Updated March 15, 2021
Blogged about this simple village woman Muniamma just a couple of days back. She is no more. For a brief time when there was drought and she couldn’t work her farms for the first time (and ever since), she came looking for job to the city. She was my househelp for a three month period. That’s when I was touched by the hardwork and sincerity of this very poor and unfortunate woman who never knew happiness in her life. Who was born to toil in agricultural fields and keep the kitchen fires burning after sunset. During her residence in the city, she was selling ‘kezhvaragu koozh’ near Harrington road railway signal (when we did not have the subway ready) to make ends meet. She worked in one more house. Never seen her in good clothes. Never heard of her going to the cinemas or beach. (When she came to me she was 50). 65 years of running and running, not pausing to enjoy anything in life. Her dearest motherless granddaughter got married recently. So hopefully she finds the elusive ‘shanthi’ now in her death. In a way, I am relieved her turmoil came to an end. My heart goes out to the this plain and pained rural Indian woman who I believe will never have a rebirth, for lifelong sufferings for no fault of hers. Born into misery. Born into this vicious circle of poverty and tragedy only dictated by the caste prejudice. Shame that we even absolve ourselves of such heartless crimes perpetrated by our ancestors. We do not have to do a penance to achieve any state of nirvana. A reflection on the way the woman lived her life for the family she adored never complaining, accepting her destiny, tells me what mukthi is all about. We do not have to go to any temple to realize some great truths. Good bye friend. You did your job best. There is a lot that today’s gurus can learn from someone like you. May your atma find satgathi. Straight moksha to you. Did you even have time to think about temples or puja or scriptures. How quietly you called the bluff of everything soooo superficial…? When a good soul departs, i don’t feel the loss but I feel touched by the profound goodness that the earth was graced with by this soul. So much of love and innocence and good vibes only…
One more non-descriptive rural poor woman who never mattered. It is as if she never existed. A stat. This callousness of the self-righteous is what angers me more.
I am just relating a real life effect of mixopathy/alternative medicine on our general janata.
When all was well and world was still a sane and safe place to live in just before the corona struck, a poor village lady of 60+ I learnt had come to the city seeking medical treatment for her ailment. Into her 60s, the farm worker turned restaurant dishwasher had started bleeding again. When I came to know of her plight, I asked her family to take her to KMC hospital for further examination. It was over 10 years since she had had her menopause. Something did not add up and I had my suspicions about the woman’s health conditions. (btw i am not a qualified medico, just a housewife with basic intuitions that mostly never fail me)… A timely intervention could save her life. Her case was not unprecedented and in fact was a very common women’s affliction given her age.
The semi-literate family did not heed by my words even though they took her to government hospital and also to the Children’s hospital in Egmore where there is an obstetrics department. Here they had suggested probable removal of the woman’s womb after a biopsy. All this indicated to cancer of the uterus as I feared. I did not have time to follow up on the case. I knew this woman personally and she was a hardworking labourer all through her life. Not a moment to take respite. Her whole life was miserable working in hot tropical sun and the late evenings were for feeding the family and doing the chores. She had led an embattled life with a alcoholic husband who never went to work. But then I had a flight to catch and I forgot her case soon as I boarded the plane to the other side of the world. I was confident that with right medical assistance on diagnosis at the right time, in maximum three months or so, the woman would be back to normal and fit and healthy.
Three months later when I touched down, I was to hear a different story however. I was told that she had stopped consulting govt hospital and had moved over to Homeopathy/Ayurveda/Siddha. I was shocked to hear of this absurdity. Since when these people started treating cancer patients. Whatever happened to the biopsy and supposed surgery in Cancer hospital. Nothing. Nothing ever happened. The woman was swallowing white colour sugarlike pills in her high diabetic condition as dished out by her homeopath, having returned to work. In the meanwhile, her health woes took a temporary break. The family assured, they knew better and they cared better than an outsider like me. I was aware I was an intruder but the idiocy and stupidity and naivety of the village folks kept worrying and annoying me. Whatever I said fell on deaf ears with no takers including the concerned sick woman.
Within an year the corona came striking as also the woman’s ailment resurfaced. By now, surgeries were suspended in most govt and private hospitals. The only option available was chemotherapy upon biopsy. My fears came true. By now it was stage 3 and the cancer had metastasized. Unavailability of doctors and nursing staff delayed matters. Homeopathy or Siddha or Ayurveda guys expressed their helplessness.
Like wildfire the cancer started spreading and now the poorest of poor woman is suffering the last days of her life, once again forced to take the Kerala Ayurvedic medicine by her kith and kin. After a round of chemotherapy and radiation, the family had opted for mixopathy of their own – which is mostly practised by quacks in India.
As life slowly dims for the good woman who worked so hard for her entire life, I feel such a rage for this mixopathy culture that is killing thousands in our towns and villages for no reason. This atrocity can be allowed to happen in this 21st century only in this country. In this specific case, it is the alternative medicine that is to blame. I am citing this case to show how things are going to go on from here.
A life that was worth saving, a life that could have been easily saved, a life for which we have had resources and time and efforts to save, is now getting lost because of our pathetic ignorance. I can’t believe our government seconds incorrigible mixopathy and has made this fraud or perhaps unverifiable ways of medical treatment legal in this country. This is going to take a heavy toll on our rural population who may be easily gullible to malpractices by quacks.
You switch on the tv. See how many quacks are advertising their wares and the public are falling prey to their false claims of cure.
In any other country, the quack who treated the poor woman wrong in spite of her cancer, would have had his/her (alternate) medical practice licence suspended and thrown behind bars. Not in India. In India, this is perfectly valid and legal and the fraud practitioners or those with inadequate knowledge/experience of alternate medicine can still get away because of provisions under statute that allow and protect their unscientific, unproven practices. (The very concept of alternate medicine is illegal in most countries and can be punishable with a sentence).
Now imagine mixing all this into one formula to brew a medical concoction…
Ayurvedic practitioners are about to perform surgeries under the aegis of qualified surgeons (allopaths) in our governement hospitals very soon. I am not entirely in knowledge of how much of mixing is allowed. Will add details soon. Can you see this madness in any other respectable nation in the world.
Mixopathy will take us back by decades and reverse whatever progress we have achieved where it concerns rural health and development, there are no two opinions on this. Urban lower middle class is going to be dealt a severe blow as well. The crooked elements may get emboldened for all wrong reasons and the security and trust our general janata have reposed in the country’s health care system is to be compromised/breached like never before.
How far mixopathy is going to affect the private health sector remains speculation. Given the menacing presence of the insurance companies, the mixopathy contribution in star rated hospitals and medical clinics can be minimal, this is my guess.
Bracing for more lowering of standards across the board and general worsening of standard of living in future…
Unorthodox alternative medicines without the seal of government approval is tolerated in India for generations. In rare cases, this can even work out – like in the case of skin issues such psoriasis, melanin deficiency, bone and joint treatment et., where external application of medicinal herbs can act as cure. Taking Ayurveda/Siddha/Unani/Homeopathy any further than this is going to spell disaster and derail whatever progress we have managed to record in health & wellness in recent decades.
How to undo mixopathy???