Often we find ladies roaming in the colonies with a bundle of cloth and lot of utensils to barter new utensils for old clothes to the contentment of ladies in the families. Have you ever thought of what these old clothes are meant to?
Today, Saturday, while on Palliative Home Care visit to Haiderpur, a small hamlet in the outskirts of Delhi, we ( with Suresh Thaliyaril ) had a chance to see the recycling of these old clothes collected from housing colonies. Kismat Lal (names changed) is a Tongue Cancer patient living in a thatched shed kind of a room with his wife and two children. The treatment options of chemotherapies, Radiotherapies including Brachytherapy are over in his case and now it is only the medicines to reduce pain and sufferings. Kismat used to collect the old and worn out clothes from the colony cloth collectors and mend, iron and ready them to be sold to the factory workers in the outskirts of Delhi and used to try his marketing even at faraway places like Bhawana. Now as he is struggling with the disease, the role has been taken over by his wife to mend and patch the clothes, thereby stitching together their own worn out life as well through the meager amount of ten or fifteen rupees per piece of cloth they earn totaling to a couple of hundred bucks at the maximum on comparatively better days without rain or extreme climates.
Sitting on a corner of the room Kajal, 9 year old daughter of Kismat was looking at us pryingly while we were in conversation with him and his wife. Saturday is a working day for schools especially Government schools in Delhi and what is this cute looking pony tailed slender girl doing at home? She is not dropped out of the school, but got admission to the Government school this year only after leaving her old private school which her family can seldom afford now. Reluctantly the family disclosed that it is due to lack of uniform she has been asked by teacher to stay out of the school. Though old and worn out, her uniform of earlier school also did not work here due to change of school.
As per the tall claims of local Government every girl child is being provided not only uniform, but books and study materials by authorities, but none has reached this child nor her school so far, may be thanks presenting of a late budget of suspended animation status Delhi Government in the Parliament on this week. Social care being an integral part of Palliative Care, we could resolve the situation in this particular family’s case so as to avoid loosing her further school days, but what about many such children whom none reaches out?....
Gen. Secretary, DNipCare