Thursday, January 1, 2009

Salt of the earth

Nirmal Singh is a short ,wiry villager from a hamlet in Palaumu.I first saw him ,an unassuming man,when he brought his two year old daughter with all the classical symptoms of tuberculosis.We put her on DOTS.She responded well,completed her treatment.
It was quite a surprise for us when Nirmalji as we call him volunteered to become a DOTS provider himself,more so because DOTS providers had no renumeration at that time.
He faithfully oversaw the DOTS of many of his co-villagers and walked with them to health.
We, in the hospital developed a deep respect for him.He never once changed his stance.
After five years of faithfully volunteering his services for the cause of TB in the region he came to the hospital other day with a history of cough ,fever and seem to have lost some weight.He turned out to have contracted tuberculosis himself.
I was deeply shaken and humbled by his attitude.He looked beaten but not out.He had the medicines in one hand and the renumeration he had received for completing treatment for two other patients in his other hand.

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