Let Your Light Shine, Prevent Human Life
Irrespective of who we are all of us need love human or supernatural, we want that warmth from our parents, children, friends, relatives, neighbours, associates, doctors and nurses.
When we are loved we have the duty to lead our lives to utmost happiness and success in the ways we can. Sometimes we fail to achieve success. Sometimes we are burdened by the atrocities of life. Sometimes we lose our focus and feel lost. We become anxious about meeting the requirements of the day. All of this is natural when we know we aren’t secure.
Amidst this pain, we are fighters who would embrace the challenge and overcome the hurdle.
When the Republic of Malawi was struck by floods and later famine everyone gave up on life. Many migrated to neighbouring states in search of better prospects, some died of hunger, and robberies were on the rise. Among them was William Kamkwamba an inventor who didn’t give up. Despite his early drop out of school, his love for electronics made him study and build wind turbines which produced electricity. He was a saviour to his family and others around. It took William Kamkwamba to rise to the occasion and not give up despite odds. So intentional causing of one’s death doesn’t seem to be a viable option.
But there have been 338 known cases of suicide from the time of the nationwide lockdown. The reasons being loneliness (80), migrants walking back home on foot (51), alcohol withdrawal (45), denial of medical care (38), starvation and financial difficulty (36), exhaustion (24), lockdown related crimes; police atrocity and state violence (23) and others unknown reasons other than the coronavirus related (41). This is very disheartening to note especially when the breadwinner of the family commits suicide. The solution might be thought to be permanent but it is only a temporary solution to a problem that could last forever. Will anyone take responsibility for these lost lives? Will these families be supported by the government in any way? Is suicide a personal matter? These questions pop up and wait to be answered.
Although suicide is a personal choice it is premeditated. The reasons for self-immolation notify us of the problems that these individuals faced. Resolving these issues can generate a positive mindset and healthy living. The dominant problems are stigma, lack of care for the migrant community, and domestic violence. Despite online assistance and helplines, these individuals didn’t find themselves secure. The continuous stigma that the doctors and nurses face till date is alarming regardless of their dedicated services. The stigma that the Muslim religious community face irrespective of the 300 Tablighi Jamaat recovered members who donated blood for plasma therapy.
For some of us, the care for the migrant community is only a matter of showbiz. But the ground reality is that they are uncared for. They might be provided with counselling but will they be interested in it, if they are not sure their families back home are safe and secure, we may be unable to assure that, but the state government can make provisions. Only after the heated discussions has the government rose to the occasion. 71,000 migrants from Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states are stranded in Goa at the present. Can we imagine the psychological trauma that these migrants and their families back home might be going through?
Some of the families need the government to financially assist them in these testing times. The violence in the house is unbearable in comparison to the lockdown even though partial. Everyone who is facing such kind of violence needs to be assisted financially, spiritually, and psychologically. Helplines and online assistance will not be of help if the victims are not aware of. Even if they are aware of these provisions how many would make an effort to avail the services. The NGOs working in this regard have got to pull up their socks and start going to the probable victims themselves. As responsible citizens, we ought to alert the concerned authority regarding the violence in the neighbouring families if need be. There is a lot that a loving neighbour can do by providing financial and mutual support to the visible needy brethren.
Medical care of those other than the COVID-19 patients is also a cause of concern. From the time the pandemic has shaken the whole world other diseases are brushed off to the side. We cannot escape the fact that these diseases lurk in our neighbourhood. Thus, provisions to handle these cases sensitively should be made.
Suicide is not an option to any of these problems but sadly it does turn out to be. Therefore a continuous effort to eradicate or reduce these issues would help prevent life. Because suicide doesn’t mean that there was no killer. We could be part of the thought process unawares of the suicidal person. Nevertheless, Life is bigger than the problems we face. “Life is bigger than processes and overflows and dwarfs them,” said Dale Carnegie a self-improvement coach. If one wants to commit suicide it only means that she or he is courageous to live and embrace life, and courageous to be extraordinary. Then, let your light shine, prevent human life.
First published on The Goan Everyday newspaper