I wonder why there has not been much interest in little Radha's story aired on national TV. Last time we sought help for an open heart surgery, we were flooded with phone calls and offers of support. The child in question is now a strapping young boy in class VIII.
Radha's story came and went as quietly and unobtrusively as little Radha who can sleep on a roadside and simply tell you she did so and get along with the task at hand. We did find her a little home, more a burrow then a living space fit for human beings. She was so pleased at not having to sleep in the open that she danced her heart out the next day. You see she had slept right through a dust storm.
What had we hoped to achieve by making her story known to all? Some financial help that would have enabled us to move the little family into a proper home? Some medical advise about her rare disability? Some hope that her morrows be safe? But that was not to be. The very next day the authorities took away the cart which was their livelihood and all the utensils they possessed. Radha did not come to school today.
The death knell of all street food vendors has tolled. The cat and mouse game has begun. Bribes to be paid for a few days of reprieve till the next predator comes and removes the reclaimed cart again and so on. Wonder how long it lasts. Politicos jump in the fray for a potential votes. All is fair you see.
But that is not what I am disturbed about. My mind keeps going back to the one question we began with: why has no one come forward. And the answer is there for all to see: little disabled girls are not sound investment. Their truncated lives are not worthy of even the loose change that jiggles in your pocket or lies hidden in the folds of your drawing room sofa. After all Radha is only a little girl with a disability.
Could I forget the plight of our dear Preeti and her lunch box, or that of the sad people locked away behind impregnable iron gates? Little Radha is just one of them. Her story may result in a few chuckles of sympathy but does not translate into action of any kind.
We would like to see her thrive and grow, even if it is for a short time. She deserves every bit of happiness that can come her way. And we shall strive to ensure that this happens. So help us God.