We first met Deepak almost 5 months ago when he was 8 months old. He needed heart surgery but his family did not have the required money. We raised it with the help of some kind hearts and believed that in a matter of days or at most weeks all would be well.
Deepak has a brand new heart or rather has got his broken heart fixed. A huge T shaped scars is ample proof of that.
But that was not to be. What should have a simple walk to the OT turned out to be an obstacle race in today's India. Deepak first encountered the hydra headed monster called reservation. any a times we was turned away from the portals of the most prestigious hospital in our country.His tired body gave up once and his heart even stopped beating but his will to live was formidable. He came back to life again but the battle was not over, a huge abdominal abscess delayed the procedure again.
Last week D day finally dawned and his surgery was performed with success and soon he will be back to his little home and ready to start a new life.I wonder what life has in store for him? His family is poor and illiterate. His father barely earns enough to keep the family going and his mom and granny stay at home. The one huge asset they have is a bond of love and are a close knit family.
We will slowly tiptoe out of his life, and then Deepak will be on his own. For a long time I wondered about his future as I more than anyone else know how much we have let our children down, particularly those who live on the other side of the impregnable yet invisible fence.Deepak will soon find out that life is not fair, that the images he will see on TV - the family has one of course - are not meant for him. As he grows and starts going to school - the municipal one for sure - and may not become a drop out statistic if he is still around and come to pwhy. On the way he will see many ugly realities: reservation, caste division, child labour, unemployment and more. The god who heard his mom's prayer and gave him this new hart will have to work overtime to protect and guide him at every step of life.
When I watch the news I am horrified to see that with obsessive regularity every day, some news we are 'treated' to some news item that confirms that life is not alright for our children. Yesterday we heard about the young slum kid who won a national yoga competition but found no one to sponsor his trip to the international meet in Italy.Laws that protect children are broken with rare impunity, tender bodies are raped, used and abused. And we just emit of few chuckles of sympathy and carry on with our lives.
But each image robs me a few minutes of my sleep each night and urges me to do something more. I feel ashamed at my inability to reach out and help.How can I say welcome back to our world Deepak..