Monday, April 12, 2021

We all have ‘killed’ Vishnu Sardar

We could not save a meritorious Vishnu Sardar, who was so full of life and possibilities. Seriously ill Vishnu Sardar of Sidirsai village finally died. He should not have. But he died nevertheless.

Vishnu had studied in my school Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya, Tangrain up to 8th class. He had passed matriculation examination with second division from Pallimangal High School.

Although he usually was a first ranker, and I was hoping that he would pass matriculation with first division, but his sickness for the last seven-eight months did not allow him to reach his potential. His studies were hampered due to illness.

Vishnu was one of the most favourite students for me. He was good in studies. And he was a fast sprinter too. He had secured first place in swimming competition. I had taken him to Ranchi for competing in a swimming competition.

Vishnu’s family is very poor. And owing to extreme poverty, ignorance and dilapidated health facilities in Potka area, Vishnu died, perhaps of a simple urine infection.

I used to bear all expenses of his study, which were not too high.

However, it will remain a big regret for me that despite my repeated requests his family members did not get him treated by an allopathic doctor.

They continued taking him to quacks and village ojhas and guns and local vaidyas. His condition kept worsening.

Later, I learnt that he was taken to his maternal uncle’s house in Orissa.

He was even admitted in Rairangpur Government Hospital for 3-4 days.

But, his family members again took him to a Kaviraj at his maternal uncle’s house.

His condition kept worsening and he succumbed to his illness on September 6 at 8 a.m.

I feel I too am responsible for his death. Why did I not fight his family to force them to admit in a good hospital in Jamshedpur? I could have done this.

I had thought of this at least twice to take him to a clinic or hospital to get him admitted. But before I could do this, he was taken away to Orissa.

If only he had stayed back in Sidirsai, I would have done something for him.

And I also hold myself responsible for that despite having tried to spread awareness in every prayer assembly in the school to get themselves treated by allopathic doctors, I could not create enough awareness.

I keep telling students and parents to get serious diseases treated by allopathic doctors and not by rural kavirajs or quacks.

Just three days back, a teacher of Kairasai Pravir Bhakt too died due to lack of proper treatment.

Had there been a good health facility in Potka, perhaps teacher Pravir Bhakat and student Vishnu Sardar would not have died.

There is a shortage of good doctors in the rural areas. Government hospitals are there only in the name.

And the poor villagers have to depend on Jhar-phoonk, jadi-booti, herbs and quacks.

I sincerely hope that one day we will have made education and health facilities completely free and we will have effective health infrastructure even in rural areas, even in remote villages.

We have been unable to fix our priorities and expectations from the government.

I am grief-stricken for Vishnu.

He had told me that while practicing sprint with his friends, he would race against running trains. Even train drivers would enjoy the competition by slowing down their trains a little to let them match the speed.

Vishnu Sardar was the reason I had started Army-oriented training in my school.

How I wished he would someday join the Army.

But we ‘killed’ him before he could do so.

Arbind Tiwary
Arbind Tiwary
Arbind Tiwary is a government teacher and the Headmaster of Tangrain Middle School. He is known for his novel experiments in the areas of education and social development. Since he moves in rural areas everyday, he is full of human stories and anecdotes. On our request he has agreed on narrating his experiences in the form of a blog focused on social and development issues.

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