Thursday, November 6, 2008

These People Need Help

Urmila, in her thirties, a poor widow and the mother of two small boys, studying in the 5th and 8th stds in government-run schools, used to earn her living by working as a domestic maid in the Lajpat Nagar area of New Delhi, India. Her old parents stayed nearby – they earned their living as neighbourhood press-wallahs (who presses or irons clothes). Being old, they frequently fell sick and Urmila was their only support to take them to a doctor and get treated. Our house was one among many where Urmila worked as a cook and I and my wife marveled at how she managed to support so many people with her paltry income. Urmila herself was not physically very strong, malnutrition and life’s constant troubles having taken their toll on her body.

Urmila recently died (on the 3rd November). After an illness (probably affecting her kidneys, because her body got swollen during the illness) that kept her hospitalized for about two months, she finally lost her battle.

Now, what worries us is that who is going to look after her orphaned children and parents. Urmila wanted to give her sons some education so that they can have a decent living.. she must have suffered a death-before-death worrying about their fate from her death-bed. Will they now simply be devoured by the cruel world? And what about her parents – will they die out of hunger and illness without anybody to look after them?

I write this because in our small capacity we can do very little, peanuts actually, and what these helpless people need is long-term assistance. Is there anybody/any organization who can stand by them in their hours of crisis? Can anyone help in connecting these people to kind individuals / organizations who can act as their long-term benefactors?

My email address is: Another email address is given in my profile I think. I do understand that anybody who wants to help will need to verify the genuineness of the circumstances I described, and I shall do my best in this regard. At present we ourselves do not know much about them…did not have to while Urmila was alive. But we can always find out more about them now that they are in dire need of help.