Frustration in villages

I visited my village after being away for ten years and I saw a lot of changes that made me sad. I used to think that Indian villages were still safe but the reality was completely different. I still remember that there was a pond right in front of my village house but this time half of it was covered with clay and other waste. India’s buying power have increased a lot within past fifteen years, and now people like to buy different things but they do not know how to get rid of the waste that comes out of the stuffs we buy.

I don’t blame people for this problem; government has no plan for waste management. All these things are new to India and we do not know about it, so we need to be educated about it. It has been part of Indian culture to throw rubbish outside of the house, but the good thing about past rubbish was that it was made of natural resources. Cows and other animals have also been wandering here and there in India since India has been in existence and these animals used to finish all that trash because our trash was natural, but now our trash is made of plastic and other strange chemicals and definitely they can not finish it anymore.

People living in the villages have also started buying packed products and usually they throw all the waste in the open spaces or ponds or places like that. Same thing happened with the pond in front of my village house. People throw all of their waste in this pond and now half of the pond is almost gone. People do not know how it will affect their lives in the future. I talked about it with the people in the village and nobody took interest in it. They think that it is good to cover the whole pond because there is always water in it and it spawns mosquitoes.

Of course covering the ponds is not a good solution to get rid of the mosquitoes because they could clean it and keep it clean and then the pond will not spawn mosquitoes. I knew that there was a well near that pond and I was very interested in that well because once about fifteen years ago my brother had fallen in it, so I wanted to see it. However when I reached near that spot, I found that there was nothing like a well here, just nothing. There was plain ground. I was wondering how that well disappeared. I asked my cousin about it and he told me that they had covered that well completely.

It was shocking for me. It did not make any sense to me. I just did not understand why they made that decision. I have seen people facing water shortages and I know how important a well could be to recharge ground water, but the sad thing was that people in my village never thought about it because they did not know about it. I also talked about it with people and they told me that this well was useless for them. The first reason was that my brother had fallen in it so they were scared that somebody else could fall in it again and the second reason was that the water was not drinkable anymore.

They could have used a screen so that rain water could pass through it but they decided to cover it completely. I saw each and everyone in the village using plastic somehow in their daily lives and they throw all these plastics somewhere out of the house. They just do not know anything about plastics. It is still not too late for the government to control all these bad things and they can do it by introducing environmental studies and making them compulsory for all students.

Villages are also getting huge problems now. The quality of education has decreased a lot, and actually I would say there is not education at all in the villages. Students just go to schools, pass time by massaging the feet of their teachers and finally get a degree, its true. Finally they go to cities to get jobs and find that they can not have a job because they never learnt anything. They find themselves far away from the city life. They can not socialize, can not make friends…

And when they see girls wearing short skirts it increases their sexual frustration. They also want to have sex but in fact they can not have because they can not get integrated. So finally they reach brothels and since they are not aware of the use of condoms, they contract HIV and all other kinds of dangerous sexually transmitted diseases. When they come back to their village, they pass it to someone else. Young people living in villages like chewing gutka a lot which has become the biggest cause of mouth cancer in India. I noticed that most of the young people were chewing gutka.

People say that a third world war will happen for water, and after seeing things going on in India nowadays, it seems to me that India will be the first country to start this war because we will have largest number of people in the whole world. We have killed all of our rivers, have cut down 80% of the jungles and now we have started killing our ground water. The pesticides that have been banned in Europe and America can be easily found in Indian markets and farmers use them for agricultural purposes because they do not know how harmful those pesticides are.

The Indian government seems to have no control over India, over Indian people or over anything and these things will explode in the future like a nuclear bomb.The whole world is doing research to repair the damage we have done to this planet but India seems to be the only country of the world where we have been destroying the planet for years and it doesn’t seem that it will stop soon. If the environment has anything to do in terms of setting quality of living, then Indians will have the worst quality of living in the whole world within next fifteen-twenty years. I don’t know if the Indian government will ever wake up, but Indians will wake-up someday for sure but by that time it will be too late.

Behavior of ghosts in villages

I have always been interested in the people who feel like they are affected by bhoots (ghosts) and destroy their lives going to some baba or exorcists to get rid of the ghosts. I have always wanted to hear more about ghosts by people who say that they are somehow affected by ghosts or have seen the ghosts or whatever and finally I got the opportunity of meeting few people who feel that they have ghosts inside their bodies and destroying their life. I was in my village a few days ago to attend my cousin’s wedding. I used to talk to him and my other cousin about stories of ghosts in his village and they had told me several things which were very interesting to me.

They had told me about a place where people, who think that they have ghosts in their body, go to get rid of the ghosts. After attending the wedding I asked my cousin to take me to this place which was about 5 Kms from my village. We headed there, crossed a lot of narrow paths, saw beautiful village life and finally we were at this place where people go to get rid of their ghosts. It was a tomb of some Muslim Baba who had died several years ago but people believe that this Baba had some super-natural power to fight with ghosts and he can still help even after his death.

There were two tombs- a small one and a big one. We went to the small one first. I was told that Thursday is a special day for that place and more people come that day; I don’t know why Thursday but it has something to do with the baba’s life. It was Friday that day so I was hoping to not see many people there. But after reaching there I was shocked to see that about 30 families had built a temporary house there to stay for long time. I looked through all those houses and saw that there was no stove or a bed or anything that I use in daily life. They cook food outside and sleep under the sky.

They needed that temporary house only in case of rain or something. I walked around that tomb and a few things seemed like a disaster to me. I saw three people locked up with a chain and this chain was locked to a tree. I just went near one person who was locked up and sat near him. There was one other guy sitting over there and he asked me to come to him and he invited �me to sit with him. I did not know how to ask him what was going on but fortunately he started explaining what I wanted to know.

His first statement was that he was in a lot of trouble because of the ghosts. I asked him why he was there and he said that he had come there with his brother. I asked him who was his brother and then he indicated towards that person locked to the tree. I asked him what had happened to him and he said that he used to work in Mumbai as a tailor and that his brother used to work at a factory in Ludhiana. One day his sister-in-law called him and said that her husband had some problem. He would not come home, would do strange activities, make strange noise etc…

His condition sounded like he was suffering from ghosts to his brother and he told his sister-in-law to bring his brother to their village immediately. This person living in Mumbai left his job and came to take care of his brother at his village. I asked him how he knew that his brother had some ghosts in his body and he said that he also had some supernatural powers and had been involved in this kind of work so he knew it. After coming to the village they took this possessed person to the tomb. The possessed person did not want to stay there and would always try to run away from there and that is why they decided to lock him to a tree.

He said that his brother had several different kinds of ghosts. One of them was the ghost of an Aghori, one of them was a Chamar, and one of them was some other caste ghost. I asked him how he knew this and he said that he already had some idea because of the activities the possessed person used to do like he used drink his own urine it which seemed like an Aghori’s doings, he used to spit in his own food and tear-off his clothes which seemed like a Chamar’s actions to him. This was the first indication to him that he should believe that his brother had several different kinds of ghosts.

But the thing that confirmed it to him about it was his talk with the baba whose tomb was there. At this time I was walking away from that affected person and we were about 20 meters away from the tomb when he said that the baba had told him that his brother was possessed by ghosts. I really did not understand which baba was he talking about because I knew that Baba had died several years ago. I asked him again whom did he talk with and he indicated towards that tomb and I thought that he was talking about one of the few people who were sitting there.

I was keen to know who that person was who had confirmed this for him and asked him again and he again indicated towards that tomb. I again thought that he was talking about someone else and then my cousin told me that he was talking about the baba whose tomb was there. I asked him how did he talk to the baba and he said that once you come here and pray to the baba, the baba talks to you. I just did not understand what was he talking about but I wanted to hear him more. So I asked him if the baba appeared in front of him and he said that the baba never appears in front of anyone.

The baba enters in the body of the people and talks to them through their tongues, it was crazy. He meant to say that the person asks the questions and then he himself answers it but the answer is given by baba who is sitting inside the person’s body. It was sad to see how strong their belief is about ghosts but I did not find myself brave enough to tell him that he himself had some mental problem. Well, I wanted to hear him so I kept asking him few more questions. I asked him about if he was not attacked by the ghosts because he was also involved in this fight against them and at this time he told it so loudly that ghosts have been continuously trying to attack him but since he also had some supernatural power, they could not do anything.

He said that once he was driving his bicycle, and some ghosts hit him and he fell down on the ground and broke his head. I asked him if he saw that ghost and obviously he said ‘No’. Then I asked him how can he say that it was a ghost who had hit him and his answer was that the kinds of feeling he was having was not like an accident, it was something different, it seemed like a ghost’s activity to him. After this we returned to his brother and I sat there for some more time. Now affected person’s wife came with his six month old child and started asking her husband about who had given him this ghost.

I clearly heard affected person telling someone’s name but his wife was not agree with this name. She said that the person he was talking about is not a bad person and he didn’t know how to give ghosts to others. Then affected person said that he had taken help of someone else but she was still not satisfied with this answer. She said that they will keep him locked up until he gives the right answer. It seemed to me that they had some name in their mind and they wanted to hear it through affected person’s tongue. The affected person’s brother told me that the ghost was making him tell a lie.

I asked affected person’s brother if his brother feels a bit better since he was brought here and he was so confident saying that baba had helped them a lot a now his brother feels a lot better after spending two months sitting in front of that tomb and being locked up. It was crazy, a 26-27 year old person locked up for two months. What could be worse than this? Now he started talking to me about the money and time he lost because of the ghost who had attacked his brother. He said that he left his job about two months ago and now he had no money at all, not enough even to go back to Mumbai but he still wanted to stay there and fight with ghost.

I was shocked to see the way he destroyed his, his brother’s and others’ lives. I was feeling so sad to see that six-month-old baby. Oh my God. I wanted him to feel that he must go to a doctor also and asked him if he never felt that his brother had some mental problem and he told it so proudly that he would have loved seeing a doctor if his brother had any mental problem but in fact there was no mental problem at all and his brother was attacked by ghosts. I asked him how did he know that it was not a mental problem and doctors could not help him and again the answer was same that he knew because baba had told him.

I understand what he meant to say but it was hard to believe that 21st century world is like this. I saw something that was more sad than this and it was number of children present there. I was numerous children there who had come with their families and had been living there for past few months. I was wondering how this time of their life will affect them in future, definitely they would also go to exorcists and would come to the tomb to get rid of their problems in future. The thing people see in their childhood time becomes part of their lives and these kids have been seeing their parents thinking that they have ghosts, what will happen to them in future?

After talking to this guy I wanted to talk to some other people and started walking around. I saw two other people also who were tied up to trees. I wanted to talk to their families but at that time there was no one with them, there were only few kids playing there. I saw many other people who were there to get rid of their ghosts. All of them were making strange sounds. I am sure they were telling something in Hindi but I was not able to understand it. I understood few things when they were talking about the person who had given them the ghost or about the ghost itself.

Few people people were talking about the baba. They were telling something like they had come here to take help from the baba and they knew that baba would help them. Some of them were drawing strange features on the ground, some of them were laying down on the ground and were talking to the trees, some of them were talking to the walls of the tomb, some of them were just rubbing their body on the ground and screaming loudly… It was really sad to see those mentally retired people wasting their time for nothing. I feel so sorry for the kids whom I saw there, very sad.

Now I decided to visit that other tomb which was about 2 Kms away from the first one. We went there and I saw the same situation there as well. But this place seemed more organized. There were few convenience stores near the tomb. I saw something really interesting that a guy who was doing strange activities and seemed like was affected from ghosts got fainted and his family made him lay down on the ground, brought a bottle of Coca-Cola and made him drink it. After drinking Coca-Cola, that person was happy again and started doing same activities again. It seems like ghosts also like Coca-Cola:)

Now I was getting late because I had to return to Varanasi the same day so I had to leave that place. I was sad and shocked about whatever I saw. After coming back to Benares I talked several people about it and most of them seemed like they also believe in ghosts. Some of them told me that there are 8.4 million different kinds of lives like trees, animals, insects …a person goes through, and being a ghost is also one of them. So they meant to say that each and every person becomes ghost some time. My one friend told me that ghosts are also like humans, some of them are bad and some of them are good.

Good ones do not disturb humans and bad one always try to do something crazy. They said that the people who are affected from ghosts have bad ghosts in their body. These ghosts enters in the body, take over the mind and make people do strange things. Sometimes ghosts don’t enter in the body, they just do strange things. My one other friend told me a story about his village where there are lots of ghosts everywhere in his village. He told me a story about one of his friends who was also affected from ghosts.

He told me that his friend lives alone in his house. He cooks only one time in the morning and eat the same food in the night as well. But every now and then ghosts piss or shit on the food he keeps for the night time so when he comes back, he has to cooks again. And when he goes to sleep, all the ghosts stick to the walls of his room, and make strange noises, abuse him, and don’t let him sleep. He told me that if you are afraid of the ghosts, then they can kill you but since his friend is not afraid, ghosts can not do anything bad for him. Ghosts abuse him and he abuses the ghosts, and everything is settled, cool.

He told me about on another story about a ghosts who smokes beedi. This ghost is in a room which has been locked for several years. This ghost start knocking the door from inside when his beedi is finished, and when people hear this knock, then bring a big packet of beedi, open the door, and put the packet inside. People say that whenever they open the door, they always find half burnt beedi thrown everywhere on the ground and it seemed like somebody has smoke those beedis. People say that since the room is always locked and there is no human inside and it means there must be some ghost who smokes all those beedis.

I read an article about ghosts in the local newspaper which talked about a English ghost living somewhere in Bihar. This ghost is of some British soldier and always wanders around his cemetery. People offer him toast with butter, coffee in a cup and plate and few cigarettes (English style, because the ghost is English) every morning and evening and if they forget about it then ghost start beating people passing over there. People say that they have seen this ghost. He looks like a British soldier who has a sword and wanders around with his horse.

They also tell the same thing that they leave the toast, coffee and other things in the morning time and when they return in the evening time, it seems to them that somebody has eaten it. Well, who would like to miss this beautiful English style breakfast, no one for sure. But it is a strong belief amongst the people that the British is eating everything. A lot of people say that a person becomes ghost if he dies unnaturally like if he commits suicide or dies in an accident etc…

Few people say that if the death sacrament is not done properly then dead person becomes ghost which doesn’t sound fair to me. Why this much dependency on others? If I die and my children do not perform death sacrament for me, then I become a ghost, not fair. I talked to Aghoris about ghosts and they told me that there could be something called ghost but usually the ghosts do not bother others. If others bother them, then they bother others. I like this idea better than being afraid of them.

I often think about ghosts because I often hear about them in my society. But to be honest I try to not be afraid of them. A lot of people are scared of going alone in the nights because they think that some ghost could appear in front of them and kill them. But I am more scared of dogs on the road who go wild in the night time or I am scared of the police who sometime do strange behavior with the people going out in the night time.

My few friends told me about flash back and I really liked this idea. But it is hard to make people believe that the ghosts that they see are not ghosts but it is all affect of flashback. I heard that sometimes something appears in front of eyes but in fact there is nothing or sometime we listen some noise but in fact there is no real noise and it is called flash back. It happens with me also sometimes. If it starts happening again and again then people should see a doctor, there is a treatment for it. But many people think that it is affect of a ghost and they go to exorcists or go to babas and destroy their own life.

I do not know how to help those people whom I saw in my village but I want to do something for them. I am thinking of making a video of the people who used to think that they had ghosts in their body and they destroyed their life by going to exorcists and got nothing. Finally they went to some doctor and got rid of their problem and show this video to the people who think that they have ghosts in their body. Maybe this could help them, or maybe make them think once about seeing a doctor, or maybe no positive result. I seriously do not know if this idea will work, but I would definitely like to do it if my resources allow me to do it.

Group wedding of 32 poor couples

Chairs for couples

Chairs for couples

Lok Samiti organized a group wedding of 32 poor couples again this year on 10th of May. It was again a huge event where more than 8,000 people were present. I reached there around 1 o’clock afternoon time and saw all the families preparing for the wedding; people were so excited. Lok Samiti had organized this wedding at a Hanuman Temple near Rajatalab, Varanasi. Definitely the temple did not have enough space for that many people so they had organized everything right behind the temple on an open space. They had a tent where there was a well-decorated stage for couples.

Groom swearing to not ask for dowry in future

Groom swearing to not ask for dowry in future

Lok Samiti had also arranged food for the people who had come to attend the wedding. The main idea behind organizing group wedding is stopping dowry and helping poor people get married. Since this wedding is registered and everything is organized by Lok Samiti, the groom’s family could not even think about asking for any dowry to the bride’s family because they sign a document saying that they will never ask for any dowry in the future. I really like this idea. All the couples who had got married under these condition were extremely poor that they could not get married on their own.

Bicycles for grooms

Bicycles for grooms

Lok Samiti gave bicycles to all the grooms and sewing machines to the brides so that they can be self dependent. Actually a lot of people come to Varanasi city area from the villages to work and the idea behind giving bicycles is that these people can use theses bicycles to come to Varanasi and work. The same idea is behind giving sewing machines as well, that the brides could do some sewing work and make some money. A lot of people from different parts of India and abroad had donated money to make this noble event true. I was responsible to bring some foreign donation.

Groom with traditional wedding dress

Groom with traditional wedding dress

Lok Samiti’s members had been collecting donations for the past three months and finally they had collected donations worth Rs. 2,60,000 which included cash, grains, clothes etc. The MP (member of Parliament) from Rajatalab area was the biggest donor who had donated Rs. 66,000 and his wife was second biggest donor who had donated sarees worth Rs. 15,000. The same way several people donated and gifted a lot of different things. I was also told to give something but I could not because of this crazy economy and no work for me. Last year I had donated clocks to all the couples on behalf of Sanjeevani Booti.

The bride

The bride

Lok Samiti had appointed a few people in different villages to see if anybody wanted to get married under group wedding and these people went to all the villagers asking about it. First of all they chose the boys and then told them about the girls who wanted to get married. They introduced their families to each other and fixed the wedding. I heard that some of the couples had come from other districts. All the couples were different ages, some of them seemed over 40 and some of them seemed only 15-16 years old, I am not sure about it but Lok Samiti said that they choose only people who are over 18.

group wedding

group wedding

Lok Samiti had organized the group wedding for 30 couples but at some point it seemed like all 30 couples would not be present there. But at last not only 30, but 32 couples got married. Two of the guests just decided to get married. They chose a bride who was also a guest there and informed Nandlal Master, President of Lok Samiti. Lok Samiti had arranged only 30 chairs, specially designed for weddings, �so they had to bring two normal chairs on the stage and these two other couples also got married.

sindorr box

sindoor box

This group wedding was a little bit different from the usual Hindu wedding. In this wedding couples adorned each other with flower garlands first, grooms put sindoor on the bride’s head, held the�hand with each other (symbol of long lasting relationship), and circled the Hanuman temple seven times instead of the fire. After all these things the families were free to do whatever rituals or other things they wanted. After completing the seven circles, grooms and brides returned to the tent and then families completed other rituals.

looks like over 18?

looks like over 18?

It was really so fun and interesting. This year’s wedding seemed more liberal from the bride’s point of view because all the brides were told to show their faces. In the last year’s wedding all the brides faces were covered with their saree. Although brides had come up on the stage with their faces covered; later Lok Samiti told all the brides to show their faces. It was so fun to see 32 couples getting married same time. My overall experience was nice but there were a few things that I did not understand; like I saw a few brides sleeping. It seemed like they were not interested in being married or maybe getting married doesn’t mean anything to them.

sindoordan

sindoordan

Lok Samiti is planning to organize a group wedding of 51 couples again next year on the 10th of May. Actually they have chosen this date because it is the wedding anniversary of the MP (Member of Parliament) from Rajatalab area. And since he is always the biggest donor and help for this wedding, they have decided that they will organize this wedding again and again on the same date. I am excited for the next year and hope to see all the brides and grooms excited and laughing and awake.

Problem with 2009 Delhi election

It was election day in Delhi yesterday. Mr. Naveen Chawla, The Chief of Election Commission of India also went to vote and found that his name was not in the list. His name was in the deleted list. It became news and all the TV channels started talking about it. The employees of Election Commission did something and finally Mr. Naveen Chawla voted. It has always been a issue for general people that they go to vote and find that their name is not present in the voting list. How can this happen that they forget the name of the Chief of the Election Commission of India?

Later Mr. Chawla said that there was some confusion because he had changed his apartment a few months ago and that is why his name was also shifted to the other list. But everybody knows that it was only an excuse. Media people were saying that they had seen the list and his name was in the deleted list. Well, whatever the reason was, the Election Commission of India should not say anymore that they can organize elections well. Now it is good evidence for the world that proves the quality of elections in India.

Banaras Hindu University Hospital cancer treatment for Prabhu

My friend, Prabhu, got sick a few days ago. He was in extreme pain from a stomachache. He was taken to the BHU (Benares Hindu University) emergency ward immediately. Doctors checked him and said that he had some serious problem. Prabhu wanted to be admitted to the hospital but doctors there did not want to admit him. They said that there was no empty bed in the emergency ward. They told Prabhu’s parents to go upstairs and see if there was any bed available in the general ward. Prabhu’s family went to the general ward and found that the general ward also did not have any empty bed.

Prabhu was in extreme pain and he was crying but doctors did not want to see him. Finally Prabhu’s family decided to take him to some other hospital. They took him to a hospital called Mata Anandmayi Hospital, Bhadaini but same thing was there also- no bed. Prabhu was still crying and now he almost fainted. They took him again to BHU but the doctors were showing strange behavior. Now they did not want to talk to Prabhu’s family. Prabhu’s father even touched the feet of the doctors requesting them to treat Prabhu but these crazy doctors were telling the same thing again and again that there was no seat available in the hospital.

They asked the doctors to at least start the medication but they did not want to do this either. It seemed like they just did not want to see Prabhu. They again took him to Mata Anandmayi Hospital but again the same thing- this hospital still did not have a seat. They did not want to go to some other hospital because these two hospitals were government hospitals and were cheap. They were more looking for BHU because it was big and it had lots of advanced facilities. They again went to BHU and this time the doctor just threw Prabhu’s papers and told them to get out of hospital and do not come again.

Prabhu’s pain had started in the early morning and it was evening time now but still he could not get any medication. Prabhu’s parents were so angry that they started yelling at the doctors and other employees of the hospital. Finally the doctors called the security guards and asked them to kick Prabhu’s family out of the hospital. Now Prabhu’s family did not know what to do. One of Prabhu’s friends knew the ex-president of the students union of BHU. He thought to call him and ask for help.

They called him and told him everything. The ex-president called the doctor and said that Prabhu was his relative and then this doctor said that Prabhu should have told them before about his relationship. Doctors said that they will arrange a bed for Prabhu. After the call of this president, the doctors arranged a bed for Prabhu. I don’t know where they brought this bed from. I think they already had a bed but they just did not want to admit Prabhu for whatever reason. Well, finally Prabhu was admitted to the hospital at 11 o’clock night time. �

They did all the testing and started medication. Prabhu was getting better now but then doctors said that they would operate on Prabhu. They said it would be better if this operation was done at PGI, Lucknow. Prabhu’s family brought Prabhu to PGI, Lucknow and again they had to face the same situation. PGI doctors also said that they did not have a bed. Prabhu’s brother knew some very famous Baba in Lucknow. He called this Baba and the Baba called to the hospital and after this call they said that they could arrange a bed for Prabhu.

He was admitted to the hospital for a few hours and then doctors came and checked him for a minute, looked at the old reports and said that he had colon cancer. They also said that they will have to operate on him but still they can not guarantee that he will be alive even for next ten days. They asked Prabhu’s family to immediately deposit Rs. 1,25,000 ($2,500). As Prabhu heard that doctors wanted to operate on him and they said said that they did know if Prabhu would be alive after the operation, Prabhu asked his parents to bring him back to Benares. He said that if he has to die then he would prefer dying in Benares.

This news spread in my neighborhood like a fire in the jungle. Everybody was so sad that Prabhu had cancer. We could not believe that he was going to die. Everybody was so sad. Prabhu came to Benares and I wanted to see him but I did not find myself brave enough to see him. There is a very famous cancer research center in Mumbai called TATA Memorial Center. I suggested Prabhu’s family to take him to TATA Memorial. I called my friend Alok in Mumbai and told him about the situation. I asked him to take an appointment with the TATA Memorial to talk about Prabhu.

I emailed him all Prabhu’s medical reports. Alok took the appointment for the same day and talked to the doctors and showed them all the reports, and TATA’s doctors said after looking at those reports nobody could say that the patient had cancer. They said that if the doctors at PGI had said that the patient had cancer after looking at those reports, then they were wrong. Alok called me and gave this beautiful news. I was so happy to hear that Prabhu did not have cancer. Prabhu was admitted at some private hospital now. I immediately went to see Prabhu and gave them this news.

Prabhu and his family, everyone started crying from happiness. Everybody was so happy. Doctors operated on him at that private hospital and now Prabhu is a lot better. He is back home now and feels normal. Doctors have connected a plastic tube to his intestine to discharge stool but doctors say that he will be alright and they will remove this plastic tube within the next six months. �Prabhu is now scared of BHU and never wants to go there again for any reason. Even though it is cheaper for him to get medication at BHU, he just doesn’t want to think about it.

My baby fell down from a chair and broke his head a few days ago. He was bleeding hard. We took him immediately to the BHU emergency ward. BHU has two registration counters. One opens during day time and other one, which is in the emergency ward, opens after the first one closes. The emergency ward registration counter is supposed to close at 8 o’clock. I had reached there around 7.15 and the counter was already closed which means at this time there was no registration going on anywhere in BHU, crazy. The doctor asked me to get a registration paper. I went to the registration counter and found it closed.�

I asked a few security guards sitting there about how to get a registration paper and they told me enter the room from the back-door. I got inside the room from back-door and saw two people counting the money. I asked him to make a registration paper for my baby but he seemed more busy with counting the money. At the same time another person who wanted to register his patient, opened the window and asked for a registration. The person sitting at the counter became angry at him and asked him very loudly how dare he to open the window. The person at the window said that it was emergency case and doctors had asked him to bring the registration paper and since the window was closed, where could he get it if he had not opened the window.

This made the clerk more angry and he hit his hand with the shutter of the window. Now his hand was stuck in the window and this crazy clerk was hitting his hand again and again. That person was in pain for sure. Finally the clerk closed the window and I don’t know what happened with the patient. Maybe they waited for the general registration counter to open or went to some other hospital. Then the clerk looked at me and asked why did I come inside his room. I was already angry after seeing his behavior so I was also speaking very loudly in Benares language, to make him aware that I was local, that doctor had sent me to get a registration paper.�

The clerk told the other person sitting there to make a registration paper for me. I went with the registration paper to the doctor and then the doctor made me write that I was the guardian of the baby, that baby had fallen down from the chair and that I would not go to the police in the future for this case. After this they started looking at my baby and asked me to buy nylon thread for stitching and some other medicines because they did not have anything. It was crazy that the emergency ward of BHU did not have nylon thread. I have heard that BHU employees sell the stuff that they get to use for patients.

I left the baby with my brother at the hospital and went out to get the medicines. After I came back with the thread and other medicines, the doctors asked me to wait because there was no doctor who could do stitching. It was 7.45 now and they asked me to wait for 15 more minutes. I waited for 15 minutes and then I again asked them if the doctor had come and they again told me to wait for few more minutes. My baby was still bleeding and crying but there was no doctor to do stitching in an emergency service center of a big hospital. After an hour few junior doctors (students) came. I asked them to look after the baby and they told me that they could not do it without permission of a senior doctor. They also asked me to wait for a little more time.

I did not know what to do. I was in a hospital but there was no doctor available. Finally after an hour and a half those junior doctors decided to start stitching. My baby’s medication was started after an hour and a half of reaching to the hospital. And this all happened in BHU which is one of the biggest hospitals of Uttar Pradesh. I am also so scared of BHU like Prabhu is and I have decided that I will never ever go back to BHU for any case. I got my baby’s stitches removed at some other hospital.

All the government hospitals are in the same condition- they do not care about the people. Their employees just care about the money. BHU makes a huge amount of money. They host international conferences. People from all over the world come to BHU to do research but the reality is something different. I often hear people talking about the bad services of BHU hospital because they always make the same mistakes again and again. Most of the patients who come to BHU are poor people from out of Varanasi. It is really bad for us because health insurance is still not popular in India and most of the people do not have it. We can not go to any private hospitals because they are so expensive and these government services are awful. After this crazy experience anyone would be compelled to wonder if the hospitals are made to save the life or kill?