Friday, 14 May 2010

Weaving straw into gold

Remember the Gothic fairytale of Rumpelstiltskin?
As a child I was fascinated by it -
weaving gold with straw!
Although as an adult I find the tale
quite gruesome laced
with greed, deceit, coercion,
ill treatment of women and blackmail.
(Eeek! we grown ups have too much on our minds.)

The crafty little elf appeared as an angel of light

to the hapless miller's daughter

(victim of child abuse, we would call her now).

But the elf 's demands could not match

the poor girl 's resources

(modern day struggle between the rich and poor)

Anyway I am glad the story has a happy ending

with the heroic mother saving her child.
Many times life hands us a bundle of straw

in the form of disabilities, illness, poverty

abuse , rejection, tragedy,family problems or divorce.

And we are required or challenged to turn this straw into gold

tarnished and dulled as it may be

with our blood sweat and tears.

Whenever we need our cane chairs fixed , we
ask this polio stricken man to do the job for us.
In India the little health care provided by the government is inadequate
or non existent for millions of disadvantaged people.
Disabled people have to fend for themselves or
live at the mercy of their family.
Many are rejected or thrown out.

He walks painfully with the

help of a stick

And travels on this rickshaw wheelchair.
These vehicles are distributed
to handicapped people
by charitable organizations.
There are other kinds too like a flat trolley.
Read more about the polio scenario in the article below.

Health - Who will win? India vs. Polio
Who will win? India vs. Polio
Just three decades ago 350,000 Indian children were paralyzed from polio each year. Parents throughout India woke up to discover their children's legs suddenly floppy, unmovable, while fever took hold and changed their lives forever.
Millions of families are still caring for children and adults who cannot walk.Today, thanks to the enormous efforts of health care workers and volunteers, only a handful of families suffer from new cases of polio. After 10 years of intense eradication efforts worldwide, health care workers knocking door to door, millions of vaccinations administered, and billions of dollars spent, polio continues to haunt only four countries, including just two states in India. Yet, the moment eradication efforts weaken, India and the world could return to the dark days of the 1970s.In fact, the four endemic countries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are those that have never interrupted transmission of their indigenous poliovirus. In recent years, many countries that had become polio free were re-infected following importations from Nigeria and India.Polio fighters say the greatest challenge remains in India.
"Western Uttar Pradesh is the hardest place in the world to eradicate polio," says Dr. Hamid Jafari, project manager of the World Health Organization's polio eradication program in India.Poverty, population density, illness, poor sanitation, and people susceptible to misinformation and rumor allow polio to continue to destroy families. In western Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the only two Indian states where polio circulates, there was actually an increase in polio during 2006 because some communities refused the vaccine based on false rumors that it was harmful. And now these communities are paying the price, with 676 children paralyzed by polio in 2006, a huge increase over the 66 cases in 2005. So far this year, 281 children have become paralyzed by polio in these two states, but the good news is that none have been stricken in the core endemic districts of western Uttar Pradesh by Poliovirus Type One, which is the most virulent strain. The pain of these families makes Indian health care workers determined. In the highest risk villages, families can expect a visit from a polio worker every month.
Community leaders, journalists and mullahs are urging families to get the vaccine. Why is there some resistance?"There are some very poor communities that refused the vaccine as a protest," says Jafari. "It is an expression of frustration because, understandably, they want clean water, sanitation and roads. Their refusal has nothing to do with religion, although many of these poor families are Muslim.?In fact, the vast majority of Muslim families and other minorities do accept polio vaccination during every campaign round."Also difficult to reach are the thousands of families in western Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who migrate for months out of the year to work in other states. Now, the government is focusing on these families so that their children will not miss the vaccine even if they are not at home.The Indian and U.S. governments, UNICEF and Rotary International are working together to eliminate polio from India and the planet forever. If they succeed, it would be only the second disease eradicated. (Smallpox was eliminated in the 1970s.)
The U.S. government is the biggest donor to this effort. Why do Americans care? "Americans have very clear, horrible memories of the pain and suffering of polio in the U.S.," says Jafari. "Also, Americans are humanitarians and they know it's a disease that can be eradicated and there is a tool and the tool is? affordable and easy to use."
Courtesy: SPAN Magazine
HERE IS A LINK with a slide show

Can I weave my straw into gold.
Yes I can.
My earthly problems are my pile of straw
On the other side of eternity , in heaven is my treasure
Problems on one side
gold on the other.
In the middle is a kind of spinning wheel
where you and I sit
If the problem side seems overwhelming
focus your eyes on the glory side.
Our afflictions are our divine spinning wheels
and we are Rumpelstiltskin's
weaving our straw into gold.
"These little troubles
(which are really so transitory)
are winning for us a permanent,
glorious and solid reward
out of all proportion
to our pain."
2 Cor 4;17
(inspired by Joni Erickson Tada)

19 Fertilize my soul:

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Amrita:)

This is a lovely post with immense wisdom and amazing instruction. Your post gives courage,motivation and guidance and hope.

You know Amrita, most of the time I ask God to help me to understand what is happening to me and give me the guidance to change and adapt myself to chantging conditions and situations. Most of the time when I try to fight to situation I only get disappointed, frustrated and upset. However, when I adapt to changing situations, I find I am happy and contented and at peace.

In a way I suppose this is making straw into gold.

Best wishes Amrita:)

Nadwra┼╝liwiec said...

In Europe children are vaccinated against polio. I read about Roosevelt, who was the victim of polio - it's really terrible disease. Baptist and Pentecostal church in Poland have mission, which help the poorest people in the world - they not only give them the Word of God, but also feed children, build health centres and schools.
I search this night in Internet - and I found this page - . By this page we can help hungry children in India - by click it give money for charity organizations.

If a brother or sister isn't clothed and lacking in daily food and one of you say unto them, Go in peace, keep warm and eat of, and do not give them what the body needs, what will it help? - Jacob 2, 15 - 16.

God bless Your work, Amrita. He see Your sacrifice and love. Because fulfilling all the commandments is love.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Wow, there's a lot of content in this post. An interesting interpretation of Rumpelstilskin for sure. I don't think most children (or adults) really pay attention to the underlying propositions. As for the people with polio in India, I think most of the world does not know. It is good to share. Maybe there will be some kind of help from the sharing. We forget in the USA how well we are taken care of -- without being one bit grateful for it. Thanks for showing a different side to health care (or the absence of it). May God watch over and bless these people!

David C Brown said...

Under the Lord's hand we can surely turn suffering to triumph. Not that I can claim to have suffered much myself.

Pia said...

hi amrita. thought i'd let you know that i chose your blog to receive an award. hope you like it. ♥

Amrita said...

Thabnk you Pia.

Gerry said...

This is really a powerful entry and much useful information about the disease of polio and what other countries are going to eradicate it. Reading this makes you realize how much vigilance there has to be to keep some of these preventable diseases in check. I had a long association with a woman paralyzed by polio and in a wheel chair and since the husband was not involved with the family anymore, much fell on her shoulders. I will never forget the joy that was felt when a vaccine was developed, and I am so glad humanitarians are working so hard to try to eradicate it in the countries where it is still endemic. I think you have explained it so well. Kudos to you!

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Polio has already been eradicated and there is an anti polio vaccine being administered for free in health centers. I hope India also eradicates polio from your country. So many people suffer a lifetime of ridicule and inferiority complex because of polio. Thanks for the humane post. God bless you all always.

Bluebirdy said...

Thanks for showing this post! I am so happy that this man is at least able to know a trade and to do such a nice job with weaving the cane, and also he is blessed to have that wheelchair. How very touching this is. It makes me sad they don't have help like in most countries, and makes me thankful for what I have, however little according to Canadian standards.
Bless you dear Amrita. I realize you might be in the same situation if you had no family. I also heard that most divorced women are treated like lepers there and end up as beggars if they have no family. VERY hard life!! May the Lord hold them all in His arms.
Blessings, Sheila

Bluebirdy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bluebirdy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bluebirdy said...

Oh dear, Amrita, I'm sure you are very confused. I don't know how this happened, but I was on Joseph's blog and clicked "comments" and this box for comments came up, so I left a comment, then went to the top and realized it is from YOUR blog! I am TRYING to delete that last comment I left, but not having much luck. So if you don't see my comment about Joseph's blog, I was successful. If you DO see a comment about his blog, please delete it for me. I don't know how this happened. I hope the message I DID leave for you shows up!
Blessings, Sheila

Abigail Jasmine said...

Thank you for sharing this. It is so easy to forget what is REALLY going on in the world around us...
I pray that God will bless India's health care and the people surrounding you.

How much would it cost to provide a new wheel chair for that man, out of curiosity?

Amrita said...

Hi Abigail, seeing people struggle around us really breaks our heart. Yesterday I went to the courthouse and saw a poor destitute women lying on the floor of a court room, she was elderly and looked sick and maybe she was summoned by the court to give testmony or something, I felt so sad when I saw her condition.

An ordinary bicycle is quite costly these days so my rough estimate for a wheel chair would be Rupees 20 -25,000.

Amrita said...

Hi Bluebirdy, thank you for your visit and comment. How are you and your mother. Hope the summer has brought you relief and you have more energy . Wish you God 's healing ouch.

Amrita said...

Dear Mel and Ewa, Polio drops are available free ofm cost everywhere, and manhy infants are being given them. But in a lotm of cases due to illiterachy, lack of awareness and superstution children are bereft of them and have to suffer if they catch the virus.

Buttercup said...

Great post. My work is with people with disabilities and I have a number of friends who had polio before the Salk vaccine. It breaks my heart to see children getting polio today. My prayers for the total eradication of this disease.

smplcv said...

Wonderful post! polio should be treated when the person is still young, once they cross 10 years, it can be treated. This person stands as an example to many,..thanks for sharing this with me

Credit Controller CV

cv said...

This person and his story inspired me..