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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

09 March, 2005

little people

each upbeat morning, we read the papers
with sons and mothers, we watch the evening news
in the glow of our screens, we read poetry
we cry over tsunami victims
we anguish over iraq, kashmir, palestine.
but somewhere
something is missing
something that is not news
something happening to someone,
somewhere nearby.
it's so near, it's not news,
it's so everyday, it's not news.

even as you read this
even as PR agencies flood our senses
with polio vaccines
and the multinationals kill each year
with drug IPR
what is not news
is how thousands of our babies
die, their mewling stilled
by sheer poverty.
not one month old they die
they need vaccination
love, breastfeeding, oil massage...
the cost -
fifty rupees per person

no one reads it -
impoverished babies
can't sell papers.

in this one nation
a million lives
extinguished each year.
thirty thousand a day
two babies each minute
somewhere near you
tick-tock-tick

while you read this,
eight babies
stopped kicking
sixteen glazed-over eyes
are looking at you.

mere apathy.



A large fraction of babies - about 4.3% for India, die
within the first month of life. The numbers are half
of this in Indonesia or China, and one-tenth in the
developed nations.

The March 3 issue of the medical journal
Lancet says that a majority of these deaths can be
avoided by simple measures such as vaccination for
mothers, prompt and exclusive breastfeeding, clean
delivery, etc., the total cost of which is under $1 for
every person on earth. In other words, we merely have
to care about it.


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2 Comments:

Blogger Ami Titash said...

Nice read Khuto...and glad you raised this issue.

But I cannot refrain from saying this, although it may hurt feelings and raise eyebrows. Forgive me for that...

Those babies shouldnt have been born in the first place - to a nation that doesnt care. And once born its better that they died early than grow up as neglected children of the nation, on the streets, hungry illiterate naked. Nature showed mercy and killed them to ease their pain.

Its its better to kill little people than to let them live and make their lives a living death.

A country that cannot take care of its living does not deserve the gift of new-born life.

09 March, 2005 16:11  
Blogger annie said...

Nice,Khuto. I love it when people use poetry to speak for more than their own brittle hearts.

12 March, 2005 18:13  

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