Yesterday we took Radha to Doc P. For the past weeks she had been coming to school sporadically. The reason given each time was that she was unwell. Sometimes we were told it was a fever, at other times a cough, a stomach upset or just that she was in pain. The mother was quick to add that she had got her medication. We knew it was from the local chemist or at best the local quack. When she did make it to school, she seemed tired and a far cry from her normal self. Enough was enough and we finally took her to Dr P, our very own wonder medicine man.
Even the best miracle conjurer cannot find a cure for Radha's wasting bones. Her autoimmune disease is slowing gnawing her and we watch helplessly. The sores on her leg caused by the bone being sharp and thin and causing the skin to split cannot heal. Dr P recommended some antiseptic lotion. Her cough was not and infection but due to the insalubrious air she breathes in her home which is a hole tucked away between factories spewing poison. The good doctor gave her lots of supplements and vitamins and a mild pain killer to ease the pain that is now here to stay. Radha was all smiles, somehow the dose of TLC did wonders.
I however lost mine (smile I mean). I knew what awaited this darling child. Every time she felt too sick to come to pwhy she would remain in her dark hole breathing fumes. At best she would sit in the scorching sun or biting cold on a cart next to the food cart her mum runs. She would bear her pain stoically as she always does. And we would watch helpless and lost. Never was the need of planet why felt more acutely than at this moment. It is for her and others like her who suffer in dignified silence that planet why was conceived. A place where little Radha could breathe huge gulps of fresh air, sit in the sun surrounded by trees and flowers, laugh and giggle to her hearts delight and reclaim her lost childhood.
As I write these words am filled withe extreme sadness. Never had the planet why dream seemed so remote and distant. It seems as if all our efforts have come to naught. The miracle we hoped and prayed for never happened and little Radha will spend many more nights in her dark hole.
Why do I feel have failed.