sure the CAG report will have no affected on the administration because if a child's death didn't, then what's a report? And neither did it have any affect on the media, because the deaths continue to happen but not the coverage and further questioning. This leaves, us i.e you and me. So let's begin with questioning the authorities 

  • File an RTI with the BRD medical college to understand what steps they have taken for cours e correction. And if they haven't, then when would they?
  • Call the MLA's and the MP's and put pressure on them to not just fix the current problems but to elevate the standards of healthcare 

If we don't think we can do this, then just remember the faces of the kids who died or should we say, we let them die 

1

I met kavitha during my visit to Pandharkawada village, Yavatmal district, Vidarbha 

This is the story of Kavitha, who is a mother, a babhi, a daughter, a wife, a homemaker, now a farm widow turned farmer in the capital of India, Vidarbha and she is just 27 years of age. Despite the gravity of the situation, she spoke with great confidence and she spoke with an infectious smile.

The mother:

Manasi, her 8 year old daughter, was very happy since it was the Independence Day and she wore her favorite 10 Rs tri-colored hair band.

The 2 year old daughter was home with her in laws.

The mother also told how she draped her daughter with a tri-colored saree and when how when Manasi entered the class room everyone would say "Look Bharat Mata is walking into the classroom".

The Bhabi:

Bhabi was very worried about her 15 year old brother-in-law because he wasn't getting any work. He only had 2 pairs of dresses which he carefully juggled through. He would be very calm and very quiet, often refused to take part in any social gatherings or any celebrations. He didn't have any footwear, which was one reason why he was feeling very shy to move around. Bhabi was very happy when they managed to buy a pair of chappals for Rs 100.

The daughter:

Her parents were working as landless laborer s and their income these days isn't consistent. They have work only on a few days. Her brother is also looking for a job. She is worried about her brother as well who is looking for a job.

The homemaker:

The kids school expenses aren't that much. The books, uniforms etc. cost about Rs 500 a year. It's the other expenses that add up to about Rs 3000 or so.

The wife:

Kavitha finished her 12th grade and after her marriage had discontinued her studies. Her husband was very troubled and increasingly frustrated over his helplessness and his never-ending debt situation. He had shared this with Kavitha as well but she could not anticipate that her husband would take such an extreme step.

The farmer:

3 acres of land is all she has on which she cultivates cotton and soya bean. There is an outstanding loan with the bank which hasn't waived yet. The price of cotton in the market isn't guaranteed and there has hardly been any rains adding more trouble to the already troubled situation.

There have been many Kavitha's before, many Kavitha's now and unfortunately, if no intervention, there would be many more.

  
If we blame the politicians for being indifferent, then we are to be blamed equally, for we are indifferent to their sufferings

If we blame the govt for being ignorant, then we are to be blamed equally, for we are completely ignorant of their sufferings.

If we blame the govt for not having the will to solve the crisis, we are to be blamed equally, for we never had the will to question and hold our ministers responsible and accountable.

Vidarbha Diaries -

It's a world apart 

At 20, we worry about exams. At 20, they worry about raising the kids, earning livelihood, taking care of their family - just saying, it's a world apart

We lose our jobs, we find another one. They lose their jobs, they lose their lives - just saying, it's a world apart 

We make loses, we claim insurance. They make loses, they claim their lives - just saying, it's a world apart 

We spend hours in deciding what to wear, but for them with just 2 pairs of clothes and no footwear the choice is very simple - just saying, it's a world apart 

We need second loan, we refinance and restructure our loans at the lowest interest rates. They need second loans, they borrow from private money lenders at exorbitant rates - just saying, it's a world apart

They till the land, they toil hard in the sun, but they don't own the land, so they are not recognized as farmers - just saying, it's a world apart
  
They suffer loses, the crops are destroyed either due to floods or due to draught, but are never compensated - just saying, it's a world apart 

We are chased by the banks and credit card companies to take their loans. They literally beg for loans but only in vain - just saying, it's a world apart