Thursday, June 15, 2006

Flashback.

...to about three years ago. i was working with a mumbai based tabloid. my friend and colleague had to go on an assignment to interview two authors ofa the latest book that had been released on Mumbai titled," Mumbai Meri Jaan". she hadn't read the whole book then...asked for help on some possible questions that could be put forth. i read the introduction..obivously it was yet another romanticised description of the city. but it had a line which said in effect that Mumbai is a city where although there is a section of people who lead lives like animals which would put any zoo keeper to shame, no one dies of starvation.
i had a problem with the line and asked my colleague to question the authors about it(that no one dies of starvation). she did. the response was defensive and was something to the effect that they hadn't come across a single instance of it.
i even had a comment posted on my blog then from the author saying that no newspaper had reported on it (starvation), hence it did not exist. i was quite amused by the comment because the author was a journalist himself (and a pretty senior one at that)...and he would (i thought)know as all journalists do that newspapers often enough do not report an event until it is worthy enough of making headlines.
let's fastforward to the recent spate of reporting on malnutrition among kids in the urban slums of mumbai. so it's there now...for everyone to see that there is a higher level of malnutrition among kids in Mumbai slums than the tribal kids in Melghat...the domain of malnutrition in rural maharashtra.
now, there is another point that one needs to note here...that most of these kids were probably admitted due to high fever. there are several such cases that are admitted in government hospitals which cite TB or Fever as the detected illness. but the cause of it is itself malnutrition. in the recent city reports of course doctors have pointed out that malnutrition is the cause behind the fever. but several times as has happened before, death reports will only cite the disease that caused death mentioned and will mask the real cause that broke down the human immume system- Starvation.

10 Comments:

At 4:11 AM, Blogger V. Krishna Ananth said...

You have made a point Vibha... But then, what do you think is the reason that the media reported such deaths now and not earlier... it's either that such deaths took place and the media was insensitive to report... or that there are too many deaths taking place now (remember dylan...how many deaths ....) for anyone to ignore.

And hey... yes. Starvation is what leads to these deaths. But then, people end up starving and then die because they can't afford to eat... I mean, it's poverty.

 
At 4:33 AM, Blogger Vibha said...

of course.

 
At 1:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i totally understand and i am highly sensitive to the whole scenario of poverty starvation and the circle it's confined to...but at the risk of sounding totally flippant here goes... on a lighter note....on the lines of a carbon trading system, we should have a fat trading system!!..think about it..all the FAT american/aussie kids can donate some of their excesses to the ones who really need it..everyone's happy..those who are fat lose weight and those who need weight get some!!..but the system would have to be cheap of course..honestly if i had the money i would fund a research project or whatever required to make this happen...
but till such time..how about not letting our babus and sahibs not eat for say a wee..that would be fun...
aparna

p.s...vibha!!..if my fat trading system truly works do u know what me and u would become???

 
At 2:19 AM, Blogger Vibha said...

aparna!!
why travel all the way to australia or america...just need to visit a mcdonalds or subway outlet in our cities...
(hey but this is in pure jest.)

 
At 3:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not completely true..u find excess at places other than mcdonalds or subway as well.i'm saying americs coz it's the most obese nation in the world followed by oz and japan..so why not take from where there is plenty...can take from here too..all the fat uncles and aunties and kids at every chaat or dosa wala on the street..mayb even parliament,...better yet..how about starting with the cops..lotsa fat there!
Aparba

 
At 5:31 AM, Blogger Vibha said...

not denying that!!
end of matter...coz we really are getting too flippant now..

 
At 4:24 AM, Blogger Rajesh said...

Well most newspapers are interested in hot-short-shelf-life news e.g., fever killing a lot of children. While starvation is a not-so-hot-not-catchy subject which most feel would not affect themselves. see, ppl like to read such kind of news that may impact them in such cases. Hence.....no coverage in newspapers.

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger Mirchii said...

...now I feel bad for being such a hog. hey bhagwaan.

 
At 1:28 AM, Blogger Vibha said...

arrey mirchii!!
come to mumbai soon...have a huge huge hug in store for you...
and please..don't stop eating..this blog wasn't intended to do that.
love!!

 
At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats how it is mate, treat the immediate, and hop-skip-jump over the root cause, the base. Anycase base jumping in one exciting and needs hell lot of adventure, think we ain't got many adventurous people. So even this will pass. After all we are well over billion and still counting, just like the guy on the IDBI cash counter. For Jerry Pinto, erm, he is doing just fine with jhankar beats ...wink wink.

 

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