| Birdflu has reached in the country as far as the foreign companies have reached.
The disease named birdflu has reached in the country as far as the foreign companies have reached. Birdflu is a fatal disease, which affects poultry in the rural areas. This could be seen as an attempt to finish off the traditional cottage industries in the rural areas. Most of the areas affected by this disease are largely tribal where farmers take to poultry breeding.
On the other hand we have problem of malaria, which is widespread in both rural and urban areas in India causing death of hundreds of common people.
Poultry has been a source of income for tribal and rural families since ages. Over a period of time, the chicken became a part of the food platter all over the world and hence poultry became a big business.
As this trade grew, "boilers" replaced the traditional breeds of chicken as they fetched higher price. Earlier chicken was sold in local village markets but then gradually domestic market replaced this. Thus the problem of birdflu got wide coverage in national media resulting in culling of millions of birds. The attempt has been to kill the traditional breeds in rural and tribal areas.
One could observe while visiting the rural areas that one doesn't get to see chicken any more. Mani Singh, a resident of Van village said, "Sixty years back no such diseases existed but now in the garb of birdflu, poultry in rural and tribal areas is being killed. It seems that there is an attempt to push packaged food.
It is clear that the birdflu scare in international market has affected the local poultry industry."
Padah Raja and social activist Polus Hember of Adaki panchayat is Ranchi Distract said malaria is more devastating than birdflu in our country. So far not even a single person has died of birdflu in our country whereas millions have perished because of malaria. The national media doesn't cover this whereas birdflu was given so much coverage. It is clear that not enough is being done to eradicate malaria whereas this worst affects those living in the hinterlands. They don't have medical facilities neither do they have transportation facilities to reach hospitals. Thus media has become a tool in the hand of the western markets.
There are several waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid, dysentery, cholera, tuberculosis, malaria etc, which kill millions every year. Most of the people in rural and urban areas suffer from the problem of polluted potable water. Thus in rural areas people die of diarrhea. In addition to that people suffer from many other diseases such as leprosy, malnutrition etc. People die of hunger in rural areas. Ninety eight percent of the expenditure on public health services is being borne individually by the patients. There are hospitals in the villages but they have neither doctors nor medicines. Many of the victims have to go to cities for treatment and they die in the process at times. Those who survive get ruined financially and are not able to recoup. They often have to take loans against their land to pay for their treatment.
Satendra Yadav is a social activist in Marupidi village under Budum block of Ranchi district. His brother-in-law died of cerebral malaria. He belonged to a farmer's family. The family got him admitted to Mandar hospital but he was sent to Rajendra Medical collage in Jharkhand Capital in Ranchi Baryatu it is bigger hospital in Ranchi hospital from there where he died due to lack of attention and proper treatment. Yadav revealed there were not adequate arrangements for the treatment at the hospital. In cerebral malaria, kidneys stop functioning but there is no provision of dialysisThis is the situation in Mandar hospital situated just 30 kms away from the capital Ranchi. Here villagers from Mudma, Mandar, Budmu and Thakur villages come for treatment. This is a tribal area; most of the families have farming as source of livelihood. There is no arrangement for treatment of serious diseases here.
In fact malaria has affected several parts of the country. Those who can afford go to cities for treatment but those who can't pay with their lives. There is no dearth of such incidents here. Sibni, a resident of Mudma village in Ranchi District has suffered from malaria thrice. Despite getting treated by a private medical practitioner she is still grappling with this disease.
Similar is the situation of leprosy patients. The government claims it has eradicated leprosy from India. But just four Kms away from Ranchi assembly, a leprosy colony exists without having any access to even basic facilities. In the name of this colony, there are few mud huts constructed by the government where around 500 families are living.
There is no power and sanitation. The 10 Kg rice given to each family here by the government is often rotten and worm-infested. People prefer not to take this rice and instead rely on begging.
During our visit to the villages we found that the diseases, which are killing human beings, fail to move the government as well as the media. A poor person has to die if he or she falls sick, as there is no other way for him or her to get rid of the disease. And here we are going all out and focusing on a disease called birdflu putting everything else on backburner.(Charkha features)
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