Dealing with the tuberculosis patients has been so far an extremely rewarding ,educating and nourishing experience.Yesterday the boys came to me with a complaint of a thirteen year old who they suspected were chucking the medicines instead of eating them.I called the boy into the clinic.An extremely likeable village boy with a cricket cap breezed into my OPD smiling widely.I couldn't help smiling back.Getting back to business I had to be firm with him and had to explain the consequences of his not eating the medicines and it's implications.I saw the sunshine go out of his eyes even as the magnitude of his mistake struck him.
Today he came back to the OPD to collect his medicine .
He told me a little about himself.He is from a village around 100 kms away from Satbarwa town.
He lost both his parents and three older siblings to the disease.All he has left is his six year old sister who cooks in his uncle's place to earn her keeps in the village.Sakindra Bhuiya ,as the boy is called, works as a hotel boy in Satbarwa town.He earns Rs.40 per day.He has been saving whatever he has been earning so far in the local post office.He says for the past five years.That would make him eight years old when he started off.
He says he gets a simple vegetarean meal thrice a day apart from his salary.
I asked him what he would do with the savings and the first thing he said was he would get married!
Now this was child labour-but what other option did a tribal orphan like him have?He seemed pretty self-assured ,owned a cycle ,had learned to earn his keeps at such a tender age.
God forbid ,but he is in many ways much better equipped to face the challenges life would throw his way than I was at his age.
God bless these little angels who gives us a clearer perspective in life from just getting to know them.