Saturday, March 15, 2008

Manjunath Kalmani -- what's the fuss about?

Everyone in India, going through a newspaper daily, must have by now read about Manjunath Kalmani. So who is he? Why has he became famous?

Well, the details you can get at this site, a brief of the same is here:

In a nutshell, this is the story:

  • Engineer from India loses job
  • Has car accident
  • Paralyzed - can barely talk, but uses a laptop and sip-n-puff & Morse Code to communicate
  • Visa expires, gets sent to India, dumped in hospital where family abandons him
  • Laptop vanishes.
Something is amiss here, and I'll complete the pieces shortly, but let me ask a frank question to you all -- do we really care is someone is dying? do we care if someone is dying due to utter neglect?? do we really care if someone is dying for the want of right medical treatment and the cost to avail it???

NO! We all know we don't care. This is the truth. I may be a bit blunt here but isn't really this is the truth?

You could have saved one life when you though you have something more important to do than to save a road accident victim! If you would not have cared about the blood-stain on your car-seat cover, you'd have taken him to hospital and may be he would be alive. But No!

If you'd care about person dying due to utter neglect, you'd first look into your own house -- your old parents in the smallest and dingiest room possible. The same persons who nourished you to grow, to become a great personality. Have you ever thought about those persons who have became just a show-piece in your house, and that too broken, whom you prefer not to show to any friends. Have you tried to spare some time and talk to them even on weekends? No!

Have you ever been caring enough to send some money to a charitable organisation like CRY or Prayas? Have you ever tried to fund the medical expense of any unknown person, or even a known person who is not related to you? You have been to hospitals, and seen many poor, rickety people sleeping on the floor in January -- you have always put a handkerchief on your nose and passed by commenting how filthy they are -- have you ever thought of funding them to get a room, a bed, clean cloths? No!

(And mind it, when I say you, it means an average Indian, myself included)

Then? what is that is special in Manjunath? Fine that he was a techie and went to US for job. But when he met with the accident, he was already jobless -- laid off, and more importantly with out a medical insurance. Why? -- It is said that he didn't had money to renew the insurance. Then why was he still at US?

He met with the accident and US have done whatever they could on humanitarian ground. They could have left him to die, specially since no one was there to take care of him. Medical assistance was provided to him on state expenditure, as is the case in US and UK with other residents. It was only when his visa expired that they had to send him back to India. He was technically being deported, but in a special air ambulance, free of cost!

When he was brought back, even his family members were not willing to come to Delhi and visit him. However, when the money started pouring in, they came to Delhi to meet him. Is this how an Indian family works? Leave their son to die knowing that he's not well and needs medical care.?? No! I believe and Indian family would never leave it's member to die even if they don't have any finances to fund his medical care. Anyway....

I don't mean to say that people who have donated money to save Manjunath are wrong. I'm not saying that PM is wrong in allocating Rs 2,00,000/- for his treatment. I'm not saying that TOI is wrong in raising a campaign to save Manjunath.

What I mean to say is that there are countless Manjunaths in this country that you'd meet at every nook and corner -- do you ever think to help them? ever???


Rajesh Kamal said...

Good job dost!
the points u raised is true. But humanity is still in us, thats y we r humans!
But remember, there are two faces of the same coin. Yesterday, a young boy came and said that he needed money for his mother's operation. I offered him help in the form of blood donation but he refused and insisted on getting financial assistance.
what to do?
it is difficult to understand who really is needy and who is not.

Rajesh Kamal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Techie said...


Manjunath breathed his last at Safdarjung hospital on 06 June 2008. May his soul rest in peace.

The purpose of this post was not to criticize the aid provided to him, but to shake the community and show them so many other unfortunate Manjunaths who never get an aid.