POLIO A CURSE

This is the story about a boy who had faced many challenges in his life.  When he was born, he was quite healthy but due to adverse circumstances, he fell ill. He had a high fever which led him to suffer by polio, His body slowly and gradually gets paralyzed he lost sensation in legs and hands.

There was an Indian Joint family which lives in a remote village of India In Haryana. During 70’s India was struggling in all fields though the country has got its Independence in 1947, government weak policies were failing in all fields, India has High Mortality rate. No medical facilities at the village level, even at district level medical facilities were the disaster.  This village was just 70 km away from the Delhi “the capital of India”.

It was Saturday in the year 1978 when Raj was born in a farmer’s family. As the time passes the toddler started crawling and walking with supports. When he was of  9 months he started walking and his parents were the happiest person on the planet by seeing him walking for the first time, but this pleasure ends very soon as the boy get suffered from high fever next day, he was taken to a doctor (jholachap) in village, he gives him an injection to control the high fever.

Early in the morning his mother noticed that the boy were not standing up on his feet, his  hands were not moving and he is also facing problem in turning his neck. This make his mother worried and she asked the elders to take notice to this problem. Due to ignorance and low education and lack of awareness they took him to the same doctor who again injects some medicinal fluid, this has worsened the condition. After two days when they noticed no change in his health, they decided to take him to Safdarjung hospital Delhi. (This is true even today in the 20th century, in India due to lack of proper medical facilities most of the Indian migrate to the capital of India for better treatment)

After examining, doctors told his parents,” it is POLIO”. It is not shocking for them because they were unaware of this term, in turn, they asked him what is it? Once the doctor explains the term it makes them worried and thought of fear of losing their child started flowing in their mind, their face turned pale and they looked worried. They look into each other’s eye and started weeping. Mother of the boy tightly cling him to her heart and weep loudly, his husband was trying to hold his tears and tried her to cool down. Later doctors told them to fill a form for admitting their son and they did what was told to them to do.

Since no proper treatment was available for polio in India, doctors were experimenting with all odd treatments to make his body parts moveable. They give him heat therapy but this therapy has worst side effects on his skin. His skin was burnt due to regular and excessive exposer to high temperature. This makes his parents worried and they had requested the doctor to discharge him as this treatment has worsened his condition.

Next day he was discharged, after completing the official formalities of the hospital. They were very sad and worried as they were the first time came to know about Vaccination. They were feeling culprit for their son’s condition when someone accused them of not giving vaccination in time. They were moving out slowly wrapping him in a rag.  He was quiet, motionless, not even crying, his breathe were becoming heavy but his parents tear has dried, emotions were stoned, they were walking out with great regret and they were feeling as they were the culprit of everything that has happened.

Dear readers

I would like to tell you that the government of India was not running any excessive vaccination awareness programme that time and such facilities were not available in far villages. In 70’s such programmes were hardly known to people even in cities. If we will check data’s most of the children have lost their lives due to POLIO in the ’70s and ’80s.Please give your reviews for—

  1. Are these Parents fully responsible for their son’s condition or it is government failure that they were not able to make people aware of life-threatening diseases and also not provided facilities in hospitals even after 30 years of Independence?
  2. Please Share your stories too If you have seen or hear anything.