The weight of the world

Her eyes welled up with tears when she started telling us her story...

Hina Aman June 18, 2010
We met her in one of the wards of Karachi’s Psychiatric Hospital. A quiet ward with no proper lighting, space or clean-up. Gloom pervaded and we wondered if, in such a setting, sunniness had any chance of entering the distressed hearts. Every patient in the room had an accompanying relative. Mother or sister. Except her. She was alone.

You could easily tell she was overburdened with sorrow. Her eyes welled up with tears when she started telling us her story and she wept when she mentioned her children.

“My husband took away my children,” she told us. “He denied being the father of my newborn. He accused me of cheating him. He divorced me, killed my new born by throwing it in a gutter and took away my three year old son. I don’t have anyone but my mother.”

She wants her son back.

With what words can you comfort a mother who had lost her children just 20 days back? I was silent while my friend, with better skills, tried to console her.

The hospital had banners of the ruling party - the only change we had noticed since our last visit. The rest was unchanged: the same filthy grounds and wards without proper ventilation.

The husband guilty of infanticide roams the street freely and why not? Are not the rulers criminals themselves? Do they not reflect the people?

I wonder how long and what does it take to change the mentality of the whole nation?

In another department of the same hospital, we met a very weak child admitted as a long term patient. Due to our limited Sindhi, we could not communicate properly with the child’s mother. She, like many others in the hospital, was from interior Sindh where health care isn’t available. They go to quacks and so-called holy-healers but when the patient’s condition deteriorates, they come to Karachi to seek professional help. Sometimes it’s too late.

Why are the two most important sectors, health and education, ignored by the government? Can we really be a developing nation when there’s no development in these sectors? Millions of children attend public schools and isn’t it a shame that they read the same books their parents read? A stagnant curriculum and a prevailing rote culture – when, really, when will we change?

This post was originally published here.
Hina Aman Hina Aman is a Computer Science enthusiast with a wide range of interests including ecology, astronomy and social sciences. She blogs at her blog Bewildered Soliloquy.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Kiran | 13 years ago | Reply Used to have same feeling when i go to these hospitals during professional visits....The two sectors (i-e Health and Education) need its due attention. with out having free and standard health facilities we cannot improve our conditions....
amjad ismail | 14 years ago | Reply in pakistan,it's a male paradise.All the laws are made by you,for you; a female rape victim has to bring forward 4 male "witnesses" to prove she has been raped,otherwise she has to get punishment despite being the rape victim.A woman's evidence is worth by law half of that of any man,so if a woman says she watched x kill y and a man disputes that,the man's version previals. Men are allowed by society to have as many affairs as possibel while a women even if so much as looks at another man has to face abuse from her family and worse from her husband if she is married.But our women have encouraged such behaviour by staying married to men who repeatedly beat them,cheat on them.It is precisely because of this that men in our society keep on repeating these behaviours,they know their wives,won't leave them no matter what they do.Girls don't complete their education and don't get jobs and r therefore trapped when their husbands abuse them or cheat on them.The women have to start thinking and standing up themselves, as long as they keep on believing in the knight in shining armour their lot won't change.
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