Monday, November 26, 2012

26/11 in a different Way.....


Today is the Fourth anniversary of 26/11, which reminds us about the blot in history when a number of innocent lives succumbed to the bullets of terrorism.   But today we were confronted by another tragic event in Jantar Mantar Road, New Delhi, right under the nose of India’s power centre.  The road is abuzz with rallyists shouting for fulfillment of their demands from Government, the hunger strikers, sit-in and relay dharna activists etc.  Both ends of the road are already blocked with barricades in addition to large number of police contingent to avoid any untoward incident with quite a number of people gathering there. 


However, nothing of these sorts felt to be disturbing Mr. Thakur Das, a gracious veteran with not more than a skeletal body and silver hairs, lying coiled under the dirty quilt under a plastic sheet roof on the pathway of this road.  It was a call from Firoz Ali of Malayala Manorama day before yesterday informing about this man which led us, the team of volunteers of DNipCare, to him.  Niyas of Kollam who stays in Kerala House on this road was also there when two of us, Suresh Thaliriyil and me, made an attempt to see and assess the condition of this age old man who now found to be an acute patient; a patient whose living body is a dwelling unit for thousands of different sized maggots eating the flesh of his both hands and growing relentlessly.  A steel plate lying on his bedsheet was felt to be containing gruel at the first instance, but on a closer look we realized that it is full of white maggots merrily flying to and fro to his wounds.  The pungent smell emanating from him cannot be withstood.  He did not heed to our requests and efforts to convince him to agree for shifting to any hospital or care centre.    We three were also not well equipped to handle that situation medically then and there, but came back with an assurance from him to come with us next day. 

So as planned, we (Suresh Thaliyaril, Anil Mahendru, Haris Beeran, Ajith Kumar, Niyas, Firoze Ali, Jayan K Unnunni and me) reached there today at 6 PM amid the chaotic traffic jam due to rallies by different organizations in the area.  Jayan’s mobile with torch was not only shedding light on the wounds but to the plight of a hapless human being allowing himself to be the prey to maggots attack and thereby to his destiny.  One thing we could gather on informal chatting with the constables deployed on the road was that everybody was well aware of this person who used to live with his wife on this road since last 2 years or so and his wife died about 6 weeks ago leaving him alone on this pavement.  After the demise of his wife he is said to be deteriorating, but seldom willing to talk to passerby.  Somebody was also saying that he belongs to good family and took shelter on the road due to atrocities by his descendants.  

The social and familial background put aside, right now he is a patient before us and requires immediate medical intervention failing which his life is in danger.  But contrary to his promise to be ready to get shifted to hospital, refusing to budge he recoiled to his quilt.  Nothing of our coaxing and cajoling worked on him including our efforts to clean up his wounds. 

Feeling very difficult to leave him to die on the road like that the solution came finally, in way of help of an Inspector of Police, a Good Samaritan, on duty there on the road.  We could mobilize an ambulance with police assistance and shifted him to the emergency ward of Dr.RML Hospital nearby.  The ward boys and the staff in Hospital did really a cumbersome job cleaning out the maggots, fumigating with Turpentine oil and bandaging the wounds.  He has been admitted there for the time being and we hope him to get some good care from the hospital.  However, we have to ensure that he does not go back to the open pathway to be fed by maggots again and so we will have to hand him over to any care centre right at the time of discharge from hospital. 

At the end of the day, when the clock ticks 12, it is felt that ours was also a 26/11 operation, but to join the maggots perforated flesh of a living man.

kv hamza,
Gen. Secretary, DNipCare

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